The Next Big Thing #2 - Solomon's Compass

See, I told you I'd finish with the Solomon's Compass meme today :)

Two questions remain on the meme, and I'll answer them first. Then I'll copy and paste the rest of the meme below.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
This is especially tough. And not only because I don't exactly write within a particular genre. I also don't have a clue who I write like. If anyone. So feel free to leave a comment if my books remind you of other novels or other writers.

The only thing I can figure out is to tell you some of my favorite mystery/suspense authors and some of my favorite romance authors. Not only do I like reading these well-known authors, but I've learned a lot about what works and what doesn't from reading their books. At least what works and doesn't for me.

For mystery/suspense, these writers probably are the biggest influences on my books (in alphabetical order): David Baldacci, Lisa Gardner, James Patterson, and Lisa Scottoline. For romance, Suzanne Brockmann, Linda Howard, Karen Robards, and Sarah Strohmeyer.

If you've read any or all of these authors, you know how different each is from the others. This is probably one reason I have difficulty pinpointing exactly what I write. I love them all. Their stories I mean - LOL - I don't know any of them personally. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
There's mystery, suspense, intrigue, and romance, but at its heart, Solomon's Compass is a story about love, loyalty, and the value of keeping a promise. And I hope there are a few surprises for you along the way.


These questions were tougher than I thought - LOL. Thanks again to Jennifer Shirk, VR Barkowski, and Jan Christensen for tagging me.

I'm pasting the meme below in it's entirety - and I'll be back here on Friday with the Top Ten.

Have a GREAT week!

:::

The Next Big Thing Meme
SOLOMON'S COMPASS

What is the title of your book?
Solomon's Compass

What genre does your book fall under?
Crime Fiction with a Kiss - Mystery/Suspense/Romance

Which actors would you choose to play your characters if it were a movie?
This was harder for me than it should have been because I don't know of any actor who fills the bill 100% for either character the way I envision them. The answer will probably be different for each reader. So I picked two options for each.
Taylor Campbell - Renee Zellweger or Hilary Swank
Jake Solomon - Hugh Jackman or Michael Fassbender

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When U.S. Coast Guard Commander Taylor Campbell discovers her uncle’s drowning death was murder, she must determine the killer’s identity in order to prevent another murder; it's Jake Solomon's job to ensure Taylor Campbell isn't the next victim.

Will your book be self-published or traditional?
Self-published
Available at Amazon on April 2, 2013

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your book?
Waaaayy too long! In my defense there were reasons.

I started writing the first draft of Solomon's Compass in Summer 2008, a few months before I started this blog. None of my critique partners liked it. It was too busy and didn't have enough substance. There was no focus on what the protagonist was doing, who she was, or what was on her agenda. About a third of the way through, I scrapped it and went back to the drawing board.

When I went back, I wrote an entirely different opening. I did my best to condense the busyness. And discovered Jake Solomon walking into a bar long before he was supposed to. And staying. He was supposed to go.

I started over again. This time I had most but not all of the busyness taken care of, the third new opening, and I let Jake stay. I wrote this one all the way through. My critique partners accepted it, but problems abounded. One was that it was still too busy with not enough focus. But they liked Jake!

By this time, it was nearing the end of 2010. During this time frame of 2-1/2 years, besides starting the manuscript over three separate times:
we sold our house at the Texas Coast, purchased a new home in San Antonio, and moved here;
we had some drama with extended-family issues;
I had In Name Only professionally edited;
and we were gifted with a new puppy - our lovable but high-maintenance Shiner :)

And that's why it took me 2-1/2 years for the first draft of Solomon's Compass. I finished the final draft - Draft #7 - in July, 2011. See, I can perform at regular speed. The manuscript went to the editor and was all spiffy and ready to go before I started getting In Name Only ready to publish last year.

Solomon's Compass has been different from the get-go, and I hope my future manuscripts come together much more quickly.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Who...

The men and women of the United States Coast Guard. I didn't want the plot to be so much a story about the daily doings of the Coast Guard. Instead I wanted it to focus on the Coasties themselves. 

