The Next Big Thing - Caution to the Wind

Update: Caution to the Wind is available early for the Kindle at Amazon. After August 23rd, the official release date, it will be available trough other retailers and my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, in ebook and paperback.

As I mentioned recently, I was tagged by my friend Maddy Barone, author of paranormal romance, to participate in The Next Big Thing blog hop. Last week she posted about her current Work in Progress, Eddie’s Prize. You can read her post here.

Now I’m supposed to tag four more writers... Yikes! I don’t know four more romance writers who aren’t already involved! Granted, my fellow authors haven’t threatened me with seven years bad luck or anything, but I hate to be the one to break the chain. If you’d like to participate, let me know.

I’m working on a couple of stories right now, but I thought I’d create my Next Big Thing post about the one I’ve been discussing most recently: Caution to the Wind.

Here we go!

What is the working title of your book?

Caution to the Wind

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I love Sea Stories like Master and Commander and Horatio Hornblower, but they never have enough romance. (or any, really) The idea for this book probably came from reading those types of novels and thinking about what I would have done differently.  

What genre does your book fall under?

American Historical, Revolutionary time period.

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

Horatio Hornblower Collector's Edition
That’s a tough one. For Captain Stoakes, I’ll admit I had Ioan Gruffud in my head when I first started writing, but there are several problems with him. First, he’s English, although I suppose he’s a good enough actor he could play an American. Second, he played Captain Hornblower and I don’t think most people could separate him out from that character. I’m open to suggestion.

In my head, Amanda is definitely a younger meg Ryan – before she got the lip implants. I guess Kate Hudson could play her, but she’s just somehow not quite right.  It's got to be someone who's blond, curly-haired and spunky. 

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

Amidst the American Revolution, Amanda Blakely disguises herself as a young boy and signs on to a privateer captained by a man as dangerous as he is handsome.

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

This book will be published by The Wild Rose Press.

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

This was actually my first book. I took about six months to write the first draft. When I submitted it to TWRP, they wanted some plot changes that I wasn’t so sure I wanted to make so I set it aside to work on Le Chevalier. After that was published in June 2012, I came back to Caution to the Wind and polished it up for another six months or so before submitting it. All in all, it took about a year to complete the first decent draft. (Looking back, the first draft I sent in to TWRP wasn't all that well-polished.)

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

I don’t know that there is any straight comparison. My interest in romance started with writers like Julie Garwood, but I read more of her before I started writing. I really haven’t read much of her newer or more contemporary stories. I like writers like Madeline Hunter and Mary Balough, and they certainly inspire me. However, their pieces (at least all the ones I’ve read) are set in England and in a slightly later time period. I am certainly inspired by other writers like James L. Nelson, but I try not to let him influence me too much as he’s so far outside the romance genre, it would kill by stories. I'm pretty sure most romance readers could care less about the details of sailing the ship.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I’ve wanted to be a professional writer since I was a kid, although it came and went as aspirations do at that age. After twenty or so years in the marketing profession, I started my own freelance writing business. It was, and still is, going well, but since I was now my own boss with no nosy-bodies in the cubicle next to me anymore, I thought I’d try writing novels again.

As an aside, I think it’s easier to write novels now that I am older. I have more experiences to draw on. For younger writers, I’d encourage them not to get discouraged even if it takes awhile to get their career going. For older writers, I’d say it’s never to late to start!

What else about your book might interest the reader?

I have a story fleshed out for Neil, Amanda’s younger brother, but it takes place fifteen years later during the French Revolution. Although it fits into the romance genre, it’s a bit dark, and I’m just not ready to devote myself to it yet.

Mini Excerpt:

“Mind telling me what you’re still doing here?” Will said, his voice calm.

Amanda pasted a smile on her lips and whirled around to face him, “I am a member of your crew, aren’t I?”

The curl at the edge of his lips reminded her that backing a wolf into a corner might not be such a wise thing to do.  Desperation had driven her to the point of recklessness.

 “Perhaps,” he said, denying her the assurance she sought, “but I thought you would be leaving with your father now that you know he is alive. I thought he would insist on it. I know I would, if I were him.”

“He thinks you’re an honorable man,” Amanda lifted her chin.

“And you? What do you think?”

Did she detect a note of uncertainty in his voice?

“I think you are as well,” she took a deep breath to steady her resolve, “but I’d really rather you weren’t.”

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