Monday, December 17, 2012

GUEST BLOG: Jennifer Stevenson on "What's next?"

Jennifer Stevenson, a member of Book View Cafe, describes herself as "the well-meaning wack job responsible for The Brass Bed, The Velvet Chair, The Bearskin Rug, and Trash Sex Magic."

She adds, "Lately I’ve discovered… wait for it… my own body. Now I bike, swim, ride horses, and skate with the Fleetwood Speed Skating team."

What is the working title of your book?
It’s called Dancing With Cupid.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
This is book three in the Slacker Demons series. I came up with the series title out of the blue, one of those lightning bolts authors love, three summers ago. This book came to me because, as I was assembling my posse of slacker sex demons, I wanted to throw in a Hindu god or sex demon of some sort and gave Kamadeva a cameo in book one. Then I researched him--and found out how wonderfully romantic his backstory is! What a perfect jumping-off point for a Fothergill Plot!

What is a Fothergill Plot? (I hear you ask.)
Fothergill was a tobacconist in Fleet Street, the London newspapering district, back in G.K. Chesterton's day. Fothergill would often tell his brilliant plot idea to the newspaper boys and girls who bought their smokes from him. His offer was always the same. "I'll give you the plot. You write the story. We split the money!"

For those of you who have never made this offer to a writer, I can tell you that the writer response was unenthusiastic.

But then one day Chesterton actually assembled twelve other writers and they all wrote a story with the Fothergill Plot. These stories were collected into an anthology of the same name. You can get a hardcover copy used, cheap, online.

Fothergill's Plot, by the way, can be most easily described by that unbearably upbeat, bouncy song, "If You Like Pina Coladas" (original song title “Escape”).

So anyway that's where this book came from—it’s a paranormal romcom version of a Fothergill Plot taking off from the original story of the Hindu love god Kamadeva.

What genre does your book fall under?
Dancing With Cupid is sexy paranormal romantic comedy. It's also the corniest, sweetest, most romantic romcom I've written since Fools Paradise. I rather adore it.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Easy-peasy! I trolled the internet for photos of "Bollywood hunks" and found Shahid Kapur for love-god Kamadeva and his often-cast leading lady Amrita Rao for Kama's wife Rathi, the goddess of sensual love.  Shahid is ideal for the dimply sex demon Kamadeva, cute as a puppy and yet yummy-hunky.  Amrita has more dignity, but also a lurking sense of fun—perfect for my uptight women’s rights attorney, the reincarnation of Rathi.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Defrocked Hindu love god reunites with virgin amnesiac runaway bride.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Dancing With Cupid is being released, along with the rest of the Slacker Demons series, by Musa Publications.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I think about five months, but I spent several months thinking about it first.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
How To Lose A Demon In Ten Days, Desperate Housewives of Olympus, that sort of thing. This particular story isn't as heavy on the sex as theirs, although all the other Slacker Demons stories are.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
As I say, the original phrase "slacker demons" immediately conjured five guys living in a man lair in Chicago, all hot, all sex demons, all working for different hells, all this close to losing their jobs because though they are good at meeting girls, they suck at the paperwork.

And then, when I researched the background on the Hindu version of Cupid, I found a gorgeous backstory with tremendous potential for charm and sweetness.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
If my reader has read any of my Hinky Chicago books about Jewel, Randy, and Clay (The Brass Bed, The Velvet Chair, The Bearskin Rug, A Taste Of You), they might discover the origin of why Chicago pigeons lilke to fly through flames. By the way, there will be more stories in that series coming out in summer of 2013, when I rerelease the entire series.

The next book after Dancing With Cupid was going to be called I Need A Hero, in which the two remaining slacker demons finally meet the women who will make them want to settle down. And yes, I've had fun trying to find titles for these books. After an exhaustive search, I found Dancing With Cupid in the second line of a song called "Let's Get Stupid."

It already looks as if I'll need to retitle the fourth book, because there are currently at least two other books by that title! Argh! Swear-to-god, I'm going to name all the books in my next series after roller derby girls.

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