To give you a sample, here's a post from writer Michael Downs, who tagged Patty: http://greatestshow.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-next-big-thing.html. And you can find Patty’s responses here: http://patriciaannmcnair.com/blog/
If you go to my May 22, 2012 post, you can find my review of Patty’s fine collection of stories, The Temple of Air.
Now that I am IT, here are my reflections. I’ll preface all this by saying upfront that I hate discussing the book I’m working on. Such a task is akin to writing down your dreams, which seem luminous and magical in your head but sound incomplete or artificial once the dreams leave that dark place and are compressed into summary. I hated writing summaries of books when I was a kid, so I guess not much has changed. If my answers below sound equivocal, please forgive me.
1. What is the working title of your novel?
I usually have no clue about this until well after the novel has been written, but for some reason, I think I know: Before You Say, I Do.
2. Where did the idea for the novel come from?
I never know where ideas come from, just like you probably can’t pinpoint where most of your nighttime dreams come from. I suppose all my ideas come from eavesdropping and noticing and reading and paying attention to the things that annoy me or thrill me or frighten me, anything that leaves its mark on me from this moment to the next.
3. What genre?
I would usually have a hard time with this question, but I intend this novel to be a young adult novel, abbreviated proudly as YA. I don’t read much YA, which I think is a good thing. I can be original without playing off what’s already out there because I’m not sure what’s out there. I have done a little “research,” reading a few books regarded as YA, which I’ve written about in earlier posts, how that label is a little confounding. I don’t think I’m writing any differently. I do admit though that I feel more playful and am more willing to break convention. For example, I might be more willing to include a one-word paragraph. Seems to me that YA writers make good use of white space.
4. What other books would you compare yours to in this genre?
5. Which actor would you choose to play one of your characters?
By the time a book of mine made it to the screen, the actors would be too old, I’m afraid. But I do picture the lead girl in Hunger Games playing my main character.
6. What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A newly rich guy moves to West Egg to be close to the girl he loves. Wait, no, that’s not it. A young girl transfers to a new school and studies what love means.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I’m not done, but it’s taking about a month to finish 40 pages. Not sprint fast, but fast enough for me. I often wonder, when the sentences are coming slow, if I would have thought of the ideas I ended up coming up with had I written more speedily. In other words, so-called writer’s block is a beneficial thing. You don’t know what comes next, but by not knowing, this forces you to mull and scratch and agonize, and then, Yes, a perfect idea strikes you that seems inevitable. But, again, how would this perfect idea have been born without the sluggish pace? I usually alternate between a brisk and a ponderous pace. Regardless of pace, though, I think it’s important to sit down every day to keep a connection with your characters so that the dream doesn’t grow cold. It’s the same with reading a book you put down. If you’re away too long, the trance is broken.
8. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Actually, this is a book I’ve been thinking about for a long time, but I envisioned it as a work of nonfiction. When I told my wife about a few new ideas I was kicking around for a novel, she assumed I meant that nonfiction book. Rather than dismiss her, which is never a good idea for any husband, I took hold of her “mistake” and realized that I could twist my original idea for a nonfiction book into a plot. Sometimes good ideas stem from odd sources (no, my wife is not odd)—from unexpected places, and the key, I think, is to pay attention.
9. What else about your book might pique a reader’s interest?
If you go to my October 31 post, you can hear me narrate the first chapter. How’s that for a full service author?