Natalie Meg Evans' blog

The Next Big Thing

Last week I was tagged by Helen Carey to take part in The Next Big Thing.  This is a viral blog chain which one tries to pass on to another writer …. only nobody’s jumped in.  See below and call me Billy No-Mates.   Here is my Q&A about my upcoming Book.

1 What is the working title of your next book?

A Dark Flowering.

2 Where did the idea come from for the book?

When I was 14, my mother took me to Paris, where she’d lived for a year aged twenty. She’d been brought up by an aunt and uncle who were narrow-minded and authoritarian, and never travelled further than the English seaside. To her, Paris felt like an escape from prison, a world undreamed of and even though she went in the aftermath of World War Two, and there queues everywhere and shortages, the magic touched her. This she communicated to me and the two Easter weeks I spent with her in Paris in the late 1970s are still imprinted.

3 What genre does your book fall under?

It started off as Romantic Suspense, but with editing and rewriting, I’ve concentrated more on relationships and the world of Paris fashion. So I would now call it historical romance.

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

Okay – my hero, Verrian Haviland who is darkly Cornish would be role for Henry Cavil (who played 1st Duke of Suffolk in The Tudors.) Mr Cavil is dark enough, smouldering-y enough and tall enough at 6 foot 1.

My heroine, Alix Gower … Ideally, a young Audrey Hepburn. Is there one out there? Alix is 17 at the start of the book, gamine, naïve, half-Fench Jewish, half English. Sexy but doesn’t know what to do with it. I am drawn to Tehran-born Golshifteh Farahani who was in Ridley Scott’s ‘Body of Lies’ but in reality, she’d be a little old. I’ve just come across Celine Buckens who starred in ‘Warhorse’ and was described by You Magazine as ‘The European Ingénue’, so I’m keeping tabs on her.

Alix’s long-suffering grandmother, Danielle Lutzman, is a shoo-in for East Enders actress, June Brown. Kika Mirylees (Bad Girls) would be perfect as glacial English aristo, Rhona de Charembourg. When not being one of the ‘Julies’ Kika is quite posh. And I would like to play the part of Verrian’s mother, a tweedy English lady who gardens in pearls and bosses the local Women’s Institute about. A chance to stride about in sensible shoes  saying, ‘One always knows the state of a woman’s underwear from a glance at her front garden.’ ‘Course, I’d have to grey-up and add some padding.  Yes, I would.

5 What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

With a sweeping plot and a cast of characters whose lives clash and interweave, A Dark Flowering takes place in Paris and London from 1937-39, ending at the outbreak of war.

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

I have just signed with London agency MBA, so the latter.  MBA helps run the Harry Bowling prize, which I won in 2012

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

Three years as I wrote it when my son was very young and I was a working mum, writing only at night. That first draft hardly exists now, but it was a vital exercise even though I often fell asleep at the computer.

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

My books are not consciously moulded on anyone else’s but like all good sagas, are character-led, rich in detail, and an emotional roller coaster. Actually, the thing I’d like to be most like is Downton, as in Abbey. I am Downton Abbey with turnable pages.

9 Who or What inspired you to write this book?

See above, my mother. And a gentleman known always as ‘Monsieur Louis’, who was her very dear friend. Politically astute, a survivor of World War One, a devout Catholic, he was a perfect gentlemen who demonstrated how a well-bred, intelligent man behaves. He knew all the best restaurants in the Latin Quarter too!

10 What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Ooooh. Sex. Lingerie. Ooh la la and lots of it.

I was tagged by: http://helencareybooks.wordpress
I am now tagging:  Nobody as my ‘tagee’ went off the boil at the last minute. Am I the last in line?   Will I be turned into a FROG?    Do hope not. Maybe you’d like to take up the baton ?   Contact me


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