Today I'm taking part in an exciting blog hop. Thank you Vicki Taylor for the invitation. What is a blog hop? For those of you unfamiliar with the term, here is THE NEXT BIG THING’s original blurb:
“THE NEXT BIG THING is designed to raise awareness of our work, or work in progress. We do that by answering ten questions about it. We graciously thank the person who nominated us, and tag four to six other authors whose work could very well be THE NEXT BIG THING.”
So let’s get this show on the road!
What is the working title of your next book? Title: King of the Class.
Where did the idea come from for the book? My idea initiated with my desire to write about the vulnerability of kids who do not fit into a box in the Israeli school system and I began with a family: parents + three children. I quickly felt that readers needed to know how this family came to be, so the novel spiraled into a book that explores the couple's rocky courtship. If your partner converted to a new lifestyle seemingly overnight, what would you do? Ultimately, KING OF THE CLASS is the story of one woman's struggle when first her fiance and then her son disappears, framed within a satire about the complex mix of religion and politics in a future post-civil war Israel.
What genre does your book fall under? My book is a cross genre mix of literary fiction and social/political satire.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? In a future post-civil war Israel, Canadian Eve Vee’s whole world transforms one morning when she wakes up on an Israeli kibbutz to discover her fiance has disappeared.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? My book is published by a small literary press in Vancouver: Now or Never Publishing: www.nonpublishing.com.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I dashed off the first draft in six months. I spent the next two years working on it almost exclusively. I took a year off from teaching and that year writing King of the Class was my full-time job. I was very lucky to have the support of my husband.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? There are some elements that might remind readers of a story by Nathan Englander (The Gilgul of Park Avenue), or maybe Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union. I haven’t read another book like mine. Perhaps, the magical realism element is reminiscent of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones.
Who or what inspired you to write this book? I was initially inspired by a despair I felt within the school system, not only regarding the competitive culture that often plagues the West as well, but the seemingly unavoidable need for each child to fit into a box academically as well as religiously, something I did not grow up with in Canada. The highly charged political atmosphere with its religious vs. secular divide, as well as its often puzzling estrangement (considering Israel's tiny size) from the daily lives of its citizens also motivated me.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? The book explores the complex relationship between Eve Vee and Manny Meretzky. Manny is unable to communicate his new value system to his fiance, tearing apart the fabric of their relationship, while forcing Eve to confront her very essence. The magical realism element lends the book a whimsical atmosphere, in spite of the fact that, at times, the book tackles grave subjects. The bird's eye view of modern Israeli religious life in a futuristic setting enabled me more freedom of movement as a writer. For your reading pleasure, here are some more great authors taking part in THE NEXT BIG THING blog hop.