The Coast Guard is the smallest of the five uniformed branches of our military - fewer than 50,000 members active and reserve - yet it operates worldwide. It's the only service where a primary goal is to save lives.

It's duties range from search and rescue to maintaining buoys. From fisheries patrol to drug and migrant interdiction. From inspection of tugs and barges to supertankers, cruise liners, and ocean drilling platforms. From port security to being one of sixteen members of the United States Intelligence Community.

Coasties are team players. They have diverse duties and responsibilities. Each Coastie is an individual, but all Coasties are a team. Semper Paratus...Always Ready.

What...

So I wanted to write about a Coastie. And one night I had a dream. When I woke, I thought that's a plot for a novel. When I thought it out, the plot wasn't as great as in my dream - LOL. But when I added my Coasties, the story began to coalesce. And that was the beginning of Solomon's Compass.



What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

This is especially tough. And not only because I don't exactly write within a particular genre. I also don't have a clue who I write like. If anyone. So feel free to leave a comment if my books remind you of other novels or other writers.

The only thing I can figure out is to tell you some of my favorite mystery/suspense authors and some of my favorite romance authors. Not only do I like reading these well-known authors, but I've learned a lot about what works and what doesn't from reading their books. At least what works and doesn't for me.

For mystery/suspense, these writers probably are the biggest influences on my books (in alphabetical order): David Baldacci, Lisa Gardner, James Patterson, and Lisa Scottoline. For romance, Suzanne Brockmann, Linda Howard, Karen Robards, and Sarah Strohmeyer.

If you've read any or all of these authors, you know how different each is from the others. This is probably one reason I have difficulty pinpointing exactly what I write. I love them all. Their stories I mean - LOL - I don't know any of them personally. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts.


What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
There's mystery, suspense, intrigue, and romance, but at its heart, Solomon's Compass is a story about love, loyalty, and the value of keeping a promise. And I hope there are a few surprises for you along the way.


SOLOMON'S COMPASS
Available April 2, 2013
Kindle and Paperback



Comments

"Coasties" - I like that nickname. Hey, anything that honors our military is cool to me.
Just a little over two months to release day, Carol!
Laura Eno said…
Great job answering some tough questions! Like Alex, I think "Coasties" is a cool name too. I hadn't heard it before.
Good luck on the release of your book Carol.

Yvonne.
Linda G. said…
You've definitely piqued my interest! :)
I think it's a great idea to figure out what you don't like in a book, so you don't make the same mistake. :D
Teresa Coltrin said…
I'm excited for. April 2 -- Yay.
Linda Kage said…
Oooh! Linda Howard, Suzanne Brockmann, and Karen Robards are some of my favorites! You're getting more and more excited about Solomon's Compass! April seems sooooo far away.
I'm SO looking forward to Solomon's Compass!
LR said…
Love Hilary Swank. Hope she plays the part. :)
Carol Kilgore said…
Alex - Our military people are awesome.

Laura - Now you are officially "in the know" :)

Yvonne - Thank you.

Linda G - Great!

Stina - Whatever works!
You've piqued my interest, but that was a couple weeks ago when I first read the information you posted about Solomon's Compass. It looks wonderful!
Jennifer Shirk said…
Oooh, sounds interesting. Those are all different kinds of authors and books. But that's good--you're style is unique!
Carol Kilgore said…
Teresa - I'm getting there :)

Linda K - Far away and too close all in one.

Ann - Cool! That makes me happy :)

LR - If you talk to her people, have them call me LOL!

