Monday, December 10, 2012

The Next Big Thing: Another Sassy Gal

I was tagged by Linda Reilly to participate in The Next Big Thing, a blog event asking writers to talk about their works in progress.  In turn, I have tagged other writers who will blog next week about their manuscripts.  You can find their answers to the ten questions by going to their blogs.  These are the authors I tagged for next week:
Gregg E. Brickman, author of ILLEGALLY DEAD, IMPERFECT CONTRACT, and the upcoming IMPERFECT DADDY, featuring clever and edgy nurses.   Find at

Glenn E. Nilson, author of Murder on Route 66.  Visit his blog at

I’m happy to talk about my newest project.

1.What is your working title of your book?
A Secondhand Murder

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

It came from two sources.  First, in 2009 I wasthe winner of the Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter Sleuthfest short story contest.  The story was entitled “Gator Aid” and featured a protagonist named Eve who was tall, skinny, blonde and very in-your-face.  Her sidekick Madeleine was a polite, shy, laid-back writer of children’s stories.  I loved the two of them so much I felt their partnership merited a full-length story, so I moved Eve permanently to Florida from Connecticut and made her Madeleine’s business associate.

Because I love consignment shops and yard sales, I chose to put them in the consignment shop business, but with a twist.  They run a shop in rural Florida where the matrons of West Palm go to see the country life and to buy and sell their clothes at a place where their friends won’t know they’re earning a little extra money, necessary because of their husbands’ losses to Bernie Madoff and his like.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

This is a cozy mystery.

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

This is a difficult one because the ole of Eve necessitates someone with real sass, and mst of the actresses like that are older.  I guess the only one I’d suggest would be Angelina Jolie.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Selling clothing of once-wealthy, Madoff-injured society matrons to the thrift-conscious in her rural Florida upscale consignment shop seems like Eve Appel’s kind of therapy until she discovers the body of one of her West Palm clients on the dressing room floor.

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

It will be published by Camel Press in 2013.

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

The first draft took about six to nine months.

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

Maybe Janet Evanovich’s series—Blush, Blush.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Winning the short story contest happened before any of my other books had been published.  It convinced me I could write and gave me the confidence to find a small press for my brewing series.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

What woman doesn’t like bargain hunting especially with someone who has Eve’s impeccable taste?


  1. What a great theme for a book! It's different and yet we can all relate to consignment shopping, I'm sure, and the mystery and characters sound intriguing. Good luck with your book.

  2. A totally great idea for a book, Lesley! You can tell I love consignment shops, garage and rummage sales, and anything similar!

    Good luck with your Next Big Thing!

    Morgan Mandel

  3. Lesley,
    I love flea markets, garage sales and consignment shops too! Great idea for a book. Will this be a standalone or the first book of a series?

  4. This was a great blog! Your answers to the questions were perfect because I'm totally looking forward to the book now. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Awesome story idea. Sounds like lots of fun! For sass I loved Julia Roberts in Blind Side. :)

  6. Great post and I'll be watching for the new book. What fun!
    Marja McGraw

  7. What a clever idea for a series! Best of success when your WIP becomes a finished book!

  8. This will be the first in a three book series--perhaps even more of them. It's fun writing about something I like as much as buying someone else's clothes, shoes, household goods, knickknacks. I always say you can feel confident buying secondhand merchandise because you know since someone else bought it that it's tasteful. Well, not always. I still remember some of the the horrible items my friend bought at yard sles to give as gag gifts. Okay, then, they're tasteful gag gifts.

  9. I can envision an incredible tour to promote your book when it comes out. Maybe using a truck to haul all the bargains.

  10. I can't wait to read this, Lesley!

  11. Thanks, Glenn. Will you offer to drive it for me? And also pay for the stuff?

  12. Great blog, Lesley, with wonderful questions and answers. I like thrift shops, fancy and not so (Salvation Army,etc.) and I can just see that body on the dressing room floor. What a good idea for a series!

  13. I'm really excited about the series especially because it encourages me to do research often!

  14. Very nice post. It's goo that you're thinking series and to continue to build a fan base with great stories.

  15. That's exactly what I have in mind. This one has been percolating for some time, so I'm glad I found a publisher for it.