The Next Big Thing

The excellent Stephen Gallagher, novelist and screenwriter, asked me to participate in this. It’s a blog hop, or a blog tour, or whatever else you want to call it. You answer ten questions about your Next Big Thing, then tag five authors to do the same, on and on… and the last man standing wins. I think. (Well, that’s clearly not going to be me, and though I may not have tagged my quota of authors, bear in mind that those so tagged have a force equal to any five other authors. And don’t argue, this has been proved.)

1) What is the working title of your next book?

The next book is a surreal detective novel called Hotel Badhouse. But the book I’m currently trying to flog, and which I’ll be talking about here, is called Godhunter.

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

I noticed a book on my wife’s shelves called Ghost Hunters. Pretty common phrase, but in this instance it sparked off some ideas. I then upped the ante, combined it with a concept from an early short story… et voilà.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

It’s a thriller with a political/manhunt theme and a fantasy premise. It gets pretty weird towards the end.

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

That’s a question. The hero is a fairly ordinary-looking guy, but the actor would also have to play his double, who’s incredibly beautiful and charismatic but looks exactly the same. The heroine is spiky and ill-tempered and swears in a Hungarian accent. While the bad guy goes from annoying surfer-dude to besuited corporate lackey. He’s probably the cream of the bunch, comical and irritating and occasionally genuinely nasty. Mr Jackman, Ms Foster, Mr Craig, Mr Depp, get in line for your auditions. No promises, mind.

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

No more fossil fuels, but churches and other sacred spots prove a source of usable energy – unfortunately, that energy turns out to have a will all of its own.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’m looking for representation. Any offers…?

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

Difficult to say, as I wrote it in fits and starts, eventually revising early sections while still working towards the ending. It’s an episodic piece, so it lent itself quite well to this. But I can say the first section was written sitting under a statue of Joe DiMaggio about two years back. After that, nothing happened for a long time. And I still don’t understand baseball.

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

The Deighton of The Ipcress File marries the Gaiman of American Gods. They have a child and name it Godhunter.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

See (2) above.

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

If I’ve done it properly, it should be a lot of fun, with a few serious ideas thrown in for good measure. Engaging characters, action, humour, and a whole bunch of international settings. And maybe a sequel in the offing.

And I’m tagging the following. Check them out:

Susanna Jones grew up in Yorkshire but has spent much of her adult life in foreign parts, notably Turkey and Japan. Her novels have a creepy trick of picking out the strangeness in daily life, as if her characters were not merely alien to the culture they inhabit, but to the world itself.

Alison Littlewood caused a sensation with her first novel, A Cold Season, but those familiar with her short stories would have expected nothing less. Here is someone who can take genre tropes and make them real again, and very, very relevant.

 Thana Niveau “lives in a crumbling gothic tower in Wicker Man country,” which may explain a few things. Her new book is called From Hell to Eternity, and she has what may well be the scariest website on the net.


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