The Next Big Thing

Want to know what my next big thing is? I’ve been tagged by romance author Mona Karel to share a bit about my current WIP. Are your ready for the excitement? Are you sitting down? Because this going to be a little shocking.  I’ll give you a hint … my next release is not straight historical fiction.

What is the working title of your next book? Titles are difficult to get right. It is currently titled  Freedom to Love. I like the multiple meaning behind the title and how they relate to my book.

Where did the idea come from for the book?  The idea came to me the same way most of my ideas have through digging through history books. I look for unusual stories and in the slave narrative of William and Ellen Craft I struck gold. You can read about their story and great escape here.

What genre does your book fall under?   Historical Romance… okay maybe that is not as shocking as I thought. It isn’t like I suddenly switched to horror. You probably guessed it was going to be historical. 😉

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  I didn’t expect this question to be so hard! First of all, it would be a dream come true for any of my novels to be turned into movies. If I was sitting in the director’s chair… or is it the producer’s chair? Who is in charge of casting? Never mind. I’m in charge of casting at the moment! I would choose Taye Diggs to play Ben. I loved him in Private Practice! He’s handsome with a heart-stopping smile, but he might have to bulk up a little for this movie. And I would choose Mae Whitman off of Parenthood to play Nora. She has Nora’s fiery spirit.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Oh dear. The dreaded one-sentence synopsis. Well, here it goes: A slave girl, forced into marriage, must resist falling in love with her new husband or give up her dream of freedom.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I will indie publish. I’m not fond of the “self-publish” word, but that is a personal preference thing.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? It will probably take me six months. You all know that I don’t write short novels and I haven’t been pounding out the word count like I usually do. I had a two month writers block… so I’m hoping six months. Without the dang block it would have been four!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? This is something I haven’t thought about much. Usually I get the draft finished before diving into this question. But I have done some market research. I think I’m being original. I have not found another historical romance between slaves in the antebellum South. But if you know of one please comment and let me know.

That said, it has a heat level of 2 and with all the plot twists you could say that it has suspense elements. By the time I’m done editing it might be romantic suspense.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? Ever since I read Puddn’head Wilson by Mark Twain I have been fascinated with the tragic mulatto. I toyed with that in my love story Living Half Free. This time around my hero and heroine are going to have a definite HEA. Oh, and it is going to be steamier!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? How about more than just a one-line synopsis!

On a Georgia plantation in 1846, Nora is a seamstress who dreams of only one thing: freedom. At least, she did until she is forced into an arranged marriage with the stable manager Ben. The gentle six-foot man makes her heart flutter and almost willing to break her vow to her dying mother never to bear children in slavery.

Ben is content with his current life as a favored slave, especially after he was granted the wife he desired. He dreams of having a family with Nora and raising his son to take his place as the next stable manager.

Nora is determined not to fall for her new husband, but their friendship blossoms into genuine feelings. With Ben expecting her to be a devoted wife and her master expecting her to fall pregnant, she can no longer delay her escape. Can she convince Ben to flee with her or will time run out?

Here are four fun and fabulous authors I’ve tagged to tell you about their next big thing!

Eva LeFoy – a romance author who wears many hats. I know she is working on a contemporary romance and a sci-fi…

Jillian Lark –  author of humorous historical romance

Kimberly Gould – she’s a great author and a wonderful person

Nancy Kelley – author of Austenesque novels


About Haley Whitehall

Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historicals set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy.
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  1. Always good to Stretch, eh?

    Looking forward to your Notes of the Journey—you are going to let us know how it’s going, right?

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