The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

I'm taking a break from books this week to participate in the Next Big Thing Blog Hop. It is a chance for authors to tell you what they’re working on. The author answers 10 questions about their next book, and tags the person who first tagged them, plus at least 5 other authors.
I was tagged by Christine Stewart whose novel, Rose and Jesse, is based on a true family story. Check it out:

Here are my answers to the questions:

What is the working title of your book?
Under a Pigeon's Wing. The epigraph is from Elizabeth Bishop: “Winter lives under a pigeon's wing.”

Where did the idea come from for the book?
A young friend of mine shared her plans to live simply—and I do mean simply—in order to have more funds to donate to worthy causes. While I admired her heart, I recognised that putting other people's needs/desires before our own is a common issue for women. Since my character is struggling to get out of poverty and has a child, her decisions have life-or-death consequences.

What genre does your book fall under?
Literary Fiction

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I never think about this! Hmm. Maybe Dakota Fanning, Sarah Shahi, Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Harmon, Helen Mirren, Linda Hunt.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Cat Kelly, a young, single mother, longs to escape the dangers of a life of poverty in a dead-end mill town but can't resist sacrificing her dreams to help others.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Not sure yet.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Still working on it.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Ladder of Years, by Ann Tyler; Abide with Me, by Elizabeth Strout; Affliction, by Russell Banks; Empire Falls, by Richard Russo

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
As a former welfare mother, as described in my memoir, Innocent, I continue to be drawn to stories that tell the truth about poverty, avoiding the saccharine Horatio Alger myths or the hurtful stereotypes. I want to celebrate the courage and persistence of the people I know who are just barely making it from check to check.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Humorous bits and eccentric characters lighten the drama as Cat tries to keep her new job, her tiny step forward, from being eliminated. When you're poor, even a small setback can be disastrous. Cat is lucky to be able to call on the help of her friends as she confronts one crisis after another. Then, unexpectedly, love comes knocking at her door.

More links to the next chain of bloggers/writers coming soon!

Kirra Antrobus's Thoughtful blog

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