Ta-da! It’s the Blog Hop.

A word from Blog Hop Central:  If you’re an author, it’s quite common to be asked at a reading, “what’s your next project?”  You always need to be working on somehting, or you might as well hang up your pen!  The question, “What are you writing right now?” inspired this blog hop, where a number of writers from all over the U.S. are writing on “My Next Big Thing”, answering the same ten questions you see here.

I’m happy to have been tagged by Kathi Holmes, author of I STAND WITH COURAGE.

Here goes! It’s my long-awaited and nervously procrastinated entry.

What is the title of your book? It’s been called “The River of Time” since it was conceived a few years ago.  The title was born easily; unfortunately, the book itself has spent many years in the womb, refusing to emerge.

Where did the idea for your book come from?    It came from crazy dreams, an over-charged imagination, and a little bit of real-life experience.

What genre does your book fall under?  Definitely fiction.  The rest would be historical fiction, paranormal fiction.  I haven’t read anything else like it, so perhaps I will have to create my own genre.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? I was afraid of a question like this.  I don’t watch many movies, unless they were made before I was born.  Okay, that’s a lie.  I watch movies from the 1960s and 1970s, too.  At any rate, my answer has to be total fantasy: Gene Tierney and Erroll Flynn for the lead couple.  If someone wanted to buy the movie rights, I would be happy to accept their check and they could cast anyone in it that they wanted.

Give us a one sentence synopsis of your book.  A modern American woman discovers she lived a lifetime in 15th century Wales, the catalyst being a mysterious new man in her life.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  As of today, I’m planning on self-publishing, probably as an e-book to start.  But, I’m open to other avenues.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  By the time I am done, it could well be twenty-five years.  I started this one in 1991, but to be fair to myself, I have to say that I haven’t worked much on it since then.  Okay, haven’t worked on it at all.

What made you decide to pull this story out and work on it after ignoring it all this time?  The damn characters won’t shut up.  They are insisting that I tell their stories.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  The series of books that most influenced me in the sense of making me realize that an author can bend reality tell her story, and do it beautifully, is Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER series.  Her characters — some of them, anyway — can time-travel, so her stories take place in the 1940’s to roughly present day, and in 18th century Scotland, and America around the time of the War of Independence.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?  The characters plopped themselves into my imagination one day.  A story began to coalesce around them and I thought they deserved more than a quick visit when I was waiting in line at the grocery, or stuck in traffic.  Of course, this was all before the invention of the smart phone.  But, it’s stuck with me all these many years and as I said, they are now demanding that I pull them out of the drawer and start writing about them.

What else about the book might pique a reader’s interest?  If you like a good historical romance and are willing to tolerate a little paranormal adventuring — or vice versa — then this is your book.

When you find yourself feeling lazy or ‘blocked’, how do you force yourself to get past it?  I like to write pretty much in order, but if I’m not getting anywhere with the story, I might jump to a later part of the narrative work on that.  Or, I might delve more deeply into a character, what motivates him, where he’s been, where he’s going.  Just feeling free to scribble any old thing tends to get the writing juices going.

What is the most important advice you can give other writers?  Just write, dammit. Things like making sense, editing, selling the story, all that stuff can come later. You’ve got to get your story drafted before you can even worry about the rest.

Are there differences between male and female authors?  People are people, writers are writers.  That said, I’m sure there are notable exceptions and someone will likely  jump all over me for this, but I think women writers tend to focus more on emotions and inner life and male authors tend to be more action-oriented.

Anything else you’d like to say? Technology has opened up so many doors for writers.  I’m really excited about the possibility of self-publishing, whether it is via an e-book or I  go to something like CreateSpace.com to get actual copies of my work.   I think a lot of writers won’t even bother shipping their babies off to ‘real’ publishers and waiting for the rejection letters any more.  We can create our own cottage publishing industries, all from the comfort of our homes.  There are many exciting opportunities out there.  I love it!

So…wondering about the Blog Hop?

For once, failure to meet a deadline is not my fault.  Really, truly, I did what I could.

The two writer friends I tagged (or pre-tagged, since I haven’t yet posted my blog on the topic) are each working at setting up their own blogs or websites.  Things have evidently not been going well in that regard.   What are the odds that it would work out this way?  The Writing Gods intervened to make sure I would not meet my bloggerly obligations…and yeah, I know ‘bloggerly’ is not a word.

Since I have the wisdom to change the things I actually can, I am going to post my Blog Hop Blog a mere month late, and without tagging my two blogging friends.  When they get their blogs rolling, I will update accordingly.

Sincere apologies to the Blog Hop community.  I hope the whole thing didn’t come crashing down because of us.  And if it did, well, in a hundred years, who will care?