From the author

Beryl's Next Big Thing

March 11, 2013

Do you find the term “tagging” confusing? I do. Most often, you've probably been “tagged” in a photo or a post, yet you fail to find yourself either in the photo or in the post. Thanks to my dear friend Christin Lore Weber, I've now experienced a form of “tagging” that does make sense. It’s called The Next Big Thing in which writers “lift up their Next Big Thing for the entire world to see . . . most often right in the midst of writing it.” So, thanks to Christin for tagging me. Please check out Christin’s Next Big Thing at http://christinloreweber.blogspot.com/. Christin is a brilliant blogger and scintillating author whose work you will not to miss.

In the next couple of days, I’ll post links to the Next Big Thing bloggers I've “tagged,” for this project.

Beryl’s responses to the Next Big Thing interview:

What is your working title of your book?
The title, besides the cover, is often the writer’s most important tool for drawing the interest of the reader. My current project has born several titles. The most recent comes from the creative mind of the woman who bestowed the title -- The Scent of God http://www.berylsingletonbissell.com/-- on my first book. She drew the title The Glass Chrysalis from a chapter in my current work which refers to Butterflies and the emergence of their offspring.

Where did the idea for the book come from?
After my memoir The Scent of God was released, I was inundated with queries asking why I had stopped the book when I did. They asked for a sequel. Even more pressing was my desire to tell the story which burns in my heart and demands release. I've been working on the sequel ever since. “When can we buy it?” readers constantly ask. I have no answer. I’m still working on it.

What genre does your book fall under?
I don’t believe there is a defined genre for this work. I would call it a literary memoir in fictional form – in other words, a true story told as fiction. I assumed this format recently because I felt trapped within my own voice and vision. I needed to step outside myself in order to find the truth beneath the story.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
This is the story of a mother’s search to understand and forgive the choices she made that might have contributed to her daughter’s violent death; a mother’s effort to free her child as she could not do during life.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
While my first book received national acclaim, it did not become the best-seller the publisher expected and has still not earned back the substantial advance royalty it was awarded. The current publishing environment is a difficult one for new and mid-level authors. As a result, many have turned to self-publishing as a friendlier and more financially lucrative option. I might eventually choose this route, though I will probably run this work by my agent first.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I've been through so many drafts that I've lost count. As I only decided to take the book into fictional format within the past month, you could say I've just begun the first draft. This draft, however, feels more rewarding and exciting, so I think I’m on the right track.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The Lost Years: Surviving a Mother and Daughter’s Worst Nightmare by Kristina Wandzilak and Constance Curry
Come Back: A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back by Claire and Mia Fontaine.
The Lost Child: A Mother’s Story by Julie Meyerson.
My Daughter’s Addiction: A Thief in the Family – Hardwired for Heroinby Marie Minnich.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I actually began writing this book many years ago in daily journals which became my most trusted confidants during the years of anguish and fear that followed my first husband’s death (where The Scent of God ended) and that leads to my daughter’s death and its aftermath.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
Those who read The Scent of God will be the first to seize on this book. Parents of children suffering from depression and mental torment and those whose children are addicted to alcohol and drugs will find their stories in this work. The damage inflicted by those who disguise abuse as love, and the anguish and confusion that result from the sudden violent death of a child or loved one, add other engrossing dimensions to pique interest. It will conclude with the letters I wrote to my daughter after her death.