Thanks to Rin Chupeco, whose fascinating young adult novel The Girl From the Well comes out next fall, for tagging me in THE NEXT BIG THING blog hop. Here’s how it works: last week, Rin answered questions about her upcoming book; this week, I answer those same questions; next, I send those same questions to other writers with projects in the works to answer in their own sweet time.
So, without further ado, welcome to The Next Big Thing, Dream Boy edition!
What is the working title of your next book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I can thank the genesis of Dream Boy to three things:
- Ginger Rogers
- a really long communion line
Let me break it down.
I was up at 4 a.m. on a Saturday night (INSOMNIA) watching a 1940s-ish farce about a woman (GINGER ROGERS) who keeps ditching guys at the altar because they don’t live up to the ideal man she dreamed about as a girl. The next day, as I sat in my customary back pew in church, waiting for my turn to walk up the aisle (A REALLY LONG COMMUNION LINE), I started thinking about the nature of dreams.
A lot of times a hero or heroine in a story will dream about someone they later meet in real life but, I wondered, what if the dream-vision isn’t a premonition about a person who already exists? What if instead the dream actually creates someone—or at least brings the dream here, so it exists in our physical world?
Seemed like a fun question and one that could take a while to answer—which is of course the ideal spring-board for a novel! I contacted my pal Madelyn Rosenberg the next day and asked if she’d like to co-write Dream Boy.
What is the genre of your book?
Contemporary fantasy—lots of comedy, a throb of horror, a dash of romance!
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in the movie rendition?
Such a hard question! Kind of like potato chips: you can’t choose just one. But here’s a start…(Click on names for a link to photos.)
For Annbelle (our heroine!), I might cast someone with the easy likability of Elle Fanning. Plus, that girl can act! For Martin (the boy of Annabelle’s dreams), I’d go with younger versions of Max Irons or Alex Pettyfer. Will (Annabelle’s best friend) might be someone like Liam James or Jacob Kogan or even Kevin Zegers when he was 10 years younger. Talon (Annabelle’s other best friend) has a good dose of spunk. Maybe a younger Aubrey Plaza or Anna Kendrick or an older Quvenzhané Wallis. Serena (Annabelle’s other other best friend) could be played by Abigail Breslin or Christian Serratos.
There are a ton of other characters that play an important role in Dream Boy, but the only other one I want to weigh in on is that the high school fooball coach needs to be played by Will Ferrell. Because of course all movies without Will Ferrell suck.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Girl dreams boy… girl meets boy… girl, boy, and friends save universe.
Who is publishing your book?
The fine folks at Sourcebooks. (Shout out to the wonderful Aubrey Poole, editor extraordinaire!)
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
For-frigging-ever!!! I honestly have no clue. I’m pretty sure I have conceived and given birth to one or more children between the start and the end.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Good googly! Is there any way to answer this question without sounding like a big head? “If you liked Harry Potter, you won’t be able to put down Dream Boy!” Um, yeah. Let’s go with that!
Really it’s easier to think of movies for this one. It’s kind of like the narrator from Easy A has a mind-blowing reverse Inception-like experience… in high school.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
(See above: Ginger Rogers.)
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
As much as it is about the aftermath of dreams, Dream Boy is about everyday teenhood and the struggle of growing up in a small town with big-city aspirations. It’s about the necessity of family, the saving grace of friendship, and the desire to figure out how you fit into the puzzle of your own life.
Now, all there is left to do is leave a trail of breadcrumbs for the NEXT BIG THING. So, here we go.
I am also tagging:
Whitney Miller, whose novel The Violet Hour, will touch down March 2014
Jessica Arnold, author of The Looking Glass, forthcoming 2014
Jenny Bitner, author of the work-in-progress Mothership
Can’t wait to hear what they have to say!