The Next Big Thing

I am very late posting this week. After six weeks of moving madness, I have barely returned to a “normal” writing schedule. Plus … the fallout from an insane road trip on Saturday put my writing behind by another two days.

The photograph from JenG, is the shadow of promise, and suits who I am, and who she is becoming.

To all my fellow writers whose blogs I follow and comment on frequently. I trust you will forgive me for being remiss these past weeks. While I give no guarantees, and after raising children, learned never to promise anything or tell you when we’ll get there, know that even when I am absent from the blog roll, I am with you in spirit.

On October 10th and again on October 15th, Laura Drake and Shelley Noble tagged me for The Next Big Thing, and finally here we are.

*See the end of the post for rules.

There is this thing I have about rules.

I seem determined to break them, like crackers in chicken noodle soup. Rule number one. Answer the questions?

Well, the truth is I have two WIP. One is the first of a mystery trilogy, and the second is the first of a series of Women’s Fiction novels under the umbrella of Brooklyn Tales. The settings are the beach and fishing communities of Brooklyn, many of which I have featured in City Scapes.

For the sake of your sanity and mine, I’ll give you the one closest to the finish line. But in case you were also interested:

Brooklyn Tales, Cut Down to Size, features Brina Esmerian from Coney Island … a shopaholic, hoarder who, after the financial collapse of 2008 is downsized out of her career of twenty-five years, and faces the challenges of starting over at fifty-something, battling her addictions, and the guilt of being a survivng twin.

Talk about your one sentence synopsis.

The ten questions:

What is your working title of your book?

Framed in Black and White, a Third Eye Mystery

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea came from an old story I wrote in 2008 about a gal who does strip salvage and discovers a macabre tressure in the rubble of an auto salvage yard. It morphed from my memory of my brother’s darkroom in our tiny Brooklyn apartment and my frustration that I have no “eye” for the camera lens.

What genre does your book fall under?

Mystery. A bit of cozy mixed with a tad of suspense, and spiced with a pinch of romance.

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

The female, Antoinette “Toni” Gallucci, might be played by Angie Harmon … tall, rangy and tough. Unfortunately, Angie is already in a TV series based on the work of Tess Gerritsen … Rizolli and Isles.

More than midway, I introduce her love interest, Murphy. Colin Farrell looks the type

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Framed in Black and White features Antoinette “Toni” Gallucci, a no-nonsense photo journalist, with a penchant for photo art, whose third eye is not merely the lens of a camera, pointing outwards, it is also her inner vision and her uncanny ability to put herself into the dark places outside the frame.

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

Represented by an agent (from my  lips to her/his ears).

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

One month. Then I stashed it for two years. Did the rewrite in one month this July. Stashed it again in August while I relocated and have finally finished edits this week.

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

It’s a bit darker than most “cozy” mysteries, yet not as dark as a thriller. The character is not as tortured as Eve Dallas, and not quite as silly as Stephanie Plumb.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Photojournalist, Margaret Bourke White and my brother’s work “inside the frame.”

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

It’s a trilogy, that takes place during the anti-Vietnam and civil rights movement, focuses on the issues of that time, and the parallel issues that are still prevalent today.

Toni’s commitment to finding what is outside the frame resonates. She is what I’d call a woman’s woman … satin undies under denim.

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

I was tagged three weeks ago by Laura Drake. I was also tagged by Shelley Noble who I have missed dearly during this protracted break. Sorry it took so long, gals. Rule number one broken.

The people I tag are a varied group and write a mix of genres.

Rosemary DiBattista because she has written a cozy about a crazy Italian family in Jersey (close enough to Brooklyn) and because I have always loved her voice.

Patti Yager Delagrange because I was touched by her first book, her comittment to nature and animals and her loving ways with people.

Sherry Isaac because she is the first person I have met on-line who, like me, has a total preoccupation with ghosts, Nancy Drew and because she also has good taste in music. If you haven’t read her, you should.

