Next Big Thing Blog Hop: NUTCRACKED

So has anyone been a little bit curious about this mysterious middle-grade I've been working on? :) 

ANSWERS ARE HERE. Today I'm participating in the Next Big Thing blog hop. The blog hop is a series of questions for authors to talk about what they have in the works. I was tagged by Robin Constantine!

1. What is the working title of your next book?

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
NUTCRACKED is about a girl who gets to play Clara in the Nutcracker. I was fortunate enough to get to be Clara myself when I was 13, and I knew someday I'd want to write about that experience. Of course I didn't have magical adventures like Georgie does (unfortunately).

3. In what genre does your book fall?
Middle grade, magical realism.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in the movie rendition?
Oh! I have no idea, sorry. I've never been good at that. But the little girl in this picture looks like my main character, Georgie, to me.

(photo by Tracie Taylor,

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Two sentences. This is my first stab at it, so I cheated a little.

Twelve-year-old Georgie gets her dreamed-for role of Clara in the Nutcracker ballet, but her best friend doesn't…and then Georgie manages to lose her director's heirloom Nutcracker, triggering long-buried magic. Can she solve the magical clues to get the Nutcracker back, save her show, and hang on to her friendship, while rehearsing ten hours a week?

6. Who is publishing your book?
This one is going out on submission in the next month or two! Wish me luck! (Um…and if you're an editor, please let me or Kate know if you want to be on the sub list. J)

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
About 3 months. Though there have been several drafts since then! It's changed tremendously.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I've been really going for the classic, old-school middle grade feel, like BALLET SHOES by Noel Streatfeild, or the magic in A LITTLE PRINCESS by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
 Molly O'Neill, formerly at Harper Collins, told me on Twitter to go ahead and write it when I said I wanted to write a Nutcracker book someday. Quote: "Write it. Write it NOW." J

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

I couldn't jam it into the synopsis, but another major piece of the book is the development of Georgie's friendship with a boy named Noah, who ends up becoming her partner in the magical adventures. Georgie's dad is a high school football coach, so there's also a touch of football, and the rest of her big family. And cats!

So what do you think? It really couldn't be more different from TUNNEL VISION, but I am so, so excited about it. They're both completely me, in different ways.

And now on to the next two writers!! I've tagged two fellow One Four Kid Lit authors to participate: