The Next Big Thing

I’ve been tagged in the Next Big Thing by fellow writer Soniah Kamal  (Website:  Soniah is a short story writer, a novelist,  speaker and an editor. You can read Soniah’s Next Big Thing here.
I have been invited by Soniah to answer questions about my current  book (or WIP), and then to tag five other authors about their Next Big Thing. Here goes!
What is the title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
From my daughter. When she was small, I imagined taking her on a mother-daugther trip to Paris when she turned about 12-14, and then I recalled being very difficult myself at that age, and not getting along with my mother.
What genre does your book fall under?
Young adult contemporary.  I think slightly younger readers and adult readers would enjoy it as well. I read part of an earlier version of this story to an audience of adults at a bar as part of the Four Stories reading series in Osaka, and they seemed to enjoy it.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Aiko  – This is a little bit tough because my main character is biracial, and I can’t think of a lot of biracial actresses at work in Hollywood these days. But maybe Emily Kaiho, who is half Japanese, and half American.
Laina/Mom – Angelina Jolie, because I imagine it would be somewhat overwhelming to have a beautiful do-gooder mother like her, when you’re trying to stay under the radar.
Dad – Takuya Kimura. He’s probably too much of a pretty boy to play an indigo farmer in Shikoku, but in real life he’s the father of a child with special needs, so I think this role would resonate for him.
Herve – Maybe a young Alain Delon?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Fourteen-year-old Aiko Cassidy, an aspiring manga writer/artist with special needs, goes on a trip to Paris with her sculptor mother and finds out the truth about her father.
Is your book self-published or represented by an agency?
This book will be published in May 2013 by GemmaMedia.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It started out as a novella, so I guess a couple of months. But I worked on it, expanding and revising again and again, for four years.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
We’re billing it as Anna and the French Kiss meets Stoner & Spaz. It also has some similarities to Justine Chen Headley’s North of Beautiful and Laura Resau’s notebook series.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
See above.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
As I mentioned, it started out as a novella, which was published in Cicada, and won the SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for Fiction.
Here are five authors I’ve tagged to tell you about their Next Big Thing:
Liz Sheffield, whose short stories, essays and articles have been published in many national publications.
Novelist and essayist Anjali Enjeti whose excellent essay “Fade to Brown” appears in Call Me Okaasan .
Thersa Matsuura, fellow expat-in-Japan and author of Robe of Feathers.
Thank you to Soniah Kamal for tagging me!

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