Monday, October 8, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Last week, my friend Katy Upperman tagged me in this The Next Big Thing post, where people are answering questions about what they're working on.

You guys. I so wanted to do this, but I am SO PARANOID about talking about what I'm working on. Not because I think someone is going to steal it or anything...more like I'm worried you guys are going to judge me? I don't know. I'm SO freaking weird about this stuff. (I won't even tell my students the title of my other book. Why? No idea.) So I'm going to tell you a little about my WIP, but not really. I'm leaving out the hooky stuff because I'm a paranoid weirdo who thinks you're all going to laugh at me or something.

What is the working title of your book?
I'm terrible with titles, but I actually like the title for this one...IN REAL LIFE. 

Where did the idea come from?

I got the idea first from a reality TV show the husband was randomly watching. I wasn't even in the room when it was on, but something about it piqued my interest and I ended up so obsessed with the relationship between the people on this episode of the show. I couldn't stop thinking about them and what happened after the cameras turned off, so I decided to write my own version.

What genre does your book fall under?

YA contemporary romance. 

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Jessica Lu from Awkward would be absolutely perfect for Hannah.

Best friend Nick, I had been thinking about Rowly Dennis from Jane By Design.

But then I saw pictures of Andrew Garfield and he's spot on, too

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Er. Girl falls in love with her long-distance best friend and drives across a state line to surprise him and let him know. Plus complications and drama, obvs.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I have an awesome agent, so hopefully she will love it. :-)

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I'm finishing the first draft this week (cross your fingers). It took me 8 months for this draft, but I didn't write straight through the entire time. 

May we see an intro?

I’ve watched many a high school party movie in my day, so I know how spring break as a senior is supposed to go.  A wild and crazy co-ed trip, maybe to Mexico or a similar magical land where pesky things like American laws don’t apply. Dancing, drinking, hooking up, and who knows what other manner of bad behavior and questionable decision making. 

In a word - epic.
In other words - completely different from my normal life.

What other books would you compare this story to?

Um. I love Jennifer Echols and Stephanie Perkins and their books totally inspire me. I don't know if you could compare this to them at this point because they are awesome and this is still a pretty messy draft. 

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The reality show I mentioned. Some awesome songs. Some things that happened to me in high school. My favorite place in the country. 

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

Kissing. Friendship. Fake IDs. Music. Awesome Asian girls. Spring Break. Guys in bands. You know...the Jess usual. ;-)

Ok, so most of you have done this already, so I'm not going to tag anyone. But if you haven't, be sure to play along! I love reading about what you all are working on. 


  1. This sounds awesome! I need to do this. I've been saying that to myself since Katy put it up, but I will do it!

    I love that actress you picked for Hannah. :)

  2. Ohhhh! That sounds great, Jessica!!!! (and I'd use many more exclamation points but I'm afraid you'll think I'm aggressive or something :P)...
    That's exactly the type of book I am craving to read right now :D

  3. That really sounds awesome! I love Andrew as a pick!

  4. I LOVE this idea! It sounds so fun. Good luck with it Jessica and I am crossing my fingers Jill likes it too.

  5. I think I want to do this... but I'm going to have to pretend you SPECIFICALLY TAGGED ME AND I AM SPECIAL in order to muster up the courage.


  6. This sounds wonderful! So happy you shared it with us (I hate sharing anything about my work online, too. I get SO NERVOUS! :)

  7. I'm totally scared to do this too, haha.

  8. This sounds really good, Jessica! Definitely something I'd read. :) I did The Next Big Thing today too, but I'm seriously considering deleting my intro from the post. O_o Your intro sounds great!

  9. Sounds fun! I love contemp YA so this sounds like something I'd love. Good luck with the rest of your draft!

  10. I seriously can't wait to read this!

  11. Loved reading this and learning a little about what you've been working on. I'd definitely read this! I've really enjoyed reading all these Next Big Thing posts. I kind of wanted to do one, but I am paranoid too. So I guess it's good that no one tagged me after all.

  12. Eee! Been loving all these Next Big Thing posts (did mine last week). Your book sounds so fun, and yay for Awesome Asian girls! :D

  13. Yay! You shared!

    I think our stories should be BFFs. They've got that whole contemporary tons-of-romance thing in common which -- let's be honest -- is the best part of YA. :)

  14. I love love love your intro. Cannot WAIT to read this one day. It will be published. I know it will.