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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing

I was invited to participate in the Next Big Thing by my friend, Barb Goffman, who is blogging about her new short story "Murder a la Mode" here:

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

Death of a Dowager (Book #2 in The Jane Eyre Chronicles)

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

My research into the Hanoverian Dynasty led to information about love letters written by King George IV. I was amazed by how many fervent letters he wrote—and how he had to buy them back! And of course, this book is a continuation of the series I’ve begun that stars Jane Eyre as an amateur detective.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Historical Mystery (with a touch of romance)

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

I’d love for Keira Knightley to play the part of Jane Eyre. I realize that most people would think Keira is too stunning for the part of the overlooked orphan, but when Ms. Knightley played the lead in Bend It Like Beckham, she downplayed her looks and seemed fragile.

For Mr. Rochester, I’d choose Jeremy Northam. He’s not classically attractive, and when he wants to, he can look rather rough. Also, he’s 6’2” and Edward Rochester was a tall man.

For my two “new” characters, Lucy Brayton and her brother Bruce Douglas, I would choose Renée Zellweger and Owen Wilson.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

 All of London is abuzz in the months leading up to the coronation of King George IV. But a letter in Jane’s possession could topple the throne and cause the deaths of two innocent women. Before Jane can decide what to do, the Dowager Lady Ingram drops dead, and Jane must play amateur sleuth to solve a murder—and save an empire!

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

I’m represented by Paige Wheeler of Folio Literary Management.

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

Six months.

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

Fans of Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell (Sherlock Holmes) series would enjoy The Jane Eyre Chronicles, as would fans of Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness series.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is my favorite book of all time.

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

A night at the opera in 1820 was very different than what we might suppose today. People started arriving at four in the afternoon and stayed until past two in the morning. The huge candelabras dripped wax over the patrons, who made so much noise that those on stage had to shout. Private boxes were incredibly expensive, and everyone who was anyone wanted a box on the fifth level. The theatre in Haymarket could seat 2,500 patrons!

And now I turn this over to my friends:

 Sandra Balzo is an award-winning author of crime fiction, including nine books in two different mystery series--Main Street Murders, set in the North Carolina High Country, and the Maggy Thorsen Coffeehouse Mysteries, which have garnered starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist. She'll be blogging about Murder on the Orient Espresso (Book #8 in the Maggy Thorsen Mysteries), which is a work-in-progress. Catch her blog post at


Kelly Cochran lives in St. Louis, Missouri and is the author of Buying Time, the first book in the humorous mystery series about personal concierge, Aspen Moore. (Release date will be early 2013.) Kelly's original life plan involved a career in writing, but a simple missed deadline changed her life. Find out how her life changed by visiting'll be writing about Borrowed Time on her blog


Born and raised in New Jersey, Linda Hengerer has lived in Florida for over 20 years. She left Corporate America behind to create fulfilling worlds where bad guys die and justice prevails. She'll be blogging about Dead Man's Float, the first in the Deadly Pleasures series, featuring Sabal Bishop Taylor as a former law enforcement professional who came back to her hometown to care for her mother. She starts a pool cleaning company and finds a dead body floating in one of her pools. This is a work-in-progress and will be done by the end of January. Check out Linda's blog post at Her website is


Sharon Hopkins is a branch manager for a mortgage office of a Missouri bank. She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the Southeast Missouri Writers’ Guild, and the Missouri Writers’ Guild. Her short story, DEATH BEE HUMBLE, appeared in the SEMO Writer’s Guild Anthology for 2012, and her newest short story, DEATH TO PONDER will be in a mystery anthology this spring. Her first Rhetta McCarter book, Killerwatt, was nominated for a 2011 Lovey award for Best First Novel and was a finalist in the 2012 Indie Excellence Awards. Her second book, Killerfind, was released in July, 2012.

She'll be blogging at , and telling us about her books Killerwatt, Killerfind, and the forthcoming Killertrust, which will be out this spring.Visit her website at


Thanks to all who participated!