Many thanks to Jane Risdon for nominating me for The Next Big Thing. Please do pop over to Jane’s blog by clicking on the link above. You can read all about her work in progress which is a crime novel featuring the inimitable Mrs Birdsong, her home in the shadow of the White Horse and who knows, you might even get some clues to help Mrs Birdsong solve her next crime in the varied and intriguing articles you will find there.
Those of you who know me in person will know that I’m quite likely to chop my fingernails off with paper scissors so that they don’t annoy me when typing. I hate wearing make-up and I am disproportionately squeamish and cowardly about plucking hairs from the tender skin above my eyes. I’m afraid I am one of those WYSIWYG type of women who can’t be arsed with glamour and the word ‘elegant’ shouldn’t be used to describe me in any way shape or form.
However, for this post I have full slap on my face – yes, even lipstick! I have put on my best clothes, had my hair done and have perfectly manicured fingernails with tiny shooting stars on the little fingers. All this is just in case, you understand … because, just for one day, I am The Next Big Thing.
Righty ho, here we go. Jane has asked me ten questions about me and my work in progress.
What is the title of your next book?
I am currently working on the first draft of my sixth novel for NaNoWriMo, which has the working title of The Fourteenth Traitor. However, I think my next published novel will probably be my fifth novel – Horns of Angels – which is complete, but needs a bit of work before it is publishable.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was watching a documentary from the series ‘Heir Hunters’ on television. I was fascinated by the reaction of some of the potential heirs when they were told they may inherit money or property from a distant, long-forgotten relative. I wondered what mayhem would ensue if someone was the sole beneficiary of a large estate bequeathed to them by a perfect stranger, and so Horns of Angels was conceived.
What genre does your book fall under?
This novel is a family saga, featuring two very different families – that of the beneficiary and that of the man who has left his entire estate to someone completely unknown to his grieving relatives. The story is set over one week in October 1962 when the Cuban missile crisis was at its highest state of alert, and then alternate chapters flashback to the period from 1938 to 1962.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Now this is where things really start to get weird. When I wrote the first draft about eighteen months ago, the main character in the 1962 part of the story was called ‘Ella Henderson’. I am now going to have to change the name because of a previously-unknown Ella Henderson becoming a celebrity through the X factor. But the peculiar thing is that she would make a perfect actress for the novel. When I first saw her on TV, not only was her name the same as my character, she looked like her, too! The main character in the 1938 part of the story is a wealthy man of Greek descent called ‘Geno Petralia’, and I can see see Liam Neeson in that role.
What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?
When a man’s wealth exceeds the number of heartbeats spent yearning for a woman he can never have, the equilibrium between hope and despair can never be restored.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I don’t know. I like to keep dreaming it might be traditionally published and represented, but who knows? I have recently self-published The White Cuckoo following a bad experience with so-called independent publishers. I am glad, now, I followed this route, which was challenging but not difficult. If I decide to self-publish again, Horns of Angels is the most likely candidate. I still worry that I have sold the Cuckoo’s soul to the devil by self-publishing, but that worry is diminishing day by day as so many people are telling me they are enjoying my novel. I have invested in paperback copies, which cost a lot of money, but I have not only broken even but made a small profit, and sold quite a few Kindle versions, too.
I am really bad at promoting myself, so if any of the readers of this blog who have read The White Cuckoo could find the time to post a review on Amazon, I should be eternally grateful, as I need to build up the number of reviews, apparently. Also, I could do with some exposure as an author. I promise I will wear make-up, do my hair, file my nails and not show anyone up if you invite me over to your blog to do an author interview, but I can’t promise not to laugh inappropriately or trip up the step on my way in.
How long did it take to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Not long. Probably six months or so. The first draft of The White Cuckoo was written in a month. However, I see my first draft as a pencil outline on a huge canvass. It takes many more months to bring the canvass to full colour and perfection.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
‘The Memory Keeper’s Daughter’ by Kim Edwards or ‘Constance’ by Rosie Thomas. I like my books to be multi-layered and thought provoking, whilst being easy to read. I strive endlessly for the elusive ‘unputdownability’ as I call it. Both these books have the ingredients I strive for and I can recommend them.
Who, or what, inspired you to write this book
As I said above, I was watching ‘Heir Hunters’ on television when the inspiration to write Horns of Angels tapped me on the shoulder. Generally, my inspiration to write comes from being a serial daydreamer. It’s a wonder I ever manage to concentrate for long enough to get my minutes down in a Council meeting. I constantly analyse everyday situations and ask myself “what if …”
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s everyone’s dream to win the lottery, or come into a large inheritance, but is it worth all the chaos, innuendo and trouble that goes with it?
Well, that’s it folks. This is Annie Ireson – the self-published author who said she would never self-publish. As Annie says, though, changing your mind or direction is a sign of strength, not weakness. Never be afraid to admit you were wrong because people will respect you, even though you feel they are pointing sarcastic, I-told-you-so fingers in your direction. Everyone makes errors of judgement or mistakes – it’s part of being human. ‘Human’ by the Killers is one of Annie’s favourite songs. Now I bet you didn’t know that!
I am nominating five other talented people to be The Next Big Thing. Not all of them are authors, though, but they all have one thing in common – TALENT. For details of who these talented people are, please check-in again later this week. I hope you have enjoyed my interview and thank you for popping by and leaving a comment.