The ‘Next Best Thing’ Challenge

Published July 5, 2012 by Jennifer Elizabeth

Today, I was tagged in a blog hop called “The Next Best Thing” (TNBT) by an amazing woman and fellow writing friend, Cathy Givans.  When I first saw this tag I thought, “Oh God. Not another one.” HA!

However, I soon remembered that I did indeed write my first children’s story a few weeks ago (although I have yet to go back and edit it). Now, it is still very rough.  So, please stay with me here.

OK, future participants, here is what you do:

  1. Answer the ten TNBT questions listed below about your current WIP.
  2. Tag five other writers and link to their blogs so we can hop over and read their answers!

Here are my responses:

1. What is the title of your book/WIP?

Ivan Terrible and a ‘Shocking’ Lesson

2. Where did the idea for the book come from?

When my oldest son, Noah, was 3, my husband created a silly character named Ivan Terrible (pronounced Terry-ble), and he told Noah these bizarre stories about Ivan and his family.  Think, Lemony Snicket meets Little Critter and you will get a fairly decent mental picture of the types of stories he told.   Well, my son Noah has a silly sense of humor, like that of my husband, and they both groveled in unhappy endings for this poor Ivan.

But, I felt there could still be a bazaar factor, minus the whole unhappy ending, if an actual story was developed. I wanted to see these characters come to life, but didn’t want to freak out any sensitive kids!

And so, with constant encouragement from my mom and my husband to write a story based on my two little boys, I decided to give it a go.  Ivan’s character is inspired by my son, Noah. Ivan’s little brother, Ben, is inspired by my youngest, Casey.

3. What genre would your book fall under?

Children’s books, ages 5-8 is my gut estimate…but this could change.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh goodness.  I’d have a hard time choosing children actors to play my kids, LOL!  I honestly have not given this any thought.  I’m at a loss and my brain has stopped working…I will have to think on this one. 😉

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Ivan’s mom returns home from grocery shopping, revealing all of Ivan’s favorite snack foods; however, despite his looking forward to enjoying these snacks in peace, poor Ivan is plagued with constant interruptions from his little brother Ben who loves to ‘share’ Ivan’s food.

6. Is your book published or represented?

Perhaps one day 😉  But for now, I have only just begun.

7. How long did it take you to write?

Roughly 2 hours

8. What other books within your genre would you compare it to?

Mercer Mayer’s series, Little Critter

Jonathan London’s Froggy books

9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?

Most definitely Mercer Mayer.  My son, Noah, LOVES his books and so do I!

10. Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in your book.

Well, it has a great one-liner at the end, which actually came out of my son, Noah’s mouth!  …out of the mouth of babes…these little ones can be quite inspiring! 😉

Now for part B! Tag! You’re it!

Maryellen Brady
Raewyn Hewitt

Audrey D. Wilkerson

Ella Medler

Karen Einsel


7 comments on “The ‘Next Best Thing’ Challenge

    • Oh Audrey I feel your pain! I am in the same boat with my YA story–SO, I decided to use a very short story, LOL, my children’s story! 🙂 As for author friends, I again, can relate! If you can’t tag anyone, don’t worry about it! I believe the whole idea is to just get you thinking about your story–and if you don’t have all the answers, just say so 🙂 There’s no judging here!

  • I think the best children’s stories come from a place of fun and wonder – like you obviously have in your family. A great idea – all children with siblings can relate to that sort of ‘help’.

    I’m in the same boat as the rest of us with tagging others, but in the spirit of it, have had a go at the questions.

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