Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Marsha Skrypuch tagged me in a post and here's my response to her questions about the
Next Big Thing I'm working on.  Check out her blog for her next project. That woman is
amazing. PLUS - she has links to other authors' works-in-progress that sound very interesting!

What is the working title of your book?
Morton Magic

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A twelve-year-old girl goes camping with her boring family and has a
ghostly adventure.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
There’s a place on Lake Winnipeg, near Gimli, that our family liked to visit called Camp Morton.  Back in the 1930s it was a children’s camp and some of the original buildings still stand. So all I had to do was use my imagination, like the protagonist of the story, and the ghost was ready and willing to share. I’m not sure if it works, (my writer insecurity is on high), but I did have a lot of fun imagining this ghostly tale.

What genre does your book fall under?
Middle grade contemporary mystery

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Tough question.  I see so few movies.  The protagonist is the opposite of Hermione (Emma Watson) - and that’s the only kids’ movie I can recall.  A female version of Ron Weasely (Rupert Grint) might work.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Is there no third choice? I’m hoping for a publisher – but am not trying the agent route.

What other books would you compare to within your genre?
I’m thinking maybe Barrie Summy’s I So Don’t Do series. I got to know Barrie when I was a member of the Class of 2k8 – an online marketing group that I had to drop out of when my book was delayed. I read all Barrie’s books. She’s a very funny writer. Light-hearted mystery.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired to write this story because I’d written The Kulak’s Daughter about something that happened in the 1930s in another part of the world, and I was fascinated with the idea of children living here – attending a camp that wasn’t a gulag (labour camp) – and the idea grew from there. Also, my own children (now young adults) inspired the story. Childhood is so fleeting and the story is about how dangerous it can be to hold onto the past.

What else about the book might pique a reader’s interest?
This story is Made-in-Manitoba. There’s much to explore right here.

I’ve just finished a re-write of  Morton Magic from a third-person, to a first-person story. There have definitely been some challenges in doing this, because I have to limit everything to the protagonist’s point of view. No room for an omniscient narrator. I hope it works. Now I’m going to review the story again with a copy of Martha Alderson’s The Plot Whisperer as my guide. I find that book very helpful, because plot is my weak spot.

After this mystery-break, I’m looking forward to applying The Plot Whisperer to my East Prussian Princess – the sequel to The Kulak’s Daughter.  It’s a story very dear to me because it’s fictionalizes my mother’s life.  Morton Magic was just a way to procrastinate.

Thanks again, Marsha, for asking!