Monday, March 24, 2014

The Next Big Thing

My awesome friend Katy Upperman and I finished first drafts of our current manuscripts at the same time and then finished revisions about the same time too. So when she mentioned she was composing her NEXT BIG THING post and asked me to join along, how could I resist?!

The NEXT BIG THING is a WiP-focused questionnaire that first originated here and here. (I think) Now, I don’t know that my little story will ever be a BIG THING, but it’s pretty big in my heart, so here goes…
What is the working title of your book?

Where did the idea come from?
The warped inner recesses of my mind? Too many viewings of Freaky Friday and Grease? Seriously—I have no idea how I come up with stuff sometimes.
What genre does your book fall under?
Upper YA/Contemporary/Magical Realism/Commercial YA Fiction
May we see an intro?

Sure. Here’s the first 250 (okay, 295 sorrynotsorry J )…

I live for drama.
            Guys and Dolls, The Wizard of Oz, Barefoot in the Park. Last year I played Kim McAfee in Bye Bye Birdie—not the lead, but still a sizeable role, and I worked super hard to ensure my performance was flawless. I've yet to experience the “big” part, but it's all about paying dues. And I’ve paid mine. Understudy, bit parts, countless hours of dance classes and voice lessons. And when Mr. Fonda announced Grease as this year’s spring musical, I knew all that hard work will have paid off.
The cast list goes up after first period drama, and my name has to be next to Sandy. I'm perfect for the part. I don’t drink or swear. And for the love of Fosse, I never rat my hair. It’s always in a tight ponytail, thank you very much. I probably look more like Patty Simcox than I do Sandy, but that’s why there's blond hair dye. I spin a circle as I arrive at my locker. I cannot wait to see the cast list!
            I'm two swivels into my locker's combination when Axl’s body slams into it. He curses and I gasp as Michael Titan shoves him up against his locker. And mine.
“Mess with my girlfriend again, punk, and it’ll be your face in the toilet. Forget your friend.” Michael curls his fist around Axl's shirt (Guns N Roses—jeez), and they're literally right next to me. One year, just one year, I want a locker down the science hall or by the English wing. Not one right next to my brother, who is about to have his blood and body parts splattered all over it. Why couldn't I have been blessed with a twin who is somewhat like me?

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Typically I like to sprinkle in detail and leave more up to reader imagination, but for some reason I went way more detailed about my main characters in this particular story. Consequently I do have dreamy aspirations as to who would play them in a movie.

My dream casting call for Alexandra…
And for Axl…


Again—DREAMING here, but it is fun to dream. J

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Me? Boil anything down to one sentence? Ha! But I do have a 58-word pitch. Enjoy.

Seventeen-year-olds Alexandra and Axl Reed may be twins but their interests are about as related as baseball and the theatre. Perfect Alexandra is the glorified virgin of Titan Heights; Axl's the renowned punk. But when a freak accident puts them in each other's bodies, they’ll have to learn to experience the other quickly. Or be the other. Indefinitely.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I will be seeking agency representation.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Roughly four months. I wrote about 15K in November of 2012, then wrote the rest with the Ready. Set. Write! summer writing intensive last summer.

What other books would you compare this story to?

Freaky Friday? While I have a ton of movies and television shows I could comp my story with, I can’t think of one Freaky Friday story save the original one. I mean there’s a strong sibling and family relationship theme, but my story’s nothing in the vein of SECOND CHANCE SUMMER. And it has a lot of musical and sports elements, but again, nothing specific. So, I’ll just give you the sum-up from my query…
With the slapstick humor of a campy Broadway song yet the relatable soul of a classic rock ballad, my young adult fiction THOSE MAGIC CHANGES will appeal to fans of Grease, Freaky Friday, Glee, baseball, and good ol’ rock and roll.

Does that help?
Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The plays and musicals I’ve been involved with. My favorite people—teenagers. Baseball.  Star Wars. Grease. Damn Yankees. Aerosmith. G N R. Van Halen. Glee.
Apparently a lot. J Seriously, I don’t know where this story came from, but it’s inspired me to fall in love with theatre and classic rock all over again.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Some items from my Love List that I haven’t mentioned elsewhere: cheesy Star Wars one-liners, swirlies, dugout sexcapades, rekindling lost love, Yoda, vengeful makeovers, flamboyant BFFs, sibling rivalry, sibling love, almost kisses, karma fairies, and (coming from one of my favorite chapters) Spanish vocab lists that scream eso es lo que ha dicho. 

Hope you enjoyed my NEXT BIG THING. What’s YOURS? I think I’m supposed to tag people to play along, but I shall just tag all of you. Leave a link in the comments if you decide to share your NEXT BIG THING!
PS—I was supposed to post my progress update on my YA Buccaneers boot camp goals. Oops. But I shall do that Wednesday! Swearsies!


  1. Sounds like a fun book. No WAY I'd want to switch places with my brother in high school. Ack.

    1. I know, right?! And thank you! It was fun to write!

  2. What does it mean that we both have a smexy dugout scene? Great minds. :-) Love your casting choices! And now you've got me wanting to read TMC all over again!

    1. Awww...thanks! I like my casting choices, too. If only dreams really did come true. *sigh*

  3. aww! I LOVE your casting choices! Especially for Axl.

    1. Thanks! He's always been a little Roderick Rules. Very endeared to him!

  4. Have I mentioned lately that I love everything you've posted about your book??? I've got my fingers and toes all crossed for you when you query!

    1. Thank you, Jenn! I'm crossing all the digits too!

  5. I love the sound of your manuscript! I'm a big fan of the theater and the Freaky Friday concept is so fun. Fingers crossed it nabs you an agent soon!

  6. I love this! Have you seen Wish Upon a Star? It's a Disney Channel original Freaky Friday story with Katherine Heigl. One of my very favorite DC-original movies of all time. Seriously. It's on Netflix, so check it out if you have it!


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