Friday, January 18, 2013

The Next Big Thing

Many thanks to my amazing poet friend Patricia Caspers for inviting me to share about my work in progress through the blog series The Next Big Thing. Here goes:

What is your working title of your book (or story)?

The current working title is "The Art of Adapting" but I'm betting it'll change.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

My uncle Mike had Asperger's Syndrome, and I always knew I'd write a story about a man based on him. It's evolved into its own story, so at this point it's not my uncle's story at all, but he still gets credit for the inspiration.

What genre does your book fall under?

I'd like to say literature, but since much of it comes from a woman's point of view, it seems likely to get shelved under women's fiction.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I have no idea. I have clear visions of my characters and no actors look exactly like them. But if I had to choose, maybe Juliana Margulies and Joaquin Phoenix.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Lana, recently separated from her husband and no longer the center of her teenage children's world, takes in her brilliant and eccentric brother with Asperger's Syndrome to help make ends meet.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I'm going the agency route.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft took 3-4 months. The rewrites are taking much longer!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I'd like to say it's comparable to Marisa de los Santos' books, because I adore her, but that may just be wishful thinking.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

It was actually inspired by a movie I saw about a man with Asperger's Syndrome who seems to magically and inexplicably "recover" in the end, finding a way to adapt to mainstream society without any help whatsoever. As someone who grew up around Asperger's and learned to love my quirky uncle on his own terms, I wanted to portray a more realistic vision of a similarly eccentric, beautiful, strange soul who doesn't need to "recover" because there's nothing wrong with him. He just is who he is, the one constant in a family of ever-changing dynamics, and deserves to be loved and accepted as-is.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

It's my first time trying my hand at writing from multiple points of view: 4 characters in all. It's been a fun challenge.