This is the first guest blog on my website. I’m happy to present news of Lisa Cocca’s debut YA novel. She is an awesome writer and person, and it’s gonna be a big thing indeed!

lisa coccaMy Next Big Thing is a global blog tour, started in Australia, to showcase authors and illustrators and their current work. I was tagged by Nancy Raines Day, the delightful author of Way Down Below Deep and my gracious hostess on this blog.

After I post answers to the Q & A, I will pass the blog on to authors Lizzie Friend, Beth Fehlbaum, and Elisa Nader, all fellow Merit Press authors, who will pick up the tour on August 1st.

What is the working title of your next book?
Providence, which will be published in March 2014.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Some years ago I saw a piece on the news about a young girl who found an abandoned baby on the roof of her apartment building. She immediately went to her mother, who called the authorities. When they interviewed the little girl, she was disappointed to learn they couldn’t keep the baby. It seemed simple to her – the baby needed a family and a home, and she and her mom were a family with a home.
The news story started me thinking about how many people would instinctively want to care for an infant in need and about how many babies are still being abandoned in unsafe places despite our nation’s safe haven laws. This was the seed from which my story blossomed.

In what genre does your book fall?
It’s contemporary realistic fiction.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A resourceful teenage runaway finds an abandoned newborn in a boxcar and both of their lives are forever changed.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Anyone capable of showing Becky’s unique blend of strength, gentleness, and vulnerability would be fine with me.

Who is publishing your book?
Merit Press Books, a new Young Adult imprint spearheaded by best-selling author Jacquelyn Mitchard.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I honestly don’t remember. I wrote and revised this many times. My first draft of anything often looks like someone else’s outline. I get the main points down and then go back and fill it in.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?The Secret Life of Bees cover This question sent me into a tizzy when my publisher asked this. My agent said it reminds her of Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I actually don’t wait for inspiration to hit me over the head. I just sit down and write.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Although most of us will never face the challenges Becky does in the book, I think readers will relate to the big picture situation. Like Becky and the people she meets, our lives interlock with those around us like a giant jigsaw puzzle. The picture would not be complete without our little piece of it.