The Next Big Thing – Blog Tag
Writer Teresa Frohock (author of MISERERE, www.teresafrohock.com) tagged me in “The Next Big Thing – Blog Tag.” She answered ten questions about her work in progress, and now I’m answering the same ten questions about my book. I’ve tagged a few of my writer friends – check out what they are working on, too!
What is the working title of your book?The title of my book is SO PRETTY.
Where did the idea come from for the book?This was originally a short story that won third place in a science fiction contest for Writers’ Journal magazine. The idea came to me when I saw a family once in the park. The mother was a full figured lady wearing short shorts, bright colors, and several unrelated floral and animal prints. Her hair was in a high ponytail on the side of her head, and she had tucked a big flower behind her ear. What struck me about this woman was that she really seemed to be confident about her body and obviously enjoyed how she looked. She had one daughter who looked and dressed just like her, but standing off to the side was another girl. This girl was thin and pretty and wore tailored, monochromatic clothing. I’m not sure if the other girl was her daughter or not, but it made me wonder – what if she was? That, combined with my son’s experience of being the only male member of the high school cheer squad (he was the mascot for two years), fused the idea for this book in my head.
What genre does your book fall under?My book is science fiction for young adults.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?I’d love to see someone like Jennifer Lawrence play the main character, Starr Valentine. For two of my male main characters, I’d like to aim big and suggest either Taylor Lautner or Josh Hutcheson for Julian, and Hunter Parrish for Adrian.
What is the one sentence synopsis for your book?Beautiful and popular, Starr Valentine has a perfect life; until she finds out her parents are from another planet with a very different standard of beauty and she has to learn to live in a place where she is no longer pretty.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?I am represented by Marlene Stringer of The Stringer Literary Agency.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?I wrote SO PRETTY in about ten weeks.
What other books would your compare this story to within your genre?SO PRETTY isn’t dark or scary. There are no vampires or werewolves. It’s light and funny and addresses the question of beauty and our own perceptions about beauty. I realize these aren’t books, but my character Starr does remind me a bit of Cher from the movie Clueless and Elle from Legally Blonde. Just imagine Cher or Elle trapped on another planet where no one thinks they are pretty - very traumatic.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?While I lived abroad, I learned that the ideal of feminine beauty was very different in different places. In one country, the woman all struggled to be pale, while in another country having light colored eyes was important. My friend who lived in Africa told me that where she lived it was said a bride should have a bottom “as big as the wedding table.” I wrote SO PRETTY so that girls could understand that the idea of beauty is not something that can be put into one narrow definition. I think there is so much pressure on teenaged girls today regarding how they should look, and I want girls to ignore this and find their own beauty.
What else about this book might pique the reader’s interest?SO PRETTY is funny and light, and yet it holds a serious message. How can a person who has defined themselves by their beauty go on when they are no longer beautiful? Starr had to lose her beauty to find herself, and in doing so became a better and happier person. She also defeated bad guys with some killer cheer leader moves, saved her family, and preserved the political stability of her entire planet. Not bad for a prom queen from Ohio.
Tag – you are “it” to:
Kate Studer (www.katepawsonstuder.com)