The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing by Debra H. Goldstein

A few weeks ago, author Linda Rodriguez, whose book Every Last Secret won the 2011 St. Martin’s Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition, invited me to participate in The Next Big ThingThe Next Big Thing is a tag blog post idea from She Writes that is intended to help female writers promote their works in progress by answering ten questions about their WIP.  The blogger then tags a group of other female writers for next week.   I’ll be talking about my present WIP (that two agents just requested to read), but for now, although it isn’t a work in progress, I heartily recommend reading Linda’s Every Last Secret and visiting her website,  .

 Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing

  1. What is your working title of your book?   The working title is JavaTime, but I need to come up with a catchy three word title that the Candi Martin series can be built around.  Quirky, perhaps dealing with a female sleuth, maj jongg, citizens who range from 6 to 86, corporate intrigue, the law…….good ideas are being sought????
  2. Where did the idea come from for the book?  Candi Martin washed out of the police academy and is a young corporate attorney … I have a writer friend who once was a police officer and prior to becoming a judge, I was a litigator.  As a child, my mother always played maj jongg and as she has aged and I have observed the changes in her friends and her in terms of self-censorship and interacting with others, I couldn’t help juxtaposing their traits and abilities into a fictional work that also features children and grandchildren who are young enough to know it all.
  3. What genre does your book fall under?  JavaTime is a mystery.  It will appeal to readers who enjoy cozy mysteries, female sleuths, and geezerlit, and, most of all, people who enjoy a fun read.
  4. What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  This is such a hard one!!!!!!   Candi is young, strong, vulnerable, bright, and has flaming red hair (perhaps Dallas Howard? Or better yet an unknown?)  The two men who come through her life have Irish jet black hair looks and nebbishy Jewish looks…..the latter could well be played by Ben Stiller while the first?…I leave to your imagination.  The maj jongg group screams for Betty White, Debbie Reynolds, France Sternhagen, Angela Lansbury and others we have grown to love for their wit, humor, grace, and style.
  5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?  Okay…it is two sentences:  Police academy washout and junior corporate attorney Candi Martin must add murder-solver to balancing her legal career and regular visits to her father, who is slipping deeper into dementia at the Sunshine Village Retirement Home in Wahoo, Alabama after her estranged mother reappears, but is found a few hours later at the retirement home stabbed to death wearing another woman’s clothing.  Her parents’ secrets, corporate intrigue, interference from the Sunshine Village maj jongg game and leftover feelings for the detective assigned to her mother’s case complicate her efforts.
  6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  An agency, I hope.
  7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  About six months.
  8. Who or what inspired you to write this book?  After my publisher for Maze in Blue, my 2012 IPPY award winning murder mystery set on the University of Michigan’s campus, ceased operations, agents told me they would like to see a new series.  I had written a short story, “Legal Magic,” ( 2011) that had a male protagonist and some great retirement home characters who played maj jongg and I was working on a story about a female sleuth, who had become a lawyer after deciding the police academy wasn’t right for her, and all of a sudden, it seemed like they belonged together.  Some writers say their characters talk to them, and in this case, they invaded my sleep and my waking hours until I brought them together on the page.  Now, they are drumming a sequel into my brain!
  9.  What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?   Besides being an enjoyable read, my still to be named work in progress mixes a good plot, fun characters, and issues readers will identify with.

Next week, watch for blogs from:

T.K. Thorne —

Gail Handler —

Karen Cunningham –

0 thoughts on “The Next Big Thing”

  1. Debra, this sounds delicious. Would a play on Candi’s name work? Candy bar, candied fruit, candy dish…. I’m just free associating here and no very successfully. Murder and Candi? Anyway, I love the concept. Can’t wait to read it.

  2. Pingback: The Next Big Thing « Karen's writing blog

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