Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Next Big Thing

THE NEXT BIG THING is a chain of book and author recommendations. The way it works is this, one author tags up to five others, who then each tag five others until the Elder Gods are satisfied that we are all hard at work telling their stories and you're all hard at work reading them. 

Stephen Bacon tagged me on his blog and now it's my turn.

1) What is the working title of your next book?
It doesn’t really have one, though I’ve referred to it as “Never Tear Us Apart” a few times (I’m a big INXS fan).

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
As with most of my projects, it’s been rattling around in my head for years and was originally two completely separate stories before they started to entwine with each other.  It deals with a lot of things that I’ve been exploring over the past few years - an out-of-season British seaside town, grief, ghosts and a haunted place.  And love, always love.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I haven’t thought about it, to be honest.  I very rarely do, for me the lead characters are more often than not me and my friends.  Though Isabel Mundy, in Conjure, was definitely Monica Bellucci and Saskia, in The Mill, was Esther Hall.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A couple of lost, lonely people try to connect at an out-of-season seaside town and there’s a house that eats people.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I haven’t even started it yet, though I can say with a good degree of certainty that it won’t be self-published.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
See the answer to question six.  If I’m looking at a full-length novel, the first draft would probably be written anywhere between six months and a year.  Hopefully quicker.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
There isn’t anything in particular that I’m using as a touchstone for this, to be honest, though that might change once I start writing.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
It was a desire to write another novel, to be honest.  I started publishing in the small press in 1999 and worked my way up from short stories to a novel (In The Rain With TheDead) and a short novel (Conjure) and then I hit a writers block that took me out of action for a couple of years.  Since then, I’ve been slowly getting back into things, publishing short stories and novelettes and working my way up to novellas (two are due from Pendragon Press next year).  The next logical step seemed to be another novel and I wanted to write something dark and personal and bleak and scary and now seemed as good a time as any.  I’ve stripped back the premise of my novelette The Mill and used the spine of that for this, plus added in a ghoulish landlord, a man who has ‘the gift’ and a house that’s always hungry.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
If you like haunted house stories, ghosts and frightening things, I would hope you’d like this.  If, like me, you have a thing about sad coastal towns, this could work for you and I hope the relationship angle would touch people too.

And now for the tagging... You can read their answers to the same questions on Wednesday 28th November.

Go for it, Andrew Murray, Neil Williams, Jay Eales, Steve Harris and David Price

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