The Next Big Thing ‘Blog Hop’

2012-08-01 22.53.39

Some time ago, the wonderful Nina Sankovitch, author of Tolstoy and the Purple Chair tagged me to participate in an online ‘blog-hop’ or ‘blog-tour’. If this were a relay race, my teammates would be wondering where the hell I was. Well, huffing and puffing, I am finally catching up to answer some questions and pass the torch on to 5 more writers.

The Next Big Thing, as this online ‘blog tour’ is called, is a great way to find out what some of your favorite writers are working on and, discover new ones.

More about the next fab-five writers: Gabi Coatstworth, Lea Sylvestro, Jessica Speart and Linda Urbach,  Jennifer Wilson, later. First,  I must answer the 10 questions…


What is the working title of your book?The Things We Cannot Change: Loving an Addict Until Death

Where did the idea come from for the book?
 I don’t think I ever had an idea as much as a compulsion to write down the sometimes thrilling, often crazy story of my marriage.

What genre does your book fall under?
 Memoir with cross-over into addiction and grieving.

Which actors would you choose to play you in a movie rendition?
 I thought about waiting to post until after I scrutinized every actress at tonight’s Oscar awards with this question in mind, but instead, I solicited my daughter’s advice. She suggested Anne Hathaway – who she (sweetly) says I resemble. Maybe once-upon-a-time this was true …but in any case, she would be brilliant, especially in the scenes of misery of which (spoiler alert!) there are a few.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A love story between an American and British humanitarian relief worker launches hopefully in wartime Sarajevo, but turns into a tragedy of addiction and suicide in the suburbs of Connecticut.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
 I’m holding out for the traditional route. I work in a bookstore and would like to see it on the shelves. I have an army of friends and colleagues in the business who could help hand-sell it.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
 One year, but I’ve written many drafts since.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
 Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff. Honestly, there’s not much else on the Barnes & Noble shelves from the point of view of the sober, so I believe there is room for mine.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? I’ve been hosting authors for signings at B&N for years and I’ve learned from them that writing isn’t some kind of crazy alchemy (well, maybe a little) but rather demands discipline and time – so I mustered some of both and got cracking. I wanted my daughter to know that our story is nothing to be ashamed of. She’s read and okayed my manuscript otherwise, I would not put it out there.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? I’ve yet to find anyone who has not been affected by a loved-one’s addiction or suicide. Survivors of tragedies find comfort in knowing we are not so alone and that life can get better again. There are also chapters set in exotic places – including Croatia, Italy and Kyoto – for the armchair traveler.

That’s it! Now let me introduce to you…

Gabi Coatsworth, a British-born writer who has spent half her life living in the United States. Gabi has been published in Perspectives, a Connecticut literary journal, and the Rio Grande Review (University of Texas at El Paso), online at TheSisterProject.com and in Mused, an online and print publication. Gabi is a prolific blogger.  She blogs regularly on local items of interest in the Fairfield Patch and The WriteConnexion – a writer’s life in Fairfield County CT. In 2012, she was featured in an anthology of women writers, Tangerine Tango. She is currently working on her first novel.

Jessica Speart is a freelance journalist specializing in wildlife enforcement issues, Jessica Speart has been published in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, OMNI, Travel & Leisure, Audubon,and many other publications. She is the author of ten books in the Rachel Porter mystery series. In her eleventh book, Jessica chronicles her real-life sleuthing in the narrative non-fiction thriller WINGED OBSESSION: The Pursuit of the World’s Most Notorious Butterfly Smuggler.

Lea Sylvestro’s subjects range from woodchucks to witches, cancer to colonoscopies, travel, beach walks, birds, and beloved cars. Her essays explore the heart and humor in life’s big and little bits.  She writes from her eighteenth century house in the woods of Easton, where she lives with her husband of thirty-seven years. Lea’s day job is at Eagle Hill, a school for children with learning disabilities, and she still  finds time to be a women’s literacy volunteer in Bridgeport.  Her essays have appeared in newsletters for Save the Sound, The Aspetuck Land Trust, and Citizens for Easton as well as the Connecticut Post, Stamford Advocate, Danbury News Times and Minuteman newspapers.  She has two travel memoirs in progress.

Linda Howard Urbach’s most recent novel is Madame Bovary’s Daughter (Random House). Her first book, Expecting Miracles, was published by Putnam in the U.S (under the name Linda U. Howard) as well as England and France where it won the French Family Book Award. The book later sold to Paramount Pictures. Her second novel, The Money Honey, was also published by Putnam. Linda is the originator of “MoMoirs -The Umbilical Cord Stops Here!” performed by members of the Theatre Artists Workshop. It premiered at the Zipper Theater in NYC. She created and runs www.MoMoirs .com. Writing Workshops For & About Moms and was also an award winning advertising copywriter. (CLIO: “My Girdle’s Killing Me”)

Jennifer Wilson has been writing for 15 years for folks like EsquireNational Geographic TravelerBetter Homes & GardensBudget TravelBon AppetitParentsMidwest LivingIowa Outdoors, the Chicago Tribune, the St. Paul Pioneer-PressSt. Louis Post-Dispatch, and (the dearly departed) Gourmet and many others. She’s the travel maven for Traditional Home magazine and Midwest expert at AAA Living. Her first book, Running Away to Home, received the Best Nonfiction of 2011 Award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the Emerging Iowa Author Award in 2012.

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