Sheri Degrom … who is in the drafting stages with me and does slammin’ book reviews, is outspoken about the military complex, is another tough old broad who took her valuable time to help me … and we all know how much I need help.

Christi Corbett … because she is a young mother of twins who works hard and who was my first on-line friend. And because any minute now she will find an agent and remind me to get my query ass in gear.

If I were allowed to mention another half-dozen, I’d pick the whole crew from Writers in the Storm blog.

There you have it, my better late than never Big Thing.


Much thanks to all of you for staying with me through this difficult time. I might mention, that my troubles are little ones compared to my fellow northeast family and friends.

Some of our beloved shore communities have been devastated beyond reason, and the aftermath of Sandy will be felt for many years to come.

This is the last of my “regularly” scheduled posts until 2013. In January, I will return with updates and query quips, features in City Scapes, and a few more hilarious adventures from the hapless residents of Sunset Park.

There are not many days left before we begin Holiday madness. To this end, I will dig into my archives for my favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas posts.

What is your next Big Thing, that story that we all want to read?

And like me, do you ever break rules for the fun of it?

fOIS In The City

The Next Big Thing Rules:

***Use this format for your post
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.
When you’ve written your post and queued it up, send me the dedicated URL/permalink so that I have it for my post to link your upcoming one. There’s no need for you to give me the names of the people you’re inviting. Just go ahead and invite people to participate on the week after your post runs. You include their links and also include mine as the person who invited you.


Filed under Random Thoughts

37 responses to “The Next Big Thing

  1. Oooooo, sounds really interesting honey 🙂

    I know exactly what you mean! I am making full use of the “like” button at the moment 😦



  2. both series sound fascinating, Florence, or course, I’m not surprised.
    And a character from
    coney Island, hooray.


    • Ah yes, Shelley … why not a Coney Island gal? The series travels from Bath Beach (not really a beach community at all) to the farthest fishing community and beach of Gerritsen. Three of them are drafted or in the works and were planned before Sandy … but thankfully they all take place in different times. Thanks for the support and keep writing … you inspire me 🙂


  3. I love the sound of your book. I can’t wait to read it. Also, I like the “dark” aspect. I think I’ve discovered that about myself while reading Gillian Flynn’s three books in a row.


    • Thanks Brinda … in a tech sense it would be “categorized” as a cozy, but the suspense take a turn into the dark side of the frame. I’d love it if this New Year brings me my ultimate writer’s dream … representation 🙂


  4. I cannot WAIT to read your books when they’re published. And, thank you so much, my friend, for inviting me to participate in The Next Big Thing. I shall do my best to get that to you soon.


  5. OH Florence, I’m all in – it sounds fascinating! I too, like the dark aspect. Can’t wait to hold that puppy in my hands….hurry up!


  6. Bravo, Florence, for breaking the rules when you need to. I’m sure much of the shoreline resembles the crackers in your chicken soup, or worse. See you in 2013.

    Intriguing synopsis!


  7. christicorbett

    Thanks so much for thinking of me for these fun questions, and for your lovely words about me.

    My next big thing? Of course, it’s the upcoming stories on your blog…your once a year Christmas posts!

    Seriously, I get so excited for these each and every year, because they are beautifully written, and evoke such a great feeling of Christmastime.

    Christi Corbett


  8. Florence, your story sounds interesting. Wouldn’t it be nice to get an offer of representation for Christmas? That’s what I wish for you.

    My heart aches for those suffering as a result of Sandy. So very sad.


  9. Framed in Black and White sounds like a great mystery. I love the idea of basing a novel on Margaret Bourke White. Good luck in getting that agent. I know the right one is out there!

    Oh,,and I never met a rule I didn’t want to break, or an authority figure I didn’t want to question. 😉 I’m a Hippie chick to the end!


  10. Florence, I love the glimpses into both your mystery and your women’s fiction stories. Now, if you would just hurry up, snag that agent and sign your publishing contract, I’ll be one step closer to getting to read your books!

