The Next Big Thing Blog Tour

The Next Big Thing is an author blog tour. What’s a blog tour? A blog tour gives those on the tour a chance to meet different authors by way of their blogs. The Next Big Thing began in Australia. Each week a different author answers specific questions about his or her upcoming book. The answers are posted on authors’s blogs. Then we get to tag another author. On and on it goes. I wouldn’t be surprised if The Next Big Thing went around the world a couple of times.

Right now the tour is in Oregon. I was tagged by my friend Pamela Smith Hill. She was tagged by our friend Judy Cox. I’m going to move the tour to the other side of the country. I’ll tell you whom I’m tagging at the end.

Now for the questions.

What is the working title of your next book?

I’d say it’s more than a working title since the book is scheduled to come out this spring. At this point I’d better not be making any changes. The title is Little Red Hot. It’s one of my fractured fairy tales set in Texas. I love writing these. They’re so much fun!

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Not a lot of brain work here. I took Little Red Riding Hood down to Texas. With a twist. Little Red Hot loves hot and spicy food. Bring on the hot peppers! When she hears that her grandmother is ill, she makes a hot pepper pie just for her. The pie was so hot, Little Red Hot didn’t have to turn on the oven. That pie baked itself. I had a lot of fun researching which peppers were the hottest in the world and putting them all in the pie. That wolf’s gonna get a surprise when he shows up!

What genre does your book fall under?

I don’t worry about that too much. I leave it to the librarians to work it out. My job is to tell a good story. That’s more important than worrying what category to put the book in. I’d say “Picture Books” if I have to give an answer. That’s broad enough to cover everything. Some might say “Folktales.” I think that’s stretching it a bit.

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

Ha! I should only have that problem! How about Jennifer Lawrence as Little Red Hot? She’s pretty hot herself. I loved her in Winter’s Bone. Grandma could be Irene Ryan, who played Granny in The Beverly Hillbillies. How about Sean Penn for Señor Lobo, the wolf? And Tom Cruise for the sheriff because I like Tom Cruise.

Who is publishing your book?

Amazon Children’s Publishing. It’s going to be available as a book and as a Kindle ebook. Here’s a link where you can check it out and even order it when it’s released on February 26th. Click HERE.

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

Not long. Maybe an afternoon. The hard part was figuring out the twist. What could I do to make the story more fun than a straight version of Little Red Riding Hood? The rest was easy once I figured that out. All I had to do was sit down and write it.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My editor at Amazon, Margery Cuyler, wanted me to do another Texas tale. I’ve done several so far and they’ve all done well. I’d just finished The Three Little Tamales, which is The Three Little Pigs gone to Texas. I asked myself, “What’s another well-known story that I haven’t done.” Little Red Riding Hood popped into my head. You might say that I saddled up and rode it to the end of the trail.

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

The peppers I mention in the book are real. And dangerous. You absolutely have to handle them with rubber gloves. When I wrote the story the hottest pepper in the world was the Naga Jolokia. Since then, there’s an even hotter pepper, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion. We could have changed the text. The problem was that Laura Huliska-Beith had already finished the artwork and Trinidad Moruga Scorpions don’t look anything like Naga Jolokias. So we left it the way it was, adding only that the Naga Jolokia pepper is ONE of the hottest peppers in the world. Botanist are always coming up with hotter peppers. I suspect there will be a new champion by next year.

Pam tells me I can tag more than one author. For now I’m tagging Nina Laden. Click HERE to link to her blog.

Meanwhile, check out Pam’s blog from last week at

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