Guest Blog by Blue Feather Books author, Renee MacKenzie
Last week one of the authors who I tagged as part of the “Next Best Thing Blog Hop” is my friend and fellow Blue Feather Books author, Renee MacKenzie. Renee is a fantastic author and I encourage you to check out her work at http://www.bluefeatherbooks.com. She is the author of “Confined Spaces” and “Flight.” I’m honored to have her here as a guest to discuss her recent release, “Flight.” Here’s Renee!
The next Big Thing Blog Hop 2012 by Renee MacKenzie
What is the title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I wrote a short story for a college literary magazine back in the late 90s based on the Hunter sisters and an abusive event with their cousin. I never felt like the story had closure, so a few years later I started to look at it as a longer work, eventually taking it in the direction of the novel.
What genre does your book fall under?
General lesbian fiction.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Of all the stories I’ve written, Flight is the one I would have the hardest time trying to match actors to characters. It’s been so long since I first started working on this story that the people I would have even considered at first would now be better off as parents. I would probably lean toward having up-and-coming actors play the roles.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
When the lives of two very different sisters collide, will they both survive the wreckage?
What is the longer synopsis of your book?
It’s 1983 and Kate Hunter is a student at a small, private college in Virginia. When Lana coaxes her onto the back of her beat-up scooter one night, Kate’s education starts to encompass more than just her pre-vet studies. Lana is secretive, but Kate accepts things as they are and gives Lana her space. When she feels the sting of betrayal, will she be able to continue giving Lana her privacy?
Kate’s sister April is a high school student playing with fire as she parties with her older boyfriend, Boyd. After finding someone overdosed the morning after a party, April grows weary of all the drugs and alcohol. Will she be able to convince Boyd that they should slow it down? Will she be able to pull it together before it’s too late?
Kate and April are forced to face up to events from their younger years, their mother’s desertion, and their long-deteriorating relationship with one another. Some lives will be lost and others changed forever when the sisters’ lives intersect. Will they be consumed by the wreckage, or will they be able to pick themselves up and take flight?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My book was published in October by Blue Feather Books.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Two years. I do a lot of editing as I write.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to write about a time before crack and AIDS. There was a kind of innocence before I became aware of the AIDS crisis (for me that was about 1983) and before drugs like crack became so prevalent. I know it’s weird to refer to April’s drug use as innocent, but it was so different back then. I would have to say that the biggest inspirations were Kate and April’s innocence and their dynamic as sisters.
I was also inspired by music, especially Joan Jett’s version of Crimson and Clover. When I was between Kate and April’s ages, first realizing that I was gay, I was a huge Joan Jett fan. One night, I drove around and drove around, listening to Crimson and Clover over and over, until I was able to look into the rear view mirror and say out loud that I was a lesbian. Then I found the woman I’d been interested in and seduced her.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Writing a book set in the 1980s provided quite a challenge for me because my memory pretty much sucks. I had to spend a lot of time researching the everyday details. Phones had just been deregulated, so there wasn’t a set price for pay phone calls. Then there were things like whether or not the back seat of a Gran Torino was large enough to have sex… Bench or bucket seats… Blackberries: berries or blossoms… Trying to remember what was inscribed on Quaaludes…