Bethany - I'm glad you're still interested :)

Jennifer - Unique does sound better than mixed up :)
Helena said…
I really like Baldacci too, and I want to read Lisa Gardner. And I like the fact that Solomon's Compass doesn't fit neatly into only one genre -- telling a story while mixing elements like suspense and romance means your story is more original and could grab my attention on several levels. Congrats!
Carol Kilgore said…
Helena - Thanks. I hope it does!
LD Masterson said…
You know, this is a pretty tough mime. I love your genre description: Crime Fiction with a Kiss.
Carol Kilgore said…
LD - I think it would be easier for some books and some writers than it was for me with this particular book.
CATachresis said…
Loads of good wishes from me and Austin for the success of this next venture. being an island race we are very much indebted to the coastguard service for keeping us safe!
Melissa said…
Sounds great! Can't wait!!! :D
Tracy Jo said…
Love this description: Crime Fiction with a Kiss. LOVE that you picked Hugh Jackman..now I will think of him as I read. He rocks. So looking forward to reading this one!
Carol Kilgore said…
CATachresis - Thanks so much to both of you!

Melissa - Yay!

Tracy Jo - I think Hugh Jackman would be up to the task of Jake Solomon :)
Congratulations upon the publication of your book. SOLOMON'S COMPASS sounds like a fantastic book. I'm glad you are writing about the Coast Guard. Sounds like a page turner book.
nutschell said…
good books always take long to write:) thanks for sharing your writing journey with us.
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com
Julie Flanders said…
I think it's so hard to pick a genre, so many books fall into more than one category for me. It was great to learn more about Solomon's Compass, can't wait for the release. :)
Hi Carol!

The story sounds interesting. Like NCIS Navy. And I love mysteries and thrillers!

Nas
Carol Kilgore said…
Brenda Kay - I hope readers enjoy it. Coasties are awesome :)

Nutschell - You're welcome.

Julie - I'm happy you're excited!

Nas - I don't watch NCIS, but I love mysteries and thrillers, too.
April 2... you're so close, Carol. Are you giddy yet with excitement? I loved your answers. It's so hard to be objective about our own work. I'm exactly the same way. Most days if anyone asks me anything, I draw a blank immediately.

Congratulations!
Carol Kilgore said…
Joylene - One day I'd love for a few people to say 'oh, your work is or your writing reminds me of and for their answers to match. Then I could say 'readers say blah, blah, blah' and I wouldn't have to fret :)
It was great learning more about Solomon's Compass! I'm looking forward to April 2nd! Julie
Medeia Sharif said…
I also pay attention to what works and doesn't when I'm reading.

I'm so glad to see a release date for SOLOMON'S COMPASS.
Carol Kilgore said…
Julie - Cool :)

Medeia - Sometimes I'm so lost in the story that by the end, I know everything worked. It's easier for me to spot what doesn't.
J.L. Campbell said…
Mystery, romance, suspense. All requirements for a good read in my book.
Raquel.Somatra said…
I know what you mean about comparing your book to another. I feel the same about my works. I think it's hard for us to do it, because we're so intimately connected to the piece. Often an outside interpretation is necessary to draw the parallels. Thanks for sharing so much about your process and this exciting, new book! :)
M Pax said…
I went to the maritime museum in Astoria, OR, where they have a big Coast Guard exhibit. My parents' guide book said it would change our lives. lol I never forgot that. My uncle was in the coast guard for awhile.
DEZMOND said…
one of Baldacci's books is getting an adaptation soon :)
Carol Kilgore said…
J.L. - Cool!

Raquel - I agree. And you're welcome :)

Mary - A family connection!

Dezmond - Oooh! I'll watch for it.
Your writing journey sounds like what I did for my first novel--I started that book so many times, scrapping things and introducing various POVs.

Interesting post!
Carol Kilgore said…
Golden Eagle - Almost missed you! You had an excuse :) This wasn't my first book, but at times it felt that way.
Martha said…
Hi Carol! I was stopping by from the A-Z challenge list for an early visit. Of course I wanted a peek at the cabana boys too but I know how that it now I am living inland as well. I'm in sunny Florida. I'm a new follower and can't wait for the challenge to begin :)
Carol Kilgore said…
Hi Martha! Thanks for stopping by. I, too, am looking forward to the challenge. Nice to meet you, and thanks for the follow :)
Brinda said…
When I discovered Linda Howard a year ago, I read about five of her books in a row! My sister just discovered Suzanne Brockman is on a kick reading all her books. I'll point my sister to your blog.
Carol Kilgore said…
Sounds great, Brinda. Thanks!