The Next Big Thing

Can you imagine yourself as the Next Big Thing?

Miles run today: 11

Words written in my novel today: 0

Omelet with goat cheese eaten today: 1

I am a writer.

And as a writer, I have always lived at least partially in my own head… in a fantasy world of my own making.

When I was young enough to still be wearing orange polyester pants with little, yellow lions on them and a yellow turtleneck with one big orange lion on it, I told my parents that I was waiting for my real parents to come and get me.

My real parents, of course, were a benevolent king and queen who lived in a distant land full of dragons and beautiful, diaphanous dresses.

Luckily, my parents were the sort of parents who thought this was hilarious.

I never quite got over the fantasy world, and when people go on a bit with the boring details of how computers work inside or how to fix a toilet, I am usually hoping that Daniel Craig will show up and spirit me away to a spa somewhere.

My point being: visualization of big things has never been a problem for me.

There’s a fun exercise going around the blogging world, and awesome writer and photographer, Amy Makechnie over at Maisymak tagged me so I could tell all about my Work-In-Progress. She also sent me the novel, The History of Love, when I won it in a drawing on her blog. Yay! Thanks, Amy!

What is the working title of your book?
Reality Ever After

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I wondered what happened to adult children after they starred on reality TV shows, how it would be possible to lead a “normal” life.

What genre does your book fall under?
Commercial women’s fiction.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I think it’s very bad luck to speculate about a movie when the book is in the query process. (I am knocking on wood and crossing myself to ward off bad juju.)

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When Clementine Monroe Hartley receives an invitation to the twentieth reunion of her family’s reality TV show, “Runs in the Family,” she wants nothing to do with it; she has spent her entire adult life trying to forget the scandal that rocked the end of the show and create a normal life for herself.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I will be querying agents after I finish the revision process.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? May we see an intro?
I started this novel in April, I believe. My goal was to finish by last weekend’s writing conference. I got close! Before I finish the last few chapters, I’m going to go through and make some suggested revisions. I think the result will be a stronger book.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’m going to have to work on some good comps.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to know more about peoples’ lives after the cameras go away.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Romance, scandal, forgiveness, a funeral, music, running and family relationships.

I am tagging some of the next big things:

Ravena Guron

The Sense of a Journey

Dennis Langley

Khaula Mazhar

Rules of The Next Big Thing:

*Use this format for your post
*Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
*Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.


43 thoughts on “The Next Big Thing

  1. Melissa says:

    Whew! Glad I’m off the hook on this one. I think most creative people (not just writers) spend a great deal of time half in and half out of this world. By the way, I think my real parents are your real parents neighbors.

    • annewoodman says:

      Well, you’ll just have to come over to our castle for dinner sometime, then! I will be the one in the long, black silk dress with the Chanel flower necklace that Keira Knightley will be wearing in Anna Karenina. I asked my husband for it for Christmas, but he said he would be using that particular $500,000 for something else. Sometimes he’s very selfish. ; )

    • Hi Anne,

      I just stumbled on your blog at boquete.ning. It would seem, by the references to cold weather, that you’re not here with us in Western Panama. Would be interesting to know where you hail from.

      The other item of interest is your reference to The Next Big Thing. This “chain letter” is really taking off. I’m working on my response right now. The rules for my branch of the chain are pretty much the same as yours except that we don’t have a specified number of folks to tag. Which is good because, outside of my critique group and the internet chapter of Sisters in Crime, I don’t know many authors, and those whom I do, are mostly acquaintances on the web..

      As you can tell, my field is crime, specifically fiction. My first book, Message From Panama, is on Amazon and about to go up on B&N’s Nook, and Kobo. Here’s my blog, if you’d like to stop by.

      Good luck on Reality Ever After. It’s an intriguing premise. I think you should pique the interest of some agents .

      Happy Writing!
      Britt Vasarhelyi

      • annewoodman says:

        Hi, Britt,
        Love the name of your blog! Thanks for stopping by. I live in the southeast United States… I have no idea how my blog ended up in Western Panama, but I’m glad for it. ; ) Happy writing. I’ll stop by your blog.

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    How fun to learn some things about your WIP! Sounds like a great premise. Oh, and by the way, you had me at Daniel Craig…

  3. Fun to hear about your WIP, sounds great! The first part of your post reminded me of this little commercial on YouTube for some reason, don’t know if you’ve seen it, but I think you’ll like it, the little girl’s face at the end is priceless (hope you don’t mind me popping it here!)

  4. This is such an interesting theme! Can’t wait to read when its finished B-)

  5. jmmcdowell says:

    Yes, I don’t think Walter Mitty has anything on me when it comes to imaginary lives. 😉

    Your WIP sounds like a great story, and now you have me really looking forward to reading it. So get writing! 🙂

  6. Andria says:

    I think your WIP sound wonderful. I can’t wait to read it. I hope to be one of the first to buy a copy.

