"The Next Big Thing" blog hop introduces readers to new books and authors. I'm honored and excited to have been invited to participate by Barbara Anne Waite, author of the book Elsie: Adventures of an Arizona Schoolteacher 1913-1916.
First, a bit about Waite's book, and then I'll share some insights on my debut novel and work in progress. At the end of the post, I'll introduce you to more wonderful authors who will to be featured next week in the blog hop.
Barbara's book was published in 2012, the centennial anniversary of Arizona. It lovingly captures the state's adventurous and optimistic spirit through the diary entries and letters of a young school teacher, Elsie Hayes, Waite's grandmother. Elsie arrived to Arizona by train from California, eager to begin her first teaching job in the farming community of Cornville. She wrote home with great detail and fondness about the people, places and things she encountered. She wrote of the humble school house in which she worked and of the challenges of ordering groceries and school supplies by catalog. She described the stunning sunsets at Oak Creek Canyon and the warm hospitality of the community she grew to love. She told of sweet, talented students and of a rugged cowboy who was sweet on her. And she wrote of another young man who eventually won her heart. It's an endearing, fact-filled book and I recommend it to readers of all interests.
Now, answers to the "Next Big Thing" questions about my work:
What is the working title of your book? My debut novel is titled All Different Kinds of Free and was published April 2011. My work in progress (WIP) is affectionately titled Dust.
Where did the idea come from for the book? Both my published novel and my WIP were inspired by actual events in U.S. history. All Different Kinds of Free tells the story of Margaret Morgan, a free woman of color in the 1830s who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. I drew inspiration for my second novel from the "black blizzard" dust storms that plagued the American plains during the 1930s.
What genre does your book fall under? My novels can be classified as historical fiction, women's fiction and literary fiction.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? All Different Kinds of Free is the story of one woman's unrelenting fight for freedom during one of the darkest chapters in U.S. history.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? My novels are represented by the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency and published by Bell Bridge Books.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I tend to write and rewrite as I work, so it's hard to say how long I worked on the book before I had a complete first draft. From the time I first began researching Margaret's life until the novel was published, I had been at work on the project for nearly a decade.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I don't like to compare my book to others. However, if you are interested in novels that explore little known history of slavery in the United States, I recommend Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez and The Known World by Edward P. Jones.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? All Different Kinds of Free alternates between a first-person narrative of Margaret's fight for freedom and a third-person narrative of the Supreme Court case of Prigg v. Pennsylvania, the trial of the man charged with kidnapping her. As a novel-in-progress, the book was awarded the Freedom in Fiction Prize.
Let's get hopping!
I invite you to get to know the following talented and inspiring authors by hopping over to their websites and checking out the rave reviews of their books at Amazon.
C. Hope Clark is the author of Lowcountry Bribe, the first book in the Carolina Slade Mystery Series, published February 2012 by Bell Bridge Books. Her next book in the series, Tidewater Murder, will be released April 2013.
Rosslyn Elliott writes inspirational historical romance novels. Lovelier than Daylight, the third novel in her 1800s trilogy The Saddler's Legacy from Thomas Nelson Publishers, released in November 2012.
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