Monday, October 29, 2012

The Next Big Thing

One of the nicest things about writing novels for a living is the abundance of fine people who are your colleagues. Alyx Morgan, who was one of my blog partners at the Writers Who Kill blog, tagged me in this blog chain of novelist bloggers that features our work-in-progress.

What is the working title of your book?

Every Broken Trust is the final title of my next book. Every Broken Trust will be published by St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books May 7, 2013. It’s already available for pre-order.  It has a beautiful cover already, but I’m not allowed to publicize it yet because the publisher may decide to put a blurb on the cover before they use it.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wanted to put my protagonist Skeet Bannion into a situation where she would fear losing the people she most loves and where she would learn some empathy for her own family members who disappointed her in her youth.

What genre does your book fall under?

Every Broken Trust is a mystery. I find the genre of crime fiction allows me great leeway to write about almost any topic or situation that I find intriguing.

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

I’m not going to be good at this because most of the actors I’ll think of are too old now to actually play these roles. I need to learn more about younger actors, I guess.

For Skeet Bannion, I would cast Angie Harmon or a younger Sandra Bullock. Joe Louzon, the Brewster, Missouri, chief of police who’s romantically interested in Skeet, would be a younger Val Kilmer, back when he was still fit. Sam Musco, Skeet’s ex-husband, would be Don Johnson in his Miami Vice days. Sam’s a Sonny Crockett-type who’s trying to change so he can win back Skeet. For Skeet’s best friend and mentor, Karen Wise, I’d cast the mature Phylicia Rashad. Brian, Skeet’s adoptive son, would be played by Austin Ward or Sterling Beaumon. A new character that just walked into this book is Terry Heldrich, cast as Johnny Depp.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Not knowing who she can trust any longer, Skeet struggles against the clock to solve a series of linked murders stretching into the past before she loses Brian forever and her best friend winds up in jail—or dead.

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

My wonderful agent is Ellen Geiger of the Francis Goldin Literary Agency. Every Broken Trust will be published by St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books on May 7, 2013.

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

I wrote the first draft of Every Broken Trust in four months and then spent six months revising and editing it before sending it on to my agent and editor.

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

I write complex, character-driven books as Julia Spencer-Fleming, William Kent Krueger, and Deborah Crombie do. My strong female protagonist has been compared by reviewers to Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone, Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski, and Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I already had my protagonist and the situation in which she was left at the end of Every Last Secret, my first novel in this series. A newspaper article about a new federal taskforce in Kansas City, a PBS special, and an essay about a social problem all combined to bring the book to life. I won’t describe any of them further because it might spoil the book for my readers.

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

Skeet’s Gran (who is based on my own beloved grandmother who died when I was thirteen) begins to play a slightly larger role in this book. I’ve been very tough on Skeet in this book because she needs to grow as a person.

I’ve passed this blog chain challenge on to my colleagues and fellow writers below. Please visit their blogs next week and see how they’ve answered these same questions and what’s their next big thing.


  1. Hi Linda! I can't wait to read the new book. And thanks for linking to me. I'll be posting mine next Monday, November 5th. I hope everyone stops by.

    Hey, I don't know if it's just my computer, but there were a few sections in your post, that I couldn't see--the text was really light.

  2. Joyce, you're a doll! No, it's not your computer. It's Blogger, which threw that white text box on everything and made the links and some of the text invisible--and refuses to let me color that text or get rid of the white box or anything. I've deleted this blog three times and redone it, trying to make it legible, but nothing works. And my cries of help to Google Help go unanswered. *sigh*

    Let's try to put that last paragraph and links here so folks can see them.

    I’ve passed this blog chain challenge on to my colleagues and fellow writers below. Please visit their blogs next week and see how they’ve answered these same questions and what’s their next big thing.

    Debra H. Goldstein

    Jenny Milchman

    Joyce Tremel

    Judy Hogan

  3. I did a search and found this:

    I don't know if it will help or not.

  4. Thanks so much, Joyce! That did it! Turns out it is a problem Blogger knows about and says they're fixing but never do. Bless you, my dear!

  5. I'm looking forward to your next book. My wife stayed up until 4:00 AM to finish your first in the series.

  6. I'm glad you got it up, Linda. Nice blog. Judy Hogan

  7. Thank you, Warren and your wife, who is a lovely lady. I'm dying to post the cover because they've given me another gorgeous cover, but I have to wait. *pout*

    Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Thanks, Judy. It's all due to Joyce Tremel. I'd made the mistake of looking to blogger for help. She didn't. she just turned to the internet and found my answer.

  9. Linda, I am so glad I checked back one more time! I preordered EVERY BROKEN TRUST today. Yeah! And, I tucked away Joyce's "white highlight fix-it link" in case I need it someday for my own blog.

  10. Reine, You are a doll! But you know that, of course. xoxo