Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Next Big Thing

'The Next Big Thing'

I've been tagged by my good writing buddy Christina Jones to join in with this idea - answering some questions about my next book and getting another writing friend to do likewise next week!

So here are my answers to the questions.

1.What is the title of your next book?  'Debra Being Divorced', written under my real name Sheila Norton.
 It's the second in the series about three sisters, following on from 'Sophie Being Single' which was released as a Kindle edition on Amazon last year (and is soon to be released as a paperback).
'Debra Being Divorced' will be out at the end of this month (November), also as a Kindle edition.

2.Where did the idea for the book come from?  I always liked the idea of writing about three sisters - devoting a whole book to each sister's story - probably because I have three lovely daughters myself! I think the sister relationship is fascinating, and a rich source of stories for writers - sisters have the same parents and the same background, but often quite different lives and personalities.

3.What genre does your book fall under?  Contemporary women's relationship fiction. Some might say 'chick lit' ... I don't mind.  But although the stories are light and humorous in places, there are also deeper issues being explored in the course of the stories. Debra in particular has some serious problems to face.

4.What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?  I needed a bit of help with this one! - and have decided on Rachel Weiz to play Debra, Colin Firth as her husband James, as long as he doesn't mind playing the part of someone bad-tempered and unpleasant! And definitely Jimi Mistry as Hamid. Now you're going to have to read the book! 

5.Will your book be self-pubished or represented by an agency?  Although I've had eight novels previously published in the traditional way, and I also have an agent hoping to find me a publisher for my next new series of novels - set in the 1960s - this series about the three sisters is being self-published. It's been a whole new experience for me - and quite an enjoyable one. I do think it's good for writers to grasp new opportunities in this way, and self-publishing is a whole lot more respectable these days - and easier!

6. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?  I don't write full-time or every day - my writing fits around everything else going on in my life! And I write short stories too, as well as often working on more than one book at a time. So I'd have to guess: probably a total of about 6 to 9 months.

7. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  This series, in a way, reminds me of Marian Keyes' books about the Walsh family - five sisters! - eg 'Rachel's Holiday', 'Anybody Out There' etc. If only I dared mention my books in the same breath as someone so good and so successful!!

8.Who or what inspitred you to write this book? As mentioned above, my own daughters, in a way - although I'm pleased to say they're all happily married with lovely children! There's also an element of the NHS in parts of 'Debra Being Divorced' - and this is definitely inspired by my own previous employment in hospitals. They are very inspiring places to work!

9. What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
I think readers who enjoyed 'Sophie Being Single' will be interested to read about the different lives of Sophie's two sisters. I also hope readers will find Debra an inspiring character, as she struggles to turn her life around against the odds.

For next Wednesday's 'Next Big Thing', I've passed on the baton to my fellow Essex writer
Maureen Lee.



  1. Great Q's & A's. I'd be interested to learn more about your experience with self publishing.

  2. Thanks Colette. OK, I'll write a blog post about my experiences of it! I'll do that ASAP.