The Next Big Thing

Posted by on December 5, 2012 in jane madison series, memes | 3 comments

First off – thanks to Carol Berg, who tagged me in the Next Big Thing!  (If you haven’t read Carol’s lush epic fantasies, you should add them to your bookshelves now.  Today.  Go.  I’ll be waiting here for you!)  On to the Next Big Thing…

What is the working title of your next book?
The Single Witch’s Survival Guide, the fourth book in the Jane Madison Series.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
The last Jane Madison book came out about four years ago, and I still receive email every week asking me when I’m going to tell the next chapter in my librarian witch’s story.  I’ve known for a long time that Jane opens up a magicarium, a school for witches, but I haven’t been certain how I wanted to tell that story.  Perhaps I would write a series for young adults, focusing on the students in the school?  Or maybe I would write a spin-off series, presenting the tales of individual instructors?

Then, one night, I sat down and looked at my core characters – Jane and David (and Neko and Melissa and Gran and Clara, of course.)  I realized that there were lots of things left to say about their lives.  I poked, and I prodded, and I actually wrote up an outline…  and Survival Guide was born.

What genre does your book fall under?
Paranormal chick-lit.  Or chick-lit paranormal.  You know, something like that.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I am so not good at this.  For one thing, I’ve lived with Jane and David for over a decade, and the movie stars that were perfect when they first came into my life aren’t so perfect now…

My original description of Jane, for the art department, was “Marcia Cross, in a candid photo taken outside a Starbucks” (and I had a paparazzi photo to help.)  And my original casting for David was Jon Hamm.

But now?  I’m not so sure.  Jane is younger than Marcia is now.  And David has a bit of Jim Caviezel blended in…

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When Jane Madison launches a school for witches, she thinks she’ll be able to tackle big new witchy projects (climate change, anyone?), but she soon discovers that magic is a lot more complicated than she ever imagined it could be.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
The Single Witch’s Survival Guide is my first novel that will be completely self-published.  It will be available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other e-book venues.

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

I’m working on it now.  I outlined the novel back in October, but Life intervened to keep me from finishing as quickly as I would have liked.  My current plan is to have the book available online by no later than Valentine’s Day.

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

Of course, Survival Guide will be similar to my own Jane Madison Series, my vampire novel, Fright Court, and my As You Wish Series.  As for other books in the genre…  Jane’s story feels a bit like Julie Kenner’s demon-fighting soccer Mom and Mary Janice Davidson’s Queen Betsy books.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I have always enjoyed Jane, as a break from some of the grimmer, more depressing stories that I write.  After drafting a novel about school bullying, I just had to turn back to Jane’s crazy life!

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

It’s a Mindy Klasky light paranormal. That means that it’s certain to include fine food, sophisticated humor, and a quote or two from Shakespeare.  (You can read samples of the other Jane Madison books on my website –

So that’s it.  The Next Big Thing.  It’s all over now, except for the tagging.  And I’m reaching out to the following authors:

Kimberly Kincaid – one of my “sisters” in Washington Romance Writers.

Carmen Webster Buxton – one of my colleagues from the Writers Group From Hell.

James A. Burton – a fellow SFNovelists.

Anyone else who wants to play along!


  1. Oh, I loved reading about all you’ve got coming up, Mindy! Light paranormal is so much fun (and I am a sucker for both food and Shakespeare!)

    I don’t have working titles for either my full-length single-title WIP or my novella WIP, which is in the infancy stages right now (so much possibility!) My full-length novel is a continuation of my Pine Mountain series, which will release from Kensington next winter. I’ve always had the seeds for that hero swirling around in my head, and always knew who his heroine would be, but my CPs really helped me cement the plotline at a writer’s retreat we did last year.

    My genre is contemporary, specifically foodie contemporary, where the characters are chefs or work in the restaurant/food industry. The heroine in my novella is a personal chef– the kind who comes to your home and pairs cooking lessons with your food if you like, or just cooks for you if that’s more your speed. I’m a proud Kensington author!

    I’m blessed in that most of the time, I write quickly. Usually a full length novel takes me about four, maybe five months, and a novella two-ish. I just started this novella yesterday (I told you, it’s a baby!), so we’ll see how long it takes! But with time off for the holidays, maybe we should count the next one 😉

    My foodie writing idols are Louisa Edwards and Amanda Usen, and I think my work falls at a good comparison with theirs in terms of content/general idea. It’s hard to compare myself to other writers– there are so many good ones to choose from! Also Donna Kauffman and Susan Mallery, who use food themes in their contemporaries as well.

    Why, food inspired me, of course! Seriously, where i come from (close-knit families on both sides) food is love. I couldn’t see myself writing love stories without some form of food woven in as a theme. It’s so evocative, so deep and wonderful…I just love the way it inspires me.

    I think my stories pique interest through their use of humor too– life is often really funny, and we all need a dose of that in our lives. Food, humor and true love…it’s the trifecta of romance novel goodness!

    Thanks for letting me play, Mindy!

    • Thanks for playing along, Kimberly! It’s always fun to read about another food-inspired author’s work!

  2. I am so excited for this next installment of the Jane Madison books! They are really some of my favorite. While I love any book that’s able to pull in magic, I’ve always read YA paranormal books, and it’s very exciting that so many more authors are writing about the paranormal now that I’m getting older. Maybe I’m just discovering them. But your book was the first in the paranormal chick-lit genre that I read and I want to thank you for opening up a whole new world of literature to me. I can’t wait for the Survival Guide and for the next Fright Court book (fingers crossed).