It seems that whenever I set blogging goals for myself, I end up running away from my blog screaming. So yes, I am still reading locally (loved Jian Ghomeshi’s 1982. Am now rereading Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens in preparation for a book talk in April. Haven’t decided what my next book will be. Ideas?). I had grandiose plans of blogging my local reading journey. Not to point out the obvious, but that hasn’t happened!
In the meantime, fellow writer, Sandi Krawchenko Altner, tagged me in a post called The Next Big Blog Hop. Writers are asked to answer a few questions about their current work and then tag others writers whose work they enjoy. Thank you, Sandi, for including me! Here’s my stab at the hop
What is the title of your book and what is it about?
Yikes! I’m already stuck at question #1! I’m currently working in a first draft of a novel about a 70-ish-year-old man, Isaac, who is brought back to live in Toronto by his younger sister, after suffering a nervous breakdown in LA. He is convinced he is receiving text messages from his mother, who died when he was two. Isaac has not been back to Toronto, where he grew up, since he left at 18. After living all over the world, he finds himself smack dab in the very community from which he had been running away, living in a basement apartment in Thornhill, a suburban Jewish area just north of the city. Through wandering the neighbourhood, he develops an unusual support group – including a 95-year-old kosher Meals-on-Wheels recipient, a cellphone kiosk employee, and a mysterious 6-year-old girl who is always on her own. Ultimately, this story is about brothers and sisters, reluctant love and finding personal peace in unusual places and circumstances. I don’t have a title for it yet. Maybe as a working title, I’ll call it Walking With Isaac.
Where did the idea come from?
My husband’s uncle moved to Toronto to be with family after living all over the world. I am inspired by his stories – his adventures abroad, but more so, his interactions with people here as he builds a life for himself in a place I don’t think he ever imagined he would live. This book started with a short story I wrote called, “The Flag,” which was based on a story he told me. The main character (who I called Irving, but I now know is Isaac) gets incensed when he spots a school flying the Canadian and Israeli flags on one pole. He takes it upon himself to do something about this blatant violation of international law. People who care about things the rest of us would just overlook make for fantastic characters.
What genre does your book fall under?
Plain old fiction.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
It’s too early for me to know. Isaac would probably be played by someone like Dustin Hoffman or Paul Giamatti.
Is your book self-published or represented by an agency?
Right now, neither. I am not currently represented by an agent, although I am looking. I would prefer not to self-publish. As noted before, I’m awful at self-promotion (I can’t even keep up my own blog!!), and I believe you need to be a skilled marketer to make it as a self-published writer. More to the point, I value the process of working with an editor to complete a manuscript. My first book, Holding My Breath, would not be the book it is today were it not for the great guidance I got from my editor, Janie Yoon.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Again, it’s too early for me to tell. And I don’t want to think too much about similar books while I’m in the early stages of writing this one.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I usually start my creative journey with an image and a question. In this case, it was Isaac, walking the streets of Thornhill alone, and me wondering what’s his story?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
What’s wonderful about working on a first draft, is that you never know what’s around the corner. Right now, Isaac is on a TTC bus on Rosh Hashana in early September and he’s bumped into the 6-year-old. I know they’re going to go somewhere, and I know that when I get back into that scene and I open the door to where they’re going, their journey could lead me anywhere.
Some writers I recommend:
Jian Ghomeshi (and I’m pleased to see another writer whose web address is his/her first name!)