When fellow Book Cents author and erudite blogger, Pete Morin, invited me to participate in a blog chain called “The Next Big Thing,” how could I resist?

If you’re a writer and unfamiliar with “The Next Big Thing,” my guess is you’ve either been living in a cave, participating in NaNo, or both. The gist of this meme is to give writers an opportunity to talk about their current projects. You can read Pete’s entry here. I’ve tagged five other writers who I hope will participate, but I don’t want to out them in case they chose another path.

AND NOW FOR  A TWIST OF HATE

What is the working title of your book?
A TWIST OF HATE (want to read an excerpt?)

Where did the idea for the book come from?
I spent five years working at a major museum on the West Coast. When it turned out the museum had a painting illegally confiscated by the Nazis in its permanent collection, the institution was vilified, literally skewered by the media, despite trying to do the right thing. I felt it was a story worth telling. That is, until an editor made it clear in no uncertain terms that Nazi stolen art was now a literary cliché. So much for that idea. A TWIST OF HATE was cobbled from the ashes of my original premise, minus the cliché.

What genre does your book fall under?
Crime. Not procedural. Not cozy.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Uh… I wouldn’t. That’s like asking me what actress I’d cast as my mother. I don’t think of my characters as parts to be played, I think of them as living, breathing human beings.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
When his family’s priceless Cézanne disappears from a San Francisco museum, newly minted security consultant Del Miller leaves the investigation to the FBI, but that’s before an art dealer claims the painting was stolen by Del’s grandfather—a victim of the Nazi death camps—seventy years before.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I sent the manuscript to my amazing agent, Christine Witthohn, just before Thanksgiving. I hope she thinks it’s worthy of pitching.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Impossible to say. I rewrote the book in its entirety no less than three times. In other words, three complete first drafts. The initial first draft was probably written in about three and a half months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Yowza, that’s tough! I aspire to Thomas H. Cook’s emotional depth and courage to write stand alones when most other crime writers are scribing the same book over and over.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I’m a museum junkie. I love art. For more details, see question #2 above.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s a buddy story. Think buddy film, but on the page. The two main characters are life long best friends, yet very different men, each with his own strengths. Their bond is challenged again and again as the story unfolds. Now be honest, aren’t you curious about a a buddy story featuring two male protagonists written by a woman?

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