Please welcome Chantilly White to the blog today! She's stopping by to participate in The Next Big Thing. Thanks for blogging with me, Chantilly!
What is your working title of your book?
My next release is a short Valentine's Day story titled Cupid's Mistake, which will be available in early February.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Cupid's Mistake is a mini sequel to my Christmas release, Unwrapped, which starred Mia Patterson and Derrick Fox. Allison Kelly is their best friend, a feisty modern woman who is very much used to going after and getting what she wants, including any man she sets her sights on. She's never thought seriously about settling down before, but now she's surrounded by friends who are pairing up and getting married—she's an event planner by trade, so she's also handling all their weddings—and she's suddenly having these strange feelings she doesn't quite know what to do with. On New Year's Day, she's feeling vulnerable and unsure, very foreign concepts for her, and it leads to her making a life-altering decision.
Allison was so together and self-assured in Unwrapped, I wanted to see her knocked off her stride a little bit—and nothing does that better than unexpectedly falling in love! Especially when the guy is nothing like the men she's used to dating. Ben's not her type at all, and she has to come to grips with that before she can really give her heart.
I wanted to see her get her happily-ever-after, because while she was busy running around having fun with her one-or-a-few-night stands with all those hot guys, I felt her heart was in trouble. She was on the edge of becoming jaded, and I didn't want to see that happen to her. I like her. I thought she deserved her HEA, too.
What genre does your book fall under?
Spicy-hot contemporary romance.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I see Allison as a cross between Emma Stone and Scarlett Johansson—insanely beautiful, tough and spunky, smart and sassy, but with a more vulnerable core than even she suspects. Her love interest, Ben, is totally delectable, but in a rougher way than she's used to with all the California surfer dudes and hipsters she's gone out with in the past. I see him as a slightly younger Jeffrey Dean Morgan type, but mountain-manned up, since when they first meet, he has a full beard and is looking pretty scruffy.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
In a moment of emotional weakness, Allison Kelly signs up for what she is sure will be her biggest mistake ever—an internet dating service that sets her up with a man so wrong for her, he must be Mr. Right.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I'm indie publishing at this time.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Cupid's Mistake is a short story, so it took about two weeks to write. But once my manuscripts are done, they go to my critique partners, I get them back and revise based on their recommendations, then they go to my beta readers, and I revise again after I get my stories back from them. Then there's the final edit/revision/polish process, so altogether, it takes me about six weeks to produce a finished version of a short story like Cupid's Mistake.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
That's a tough question. There are a lot of authors I admire and a lot of excellent stories I aspire to, as far as reaching their level of craft, but to compare them. . . I don't know.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The person who actually inspired me to write this story is one of my best friends, and fellow writer, Joan Satterlee. She beta read Unwrapped for me, and in the process mentioned how much she enjoyed Allison and thought she ought to get her own story. I agreed!
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
It's a short story, so there's not a lot of time commitment involved—it's the perfect length for curling up with a cup of coffee or cocoa and grabbing a little time for yourself—but still has a complete story resolution, including that all-important happily-ever-after. It's spicy and emotional and fun—hopefully, readers will find it a quick, satisfying read.
Thanks so much for having me!