By Maria Schulz
Last week, Darlene from http://5writers.com/ tagged me as part of a chain of authors called THE NEXT BIG THING.
Now, I am the kind of person who hates chain mail of any kind, but this was different. I was so amazed that someone was actually interested in what makes me tick as a writer that I decided to join the chain. Aren’t you all thrilled? I’m supposed to provide some insight into my current projects. I added some questions because I just can’t leave well enough alone.
Once I’m done, I will pass on some info about other writers whose work I enjoy. I hope you’ll check out my tagged writers and maybe they’ll even share their thoughts too.
I like to think of this as my Frost/Nixon moment, except I don’t like the idea of being Richard Nixon. So consider this my Barbara Walters/Mariah Carey moment. There, that’s better.
So, here’s what I’ve been up to.
What is the working title of your project?
Eat Everything! Tales from a Hungry Life: A Memoir with Recipes
What genre does your project fall under?
Memoir with touches of humor and recipes. Not sure where they will shelve it. I think you will probably find it in either the cookbook section, the memoir section, or on the remainder table.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your project?
Large, insane family gets into lots of amusing scrapes, makes people laugh, eats a lot, and wants you to come along.
Will you self-publish or be represented by an agent? I will probably self-publish, unless an agent comes along and changes my mind.
If you found yourself in an elevator with a movie director you admire and had the chance to pitch your project to him, what would you say?
My grandmother’s blind sister once accidentally kissed a priest, and then laughed so hard she peed on the altar. And she was the quiet one.
Where did the idea come from for the story?
My mother lost her memory through Alzheimer’s disease. I wanted to remember our life together, and so I started writing my book.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh I love casting calls! I have done this several times on this blog.
Dad: Robert Loggia
Mom: Terri Garr
Jude: Steve Buscemi
Tony: Matthew Broderick
Louie: Robert Deniro
Paul: Robert Downey Jr.
Joe: Vince Vaughn
Chris: John Cusack
Maria: Angelina Jolie (hey! It’s my movie)
Nonnie: Olivia Dukakis
Uncle Don: George Hamilton
I hope the producers have a lot of cash!
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft took me a year—8 years ago. I feel like I’m now on the 115th draft.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Well, I was inspired to write it because of The Glass House by Jeannette Walls. The difference is that my parents were actually not as crazy as hers, and I can’t believe I’m saying that.
When I started writing this book, I read every memoir I could lay my hands on. Running with Scissors was a story that was light years away from my own experience with my family, but I enjoyed the way the author told his story with honesty and humor.
Last year, I read The Garner Files (James Garner’s memoir), This Time Together (Carol Burnett’s memoir) and Rob Lowe’s memoir, Stories I Only Tell My Friends. My husband just bought me The Liar’s Club, another memoir I can’t wait to read.
What else about your story might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s a coming of age story. Six boys, one girl, two slightly eccentric parents, insane extended family, in-laws, dogs, a rock-n-roll band, friends, Catholic school, nuns, teachers, growing up in the 70s and 80s. Lots of laughs. Plus there’s all that food! What’s not to like?
What other kinds of writing do you like to do?
I love short stories and novellas. I want to spend this year trying my hand at a full-length novel. I also love writing poetry and of course blog posts.
What books are you reading right now?
I’m reading The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield. My nephew gave it to me for Christmas and I’m really enjoying it. It talks about fighting resistance and approaching your craft—whether it’s writing, painting, or being an entrepreneur—like a pro.
I also just started The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon and so far, so good. My book club is reading The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and I can’t wait to start it too.
Every time I read a new book, it makes me want to write. And that’s a good thing.
Check out what these fellow writers are up to:
Lisa Safran is the kind of writer who will help you become a better writer, and approach your craft in a whole new way. She’s also a very talented middle school author who is currently shopping around a new book. Check out her latest blog at http://www.safrancreative.com/blog/2012/12/26/putting-your-two-cents-in.html
BGLou will get you thinking about life, love, the past, the future, music, politics, his life on “the hill” and more. Check out his blog at: http://bglou.blogspot.com
Joe Tura chose the name of his blog from one of my favorite movies ever: The Great Escape (And who stars in the G.E.? James Garner, of course). Discover his take on favorite movies, directors, Godzilla and more at: http://turafish.wordpress.com
One of the requirements for meeting with Barbara Walters would be a large paycheck and an equally large supply of delicious appetizers, because interviews make me hungry! I found a link at Southern Living that included 40 appetizer recipes, including Curried Chicken Tea Sandwiches, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Bread, and Stuffed Mushrooms with Pecans.
So Hungry Lifers…if you could ask me a question about my blogs or my book, what would it be? What kind of writing do you enjoy? Which recipe is your favorite? Let us all know by leaving a comment. Thanks, and Happy New Year!