The Next Big Thing

Writer Marjorie E. Brody (contributor in Short Story America Anthology, Vols. I and II, and author of TWISTED, a psychological suspense) was generous enough to tag me in the ongoing The Next Big Thing game, in which authors get to talk about their favorite thing: their work in general and their current Work in Progress.

Invitations like this are just one more example of the incredible support and generosity of writers in all genres to their fellows. I am constantly surprised and delighted by the sense of community and goodwill I’ve found in every writer I’ve met.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:

What is your working title of your book?

The final title is DEATH RIDES AGAIN.  I’m notorious for having terrible working titles. My editor ever so tactfully requested title changes for two of my last three books. My working title was DEATH ON THE HOOF.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

As with most of my books, it began with a character. I wanted to explore more of my main character Jocelyn Shore’s personal life, and how better to do that than sending her to a Thanksgiving family reunion on her uncle’s ranch in central Texas?

What genre does your book fall under?

Classic mystery. It’s fun and funny.

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

Well, this depends on whether I get to star as the female lead myself in which case Colin would have to be Hugh Jackman. Honestly, I have a hard time picturing actors as any of my characters. To me, they are just themselves.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Texas high school history teacher Jocelyn Shore and her cousin Kyla travel to their uncle’s Texas ranch for a family Thanksgiving, only to find that their cousin is missing, her husband has been shot, and opening day at the new racetrack is off to a murderous start.

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

My book is currently in production and will be published by Minotaur in June, 2013.

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

Roughly eight months and then about six weeks of edits.

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

This is a tricky question. I think every author probably wants to be completely unique. But I will say that I hope that readers of Julie Hyzie or Maggie Barbieri might also like this book.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My family used to have a ranch in central Texas and the town, local racetrack, and festivals provided non-stop material for any author. I LOVE that part of the country and I really wanted to set a story there.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

My characters as well as the setting. Jocelyn is in a difficult love triangle and needs to sort out her feelings. And the ranch and town provide a setting that most people don’t get to experience. Also, it’s meant to be funny, and I think readers will really enjoy the humor as well as the mystery.

To see more about my work, including updates on my next novel, visit me on Facebook ( or on my website (

To read more about the fabulous Marjorie E. Brody, visit her blog ( or website (

Look for updates from my tag-ees in the next day or two.

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