The Next Big Thing Blop Hop: Bliss House

Oh, good! I’ve been tagged.

Welcome to the latest stop on The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. This particular blog tour invites writers to answer ten questions about their current Work in Progress, or forthcoming project. Each tagged writer answers the questions, then tags five or more writers to answer the questions on their blog, then they tag five more, and so on…It’s a great way for readers and writers to find each other, don’t you think?

First off, you’ll want to get to know the amazing writer who tagged me. RT Book Reviews named J.T. Ellison’s latest thriller, Edge of Black, a Top Pick, and called it her “best book yet.” J.T. is a master (mistress!) of psychological suspense and her beautifully crafted stories are rich with emotional intensity. She’s also incredibly prolific, having published nine books, several novellas and many, many short stories in the past five years. Thanks, J.T.!

Now, Bliss House. I’ve been working on it for quite a while, so I’ve posted about it, before. But here’s an update:

1) What is the working title of your book(s)?

Bliss House

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

I was working on an idea for another book, a thriller based on the folk tale, Hansel and Gretl. As I was working on the plot, I found myself deeply fascinated by the house in which the children were being held. I realized that the house was the source of many, many dark stories, and the haunting of Rainey Adams and her daughter, Jillian, is just the first.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Supernatural suspense.

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

Ali Larter and Elle Fanning as Rainey and Jillian (mother and daughter); Eddie Cibrian, with Amy Adams as his wife. John Malkovich as The Judge.

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

Mother and daughter, burn victim, mourning, guilt, new home, old mansion, troubled past, mystery, sudden death, ghost dad, secret rooms, suspicion, murder, skeletons, secret passages, betrayal, redemption and forgiveness, the end.

(Okay, I know. That’s technically a fragment.)

6) Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

My wonderful agent, Susan Raihofer, of the David Black Literary Agency will represent the book. I’m in the final pre-submission editing stage now.

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

The draft of Bliss House has taken me over two years to write. While working on it, I also published Devil’s Oven, re-issued Isabella Moon, and Calling Mr. Lonely Hearts as ebooks, published a few short stories, and edited Surreal South ’11, and Feeding Kate, two fiction anthologies.

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

Anyone who has read my other supernatural books will find much to like in Bliss House. Susan Hill, F.G. Cottam, Alexandra Sokoloff (my favorite!) and Joe Hill also write about fictional hauntings. And just when I thought I had a perfectly brilliant, original idea to do a series of novels set in a single, demented house, I found that uber-horror writer Douglas Clegg did it, first! I haven’t read his Harrow House series, but I admire his other work.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I’ve long wanted to write a haunted house story in the tradition of Shirley Jackson’s classic novel, The Haunting of Hill House. There’s more, but if I write about it now, I fear I’ll give away the whole story.

10) What else about your book might pique a reader’s interest?

Bliss House is not just the story of a house, but of a woman and her daughter trying to rediscover their love for one another against a background of life-changing tragedy. And, it’s set in Virginia. Virginia has a place in my heart, and I hope to impart some of my love for it to every reader.

The next writers on the hop are…

Amanda Stevens
Maggie Caldwell
Terri Kirby Erickson

Next Wednesday, January 15th, these writers will post about their own Next Big Things.

Oops, I only have three writers to link to. I’m supposed to have five, but I asked many writers who had either already participated, or were on a blogging hiatus. When I have more to link to, I’ll come back and post their names.

Thanks for dropping by!

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