The Next Big Thing: My Work in Progress

Last week, friend and fellow writer Madalyn Morgan tagged me in her post ‘The Next Big Thing’. Click on Maddie’s article to read about her second novel Applause. This week, it’s my turn to answer questions about my current work in progress, so here goes:

What is the working title of your book?

Gorgito’s Ice-Rink

Where did the idea for the book come from?

I’ve been travelling to Russia and the former Soviet Union countries since the early 1990s. I wanted to write about my experiences, but found I can write fiction more effectively than memoir. Gorgito is based on someone I used to work with in Russia.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s essentially a quest novel but with an undercurrent of romance as well.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie of your book?

(Assuming that we’re looking at all actors, rather than ones who are the right age today) Gorgito would be played by Anthony Quinn (I see him as a sort of Russian Zorba); Emma would be played by Kate Winslet (playing her proper but ballsy); Yulia would be played by Jessica Ennis (whom I need to persuade to change careers); and Viktor would be played by Robert De Niro.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

A Georgian businessman struggles with bureaucracy, corruption and the weather in his attempt to build an Olympic-standard ice-rink, in order to bring home a young Russian skater who has gone to America to train — and in so doing, to make up for a promise he was unable to keep many years ago.

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

I will be seeking agency representation, but otherwise, I will publish via Chudleigh Phoenix Publications, where I currently publish my short story anthologies.

What other books would you compare the story to in your genre?

One obvious comparison would be with A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainianas I am aiming for the same light humour that Marina Lewycka achieves; but in terms of the quest, it is similar to Salmon Fishing in the Yemen in which Paul Torday shows different characters gradually being won over to the seemingly impossible dream.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript
I started writing it in 2006. I finished the main storyline this summer. I am currently writing two sections of back-story which involves a lot of research into 19960s Soviet Russia. I plan to be finished by the end of this year.

Who or what inspired you to write this book

I made some wonderful friends and had some great experiences in Russia. I wanted to make sure they weren’t lost.

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

It opens with a brief prologue set at Gorgito’s funeral in 2005, but chapter 1 then goes back to 1995. The reader knows from the start that the title character is going to die, but needs to read on to find out when, where, how — and whether he achieves his goal or not.


My final task is to tag the writers who will take on this set of questions next Wednesday. My list is still being assembled and will grow over the next few days. For now, I present to you:

Tina Burton (who doesn’t have her own blog, but will be guesting on here next week).

Maria Smith:
By Elizabeth Ducie

Elizabeth Ducie was a successful international manufacturing consultant, when she decided to give it all up and start telling lies for a living instead.

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