I blame Simon Kurt Unsworth for this, a man whose Lovecraftian taste in shirts is only redeemed by the quality of his writing. Anyway, this seems to be a memey thing and I can never resist a memey thing, so here goes.
1. What’s the working title of your next book?
Next books, actually. Two novels I’m working on. The first is called Gunpowder Square and is a sort of thriller involving murder, corruption, the biggest robbery in history, dinosaurs, and gnomes. The second one is something I’ve been kicking at for years and only recently picked up again. It’s called Europe In Autumn and is set in a Balkanised Europe about seventy years from now. There are no gnomes in it. Also I want to do a sort of companion piece to my novella ‘The Push’ but that’s just lying about in bits at the moment.
2. Where did the idea for the book come from?
I’ve no idea where Gunpowder Square came from. The title’s the name of a square behind Fleet Street and I always liked the name. Europe In Autumn came from a whole bunch of places over a very long period of time and it’s already spun off one novella-in-waiting. It’s connected to another novel I want to write via a short story I wrote years and years ago.
3. What genre does the book fall under?
They’re both thrillery fantasy-y things, I guess. Don’t forget, one of them has gnomes in it. Go figure.
4. What actors would you have playing your characters in a movie rendition?
Beats the hell out of me. I have enough trouble remembering what all the characters are called without worrying about who’s going to play them.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Gunpowder Square would be: Ten years ago, nine people committed a robbery so large and so cunning that even their victims never knew it had happened. Now they’re being murdered, one by one.
Europe In Autumn would be: Beneath the surface of a Europe which is breaking up into smaller and smaller countries lies a secret that nations would kill for.
There. That’s nicely confusing, isn’t it?
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I still don’t have an agent and the books aren’t finished yet, so I don’t know. I’d like to see them published by a proper publisher, but I’m more than happy to do them as ebooks if push comes to shove. I’m fascinated by the possibilities and limits of epublishing.
7. How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I’ve been working on Gunpowder Square for a couple of months now and it’s about a third finished. I’ve been poking at Europe In Autumn for five or six years, maybe longer and it’s maybe two-thirds done. I’ll get back to you when they’re finished.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Gunpowder Square was definitely influenced by Michael Marshall Smith’s first three novels when I started out on it, but it’s drifted a bit since then. Europe In Autumn has more in common with Alan Furst’s espionage novels – at least that’s what I’m aiming for.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I need the money.
10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
I don’t know. I don’t usually write novels, so I suppose there might be some academic interest in seeing how completely I cock them up. They’ve got explosions, derring-do, some halfway decent gags. Gnomes. Lots of gnomes.