The Next Best Thing

Recently, I read a thrilling novel called The Pyramid Legacy by author Clive Eaton who invited me to join in an author chain blog he’d been tagged in. The general concept is I answer a few questions about my current WIP, and then I invite some other authors to do the same thing. Clive had been tagged by author Rachel Amphlett, so I’ll include both their links below along with the authors who have agreed to continue the frolicking.

What is the working title of your next book? It’s called THE HAPPINESS CURE.

Where did the idea come from for the book? I’ve been playing with the concept of happiness for a long time, as anyone who reads my daily “happinesses” knows, and the idea of a Happiness Guru who’s a bit of a charismatic fraud (to put it mildly) appealed to me. He’s a Socratic kind of fellow, who preaches that you can only be happy if you give up everything you own. So he encourages his followers to give up everything—to him.

What genre does your book fall under? I’d classify the genre of all my novels as “page turners.” I do love the fact that most readers can’t put them down once they’ve started. They’re thrillerish, mysterious, lots of twists and turns, and always romantic.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? I think Bruce Willis would love to play the Happiness Guru, I really do. We’d need a young (and alive) Peter Falk for the rumpled Hero. And an Unknown for Le Heroine – someone smart, witty, caustic, active, and in whose dark eyes you see all the painful and deep emotions she experiences.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A young woman is ensnared by the shenanigans of a Happiness Guru, whose machinations plummet her toward financial and personal ruin before she works out a payback.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I’m 100% committed to independent publishing. I’ve been published by mainstream publishers and I’ve been self-published, I’ve had literary agencies represent me and I’ve represented myself … My writing career has never been so vibrant, exciting, and successful as it is now that the world of independent publishing has been opened up to us authors. I can’t imagine ever going back to the way things were.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? I really don’t know. I can’t tell. Where does writing begin and end? Some writers write in their heads and once they start putting pen to paper it only takes a few weeks. But even when they’re just thinking, they’re actually “writing.” Others might sketch out their story for years. Sometimes I’ll take a break and write something else, like my two non-fiction projects that took precedence over this novel last year: Writing through the Year and What Would You Do If There Was Nothing You Had To Do? and Writing through the Year.  So … “I don’t know” is the answer.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, or, even better, The Scapegoat. I love those novels! They’re so original and you can’t stop reading once you start.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? I love the humor and pleasure I got from researching various scenes in this book, including taphophobia, which inspired a really exciting experience for my heroine. Also I love the travel that I get to do vicariously in all my novels – I’ve traveled so much in my day that it’s great to lie in bed and write about all the glamor and scenery and people rather than actually have to go out and do it.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest? It’s the first novel I’ve written in the first person! That’s a departure for me. It’s also much more light-hearted than PURSUED, which was pretty dark in places.


Here are the blog links for Clive Eaton and Rachel Amphlett.

The authors I’ve invited to join in the fun are:

JoLynne Valerie is the award-winning author of three paranormal romance and one supernatural suspense, novels. Her fans – me included! – call her ParaGoddess because of her expertise in intuition, metaphysics, and paranormal phemonena.  In addition to regularly posting about the author life, JoLynne also shares her recipes, photos of her home life, and her spiritual perspectives. Her fifth novel is coming in summer, 2013. You can also follow her blog.


Bob Moats  – Bob has written 26 murder novels featuring Jim Richards, the senior citizen sleuth. You can also hang out with him on his blog called “Outta My Mind – Ramblings by Bob Moats.”


CK Webb and DJ Weaver – The WebbWeaver duo are not only the celebrated authors of the terrifying “Innocents” series that began with Cruelty to Innocents, but they also review books, movies, and music on their site. You can also listen to them on BlogTalkRadio where they interview writers.



Simon C. Larter – “Flash fiction specialist and writer of short stories that range from depressing to violent and depressing. Not a poet. Novelist-in-the-making. Tragic aesthete and lover of martinis. A tad ornery, most days.” (Uh – he wrote that himself for me. I have NEVER see him ornery!)



William Blackwell – Author of, among other scary books, Rule 14, which is a chilling exploration of the fight-or-flight response. William recently returned from a winter jaunt with the title for his next novel. It’s “Terror in Ecuador.”



Youngblood Hawkepublished his first novel back in the 1970s. His latest novel, Ancient Memories, is “based on cutting edge advances in science and hotly debated metaphysical concepts.” The Turin Shroud will be published in the spring.


J. Michael Stewart – Not only is he an avid fly fisherman, and lives in Nebraska, but he published a short story and is writing a novel. Someone to look out for!



Just click on their names to see their individual blogs.

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