The Next Big Thing

I am delighted to have been invited to participate in ‘The Next Big Thing’ by the lovely Jae de Wylde, author of ‘The Thinking Tank’ and ‘Sleeping People Lie’. Check out what she is up to at Life’s Crappy Stuff at

Here are the answers to the questions on my Next Big Thing … 

What is the title of your book?

‘Kilingiri’ – named after a fictional place in Kashmir.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea sprang from a load of day-dreams while I was hanging around waiting for packers to pack up our house in Singapore and unpack the belongings in Thailand. I have no idea why I remembered the priests who hosted our retreats at my convent school in Kodaikanal, South India, and how, one year, a couple of handsome American chaps pitched up to teach us the value of prayer and  how to be good. Rumour had it one of the girls flirted with Father Wotsits until – shock horror – he succumbed to her wiles and kissed her. She was sent packing and he was later seen doing swallows and pikes off the diving board at the Madras club, surrounded by a gaggle of admiring women. So Kilingiri started with the thought … what must it be like for priests to be faced with the temptation of sex and went on to consider the Catholic Church’s reasons for refusing to allow her clergy to experience what we all want and need in our lives … romance, passion, love, a family, children.

What genre does your book fall under?

Genres and labels do my head in! I write women’s fiction but if you want to pigeon-hole me, I suppose romantic, drama sagas with a hint of mystery and contemporary themes would fit the bill!

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

The characters in Kilingiri have lived in my head for almost 20 years so I believe the following actors are the closest to the beings in my imagination!

 Emily Sinclair as Nina.

Henry Cavill would make an excellent Michael, Timothy Spall the dastardly Declan and an Eli Wallach look-alike as Father Keenan.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Only by facing the consequences of what has gone before, can Nina and Michael embrace the future.

How will your book be published?

Kilingiri was rejected by Literary Agents several times. For the most part they were sensitive and let me down gently and with regret. Other agents were not so kind! So, spurred on by the positive comments and feedback which indicated I had something good to offer the reading public, I self-published on KDP in October 2012. Kilingiri is available on Amazon Kindle and if all goes according to plan, as a paperback in early 2013.

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

I started writing Kilingiri, by hand, in 1992! Then, in 1996, when my husband gave me a lap top the size of a brief case and the weight of several bricks I transposed hundreds and hundreds of pages of scrawl. Over the years, between marking Maths and English assignments, I continued to visit the manuscript for an hour here and there until around 2011 when the serious search for an agent started. At this stage the ms was over 180,000 words! But when it came to the crunch, it took just over ten months to get rid of the dross and polish the remainder. And I loved every minute.

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

I haven’t a clue! But having been told that my story telling skill is reminiscent of that of the late, great Maeve Binchy, I’d be hugely proud if ‘Kilingiri’ is considered half as good as her wonderful novels.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

As I wrote earlier, Kilingiri started as a daydream about my school days and developed into a saga.

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

Nina’s story may be universal but that is precisely what makes it so appealing. The reader can readily identify with her dilemmas and reactions and, as the plot progresses, agree or disagree with her decisions. Readers see the saga right through to the end and when visiting Nina’s life as she gets older, witness the consequences of her youthful experiences impact on her more mature self. The locations – Kashmir, the Far East, Ireland and France add more than a touch of glamour and interest, drawing the reader into worlds that perhaps they have not experienced themselves.

In a week’s time, on Wednesday 7th November, my chosen authors will tell you about their own ‘Next Big Thing’. Please check their blogs!

Emily Sinclair Emily started her career as a PA with a legal company before reading Literature at Manchester University. She has published several short stories. Her screenplay ‘I’ll Stand By You’ is one of fifty chosen to make the feature film, ’50 Kisses’ which will be released in cinemas on Feb 14th, 2013.

Orna Ross  In her past, Orna has been a schoolteacher, waitress, aerobics instructor, journalist, university lecturer, writing mentor and literary agent. She is now the Director of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).All her books are available as eBooks (digital) and pbooks (print) from Amazon USA and Amazon UK.

Finally, I would LOVE reviews for Kilingiri on Amazon, Goodreads and wherever else you would like to post them. Feedback makes a writer’s world go round and I appreciate it enormously.

Thank you!


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