The incredibly charming and talented Susan McCallum-Smith pulled me in to a blogging tag-team game called The Next Big Thing. Here are the questions she sent:
What is the working title of your book?
The Wonder Bread Summer
Where did you get the idea for this book?
When I was 20-years old I had a job working in a little clothing boutique that turned out to be a front for a major cocaine dealer. I put a character in that same situation then had her do some crazy, reckless and desperate stuff.
What genre is your book?
Literary fiction. I guess. It’s sort of a thriller, too. Maybe a crime novel? Yikes. I don’t know! I think the people at HarperCollins are calling it a comic novel. I never think of myself as funny but other people claim I’m funny (I guess the joke’s on me).
If this book were made into a movie, which actors would you choose to play your characters?
Hmmmm, that’s an interesting question. The protagonist is multiracial. I just googled multiracial actresses and found three people who are all the wrong age. Other characters are African American, Asian, Jewish, and white. It would be nice if it were made into a movie—I’d love to see such a diverse cast. (And I’d love to see way more than three people pop up when I google multiracial actresses!)
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
A modern day take on Alice in Wonderland. Or, Alice in Wonderland with cocaine.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Probably 9 months to write a first draft. Then 20 months or so to write the next several drafts.
What other books would you compare your story to within this genre?
Holy moly. I really don’t know. An early reader called it a literary Pineapple Express.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
There is a line-up of stories and book ideas banging around in my head. They are all kneeing and elbowing each other to get the hell out of my over-crowded brain. This was the one that popped out.
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
The novel takes place in 1983. The protagonist, Allie, is a student at the University of California, Berkeley. It’s a California story, a crime story, a story about a broken-hearted girl on the lam and in search of her parents.
Causes Jessica Blau Supports
Baltimore School for the Arts, 826DC, CityLit Project.