    Have a wonderful holiday break. I can safely assume you’ll be writing though … and unpacking still … 🙂 Happy holidays!


    • You are too sweet, Sheila. I hope to “snag” an agent soon (she crosses her fingers and toes) and get that step closer for you.

      The Holiday break always includes my archives and yes, I will be unpacking and writing through to the new year 🙂


  11. Florence,

    Your book sounds like something I’d pick up quickly.And somehow that doesn’t surprise me.

    Oh, I break rules when it’s necessary. For example, I believe my
    Dessert Dames series is rule breaker as it blends at least 3 different genres. But that’s how my vision for that is.

    Have great holidays.


    • Casey, your voice is a fine blend of beautiful sounds and I don’t think it matters that you broke a few rules 🙂 Appreciate your encouragement and can’t wait to let everyone know when they can finally read one of my books.

      Keep your vision clear and enjoy my Holiday archives !


  12. The better question is, what rule haven’t I broken? LOL . . . great to learn more about you:-)


  13. Hello my friend. Thanks for tagging me, I’m honored. I’m working toward getting back into some kind of routine but it’s not going real fast. However – this is going to the top of my list. Thank you for the inspiration.


  14. On rule-breaking? I get hives if I don’t give myself permission to bend or break them.

    On your manuscripts? Both sound absolutely fantastic. Especially since I’ve read many of the blog posts you wrote about your childhood. You bring setting into those posts as a character.

    On getting the first draft of your manuscript completed in a month, and the rewrite completed in another month? I hate so admire you.

    On the catastrophic impact of Sandy on your precious childhood and adult playgrounds? SUCH a shame. I think of you each time I read an article or see a news clip.

    Take care, my friend. And, get busy with those queries. I know from experience that agents rarely happen across your doorstep seeking directions. 😉


    • Gloria, you are the best kind of “nut” in the can. I thank you for your comments and your encouragement. Don’t hate me. I write fast and a great deal … it’s having the “balls” to send what I write that I am developing. Margie and all of you have helped with that and editing out all the “kinks” in my work.

      With my heart in my hands, I will talk about Sandy in 2013 when I revisit many of my beloved beach and fishing communities in Brooklyn. My facebook header is of Gerritsen Beach … believe me when I tell you … it no longer looks like that photo.

      I am working with someone this w/e on the query and hopefully they will begin to fly out into cyber space soon. Thanks again for all your support and for your great sense of humor 🙂


  15. Hi Florence! Sorry I’ve been late getting by. I sure hope none of your loved ones were affected to badly. What a mess that all was.

    Your new story sounds great! I’m always available for a query crit, so feel free to shoot me an email. BTW I’ve got an agent. 🙂 I haven’t announced it yet cuz she’s transitioning to a new agency, but I wanted you to know cuz you’ve always been so supportive down this path. so thank you!


  16. Also I wanted to let you know your blog is not linked to your comments when you comment on my blog. That’s why it takes me longer to get here cuz I visit blogs by the link from comments. Just wanted to mention it in case you visit other blogspot sites and they need a link to you here. 🙂


    • PK, good to know … BUT … I haven’t the foggest way to fix that. Since I’ll write to you off loop, maybe you can walk me through the process 🙂


      • PK Hrezo

        Thx Florence!! 🙂

        If you click on your pic or thumbnail after you comment on a blogspot blog, it will take you to your profile and from there you can change your settings or edit your profile to include your blog address. Send me an email if it doesn’t make sense. 🙂


      • Okay, PK … I’ll try it and see what happens. Happy Turkey to all !!


  17. Pingback: Sweetest Thing « SHERRY ISAAC

  18. I love reading about your work, Florence! And hearing your voice. Somehow I got unsubscribed from your blog and didn’t notice with all the holiday hubbub. The good news is now I get to catch up on a bunch of your posts all at once!


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