  7. Amy Mak says:

    Sounds very intriguing, indeed! Maybe you could have Tori Spelling or Jennie Garth play the lead? J/K. I think you are so right – it’s hard moving out from under the child the world knows. Ricky Shroeder? Still hard for me. And you ran 11 miles. So good. And you called me a photographer. I have never had such praise. Tickled pink 🙂

    • annewoodman says:

      Jennie Garth, definitely. Tori is so busy having babies right now. ; )

      You are a photographer! I’m so jealous of your header with all the gorgeous photos that look like a magazine spread!

  8. J-Bo says:

    Thanks for the tag! I was glad to read this post, as I have been wondering what your novel is about. Is it all fictional, or do you tie in true accounts?

    Also, I can relate to the first part because I lack all kinds of everyday knowledge because I live so much in my head. I can barely work phones and computers because paying attention to tangible details of things that are not people is nearly impossible for me. I also can’t cook and still don’t really know how to work the air in my car. And I have never been able to pay attention in classes because the whole time I am just wondering what the teacher’s life is like outside the classroom.

    • annewoodman says:

      Me, too! I’ll have to write about some of my teachers… I was so curious. When the airports were still cool, we used to go to the Atlanta airport and sit and watch the people go by. I would invent stories about each of them: where they were going, if they were happy or sad (so many looked sad!), what their hopes and dreams consisted of (some just wanted a warm microwave dinner and a fluffy pair of socks).

      I look forward to reading about your WIP!

  9. I’m SO HAPPY to know more about your book now, and I really love that idea! I think the title is inspired and the synopsis really drew me in – there’s the thought of what such a reunion would be like, wanting to ‘see’ it, but also this scandal, which I want to know more about. So effectively you are pulling our interest in two directions – the past and the future. Nice 😉
    As for tagging me, I am very honoured. But I warn you, I am very slow to get around to these things.
    I really look forward to checking out those other blogs though.
    Happy writing!

    • annewoodman says:

      No worries about the timing. I stink at keeping up with stuff like this. Do it when you can, if you can.

      Thanks for the supportive comments about my WIP… I’ve got some work to do, and I can’t wait to see how much better it will be.

  10. Your novel sounds great, Anne! I always wonderd what you were writing about.

  11. This sounds so unique, I am crossing my fingers that there will be agents grovelling at your feet, followed by movie producers. My parents were pirates and that is why I like travelling across the ocean and have an obsession with glittery stuff. Thanks so much for tagging me, now getting on my ship and sailing off to check out the other ‘tagees’

  12. kabe1 says:

    Love this and love your novel idea – look forward to reading one day soon. I’ve always been slightly fascinated by what happens to reality stars when the cameras stop rolling. Perhaps you could go for the stars of your film being ex-reality stars – add another dimension! As for Daniel Craig…well, who doesn’t but he’s mine!! BTW I spent the majority of my childhood living in various fantasy lives – my favourite was as a child tennis star – don’t ask why? Life is definitely not so fun when reality sets in 😦

    • annewoodman says:

      A tennis star? Wow! That sounds exhausting! Isn’t being a writer so much more relaxing? ; )

      I’ll try to remember your advice when they’re casting stars for my movie. ; )

  13. 4amWriter says:

    Love knowing more about your book. What a neat premise, too. So, you wrote (and revised) this book in approximately 7 months?! That is amazing. How in the world did you do it?

    • annewoodman says:

      No, it’s not revised… that’s the part I’m doing now. I met with an agent at my writing conference, and she gave me a couple of things to do to strengthen it. I can’t wait to make it better! The revisions, obviously, are what take so long. (And just writing the novel in that period of time isn’t so amazing when I look at people like you who did one during NaNoWriMo.)

  14. Subtlekate says:

    I loved learning these things about your book.. I’m with Kate…how did you do it in 7 months? Wonder woman!!!

    • annewoodman says:

      Nope–only wrote it in that period of time. I have a lot of revisions to do. I’m working on those now. We’ll see! I had to set a deadline, or it might have taken me 5 years (like my first novel did ; ).

  15. thepoelog says:

    I’m so glad to hear about what you’re working on! It sounds awesome and I plan to be first in line to buy it!

  16. David Gentry says:


    Thanks for sharing, as you would say. I can’t wait to read it.

    Love, Dad

  17. […] do I find when I return but a very nice tag from Anne Woodman. The Next Big Thing is a fun little exercise going around some areas of the blogging world. You are […]

  18. Ravena Guron says:

    Thank you for thinking of me! This sounds super fun 😀

    Your book sounds really great – the sort of thing I would pick up, even though I’ve never read woman’s fiction before 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s