My blog this week is looking a wee bit different from normal because I’m taking part in something called the Next Big Thing blog hop.
Essentially writers across the world are invited to answer questions about what they’re working on so readers can discover new authors. This week, I’m it.
Last week I was “tagged” by Jennifer Miller, author of The Year of the Gadfly. In her words, her book is about “a quirky teenage journalist and a microbiologist running from his past who investigate a secret society in their remote New England town. “ Sound intriguing? Check out there rest of her answers on her Facebook page.
Here is my Next Big Thing:
What is the working title of your book?
My editor, my agent, my fiancé and I all sprouted a couple grey hairs coming up with the title. It took us months but finally we came up with Out With It: How Stuttering Helped Me Find My Voice.
Where did the idea come from?
When I left my job in London in September 2008 I wanted to immerse myself in stuttering, to meet other stutterers, researchers and therapists and finally face my biggest fear. Perhaps I even hoped that I would stumble on a cure. I decided that I would interview 100 people and then create a book of oral histories that would debunk all the misconceptions around stuttering. Gradually the book evolved into an investigative memoir. I held on to the voices of everyone I interviewed, but I made my life the structure that all our stories hung from.
What genre does your book fall under?
Creative non-fiction, memoir, education, perhaps even self-help.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A vivid memoir of a young woman who fought for years to change who she was until she finally found her voice and learned to embrace her imperfection.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My book will be published by the Atria division of Simon and Schuster on April 16th 2013.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I moved to America to start researching the book in October 2008. I started writing in late 2009 and handed in the first draft to my editor in January 2012. In short, a very long time!
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
This is the first memoir about stuttering written by a woman but it is similar to a vast number of books that deal honestly, humorously and poignantly with subjects that our society does not always like to confront. If you liked WILD, LIT, Look Me in the Eye or QUIET, hopefully you’ll like Out With It.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to change the conversation, to unearth something that had remained taboo for far too long, to stop hiding and encourage others to do the same.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Although the book is about stuttering, it is really about all of us, about all of the ways we are scared and courageous and perfectly imperfect.
Be sure to check out Jennifer Miller and go to Leigh Stein’s blog at leighstein.tumblr.com to read their Blog Hop answers.