Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Next Big Thing

By: Susan Furlong Bolliger

The Next Big Thing is a blog chain in which participating authors answer ten questions about their current work in progress or upcoming publications. One of my favorite authors, B.K. Stevens tagged me in this ongoing blog chain. You can stop by the Untreed Reads Blog at http://bit.ly/dl4tCm and learn about her forthcoming story “No Good Deed” to be released in the anthology titled TO HELL IN A FAST CAR, edited by John L. French. You can also read more about B.K.’s writing and check out her other stories on her website at http://www.bkstevensmysteries.com/ .

So, thank you B.K., for including me in your line-up of tagged authors. I’m happy to get the chance to talk a bit about my writing and one of my current projects, a cozy mystery novel titled MURDER FOR BID.

Here are my answers about my Next Big Thing:

What is the title of your work?


Where did the idea come from for the book?

My characters are always inspired by people I observe and it just so happens that the main character of this book, Pippi O’Brien, was inspired by a close friend.

What genre does your book fall under?

MURDER FOR BID is a cozy mystery with a bit of an edge.

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

The lead actress to portray the main character, Pippi, would have to be red-headed (or willing to go red) and able to pull off Pippi’s personality—adventurous, spunky and a bit quirky.punky, and a bit quirky.

George Clooney could definitely pinch-hit for Sean Panelli, Pippi’s main love interest. Or, maybe since Panelli is an Italian name, a modern day Sinatra or Valentino could be found. I’d be happy to act as the casting agent!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Dumpster-diving red-head leaves a lucrative but stressful job to start a new career refurbishing and selling other people’s junk … and solving mysteries.

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

I’m currently in submission with a couple of small/independent presses. So, keep your fingers, and toes, crossed for me.

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

MURDER FOR BID took six months to write and another three months to edit. I’ve already penned a sequel which took less time to plot. I feel connected to the characters and could easily see myself writing more books in the series.

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

Just combine the crafty ingenuity of Lois Winton’s Anastasia Pollack; the adventurous edge of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum; and the fun spirit of Sue Ann Jaffarian’s Odelia Grey. A crazy mash up; but one heck of a fun read!

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Like I said earlier, a friend of mine inspired the main character of this story. She's one of those incredibly talented people that could pretty much pick and choose her career path, but has chosen to leave a lucrative marketing job to stay home with her children, much like my protagonist chooses to leave her over-the-top stressful job and pursue a simpler, slower-paced lifestyle. My friend is also someone that can take any old piece of trash she finds and turn it into something beautiful and useful. I swear she puts a new spin on the word “up-cycle” and … so does my main character, Pippi O’Brien. In fact, Pippi is almost as successful at reselling other people’s castoffs as she is at solving mysteries.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

There’s something for everyone in MURDER FOR BID. The story line will please discriminating mystery readers, the characters will intrigue and the humor will bring a smile to your face. And, for those of you who are on a budget … well, you’ll definitely appreciate Pippi’s panache for turning trash into treasure.

Here’s some information about the talented writers I’ve invited to participate in The Next Big Thing blog chain.  Watch for their post next week—November 25th through December 2nd.

Terry Ambrose, author of PHOTO FINISH, a humorous mystery set in Hawaii, will be posting about his forthcoming publication on his blog, Mysteries with Character.  http://terryambrose.com/

Derek Flynn, a talented writer, blogger and musician, will post about his latest musical release, DO YOU DREAM AT ALL? Be sure to stop by his blog, Rant with Occasional Music, and find out what it takes to write and produce a successful album. http://derekflynn.wordpress.com/

Morgan Mandel, prolific writer of short and novel-length fiction, posted her Next Big Thing on the Make Mine Mystery blog. You can read about her intriguing new mystery FOREVER YOUNG: A BLESSING OR A CURSE at http://bit.ly/XxeHMt .

Denise Weeks, award-winning novelist of NICE WORK, will be posting on her blog at http://www.deniseweeks.blogspot.com/   Be sure to stop by and see what will be Denise’s Next Big Thing!

Susan writes from the Midwest where she lives with her husband and four children. Her articles and stories have appeared in national magazines such as Country magazine and Woman's World. To find out more about her work, visit www.sfurlongbolliger.com


  1. Sounds like a fun, unique book, Susan!
    I'm impressed you've already made headway with the sequel!

    Morgan Mandel

  2. Great blog post, Susan, and thanks for tagging me! :)