So, some of you might have heard about the NEXT BIG THING author chain thang that’s going around. Andy Remic was kind enough to tag me so here goes:
1) What is the working title of your next book?
My next novel is provisionally titled ‘Steelhaven’, which is the name of the city in which the action takes place. We do have a real title for it, but since that’s not yet been released (it’s coming soon – very soon) I can’t say what it is.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
I’d wanted to write a chunky epic fantasy in the Game of the Thrones style for a while, though Steelhaven is probably more influenced by the kind of episodic TV series you find on HBO. I originally pitched it as David Gemmell’s Legend meets The Wire.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
I guess it’s firmly within the epic fantasy camp, but perhaps with a bit of heroic grittiness thrown in. My protagonists certainly aren’t averse to a spot of profanity.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Ooh, always a tough one, and I’ve got over half a dozen major players so I won’t go through them all. There’s a statuesque warrior priestess in there who’s influenced a bit by Charlize Theron and a bumbling wizard’s apprentice who I always see as young Brit actor Craig Roberts. For the rest you’ll just have to wait for the movie to be made!
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Stealing copy directly from the cover: ‘Welcome to Steelhaven… watch your back!’
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Steelhaven, the first of three books, will be published by Headline in hardback on 24th April 2013. My agent is the legendary John Jarrold.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
*checks dates on files* I wrote the first ten chapters between October 2010 and March 2011, then didn’t really do anything else with it until I received a pre-emptive deal for the trilogy in December 2011. I finished the first draft of the manuscript in June 2012. Between then and now it’s been through several edits, test reads and rewrites and is just about ready for typesetting. As you can see, that’s a bloody long time!
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’ve already mentioned George Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series, which is pretty much the current benchmark for epic fantasy, and David Gemmell, who I’m a big fan of. I’m also massively influenced by Joe Abercrombie with his realistic characters and dark humour, and Andy Remic with his uncompromising approach to character, plot and dialogue.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
As I mentioned, I’m as much inspired by TV and other media as I am by other novelists. I’ve always wanted to be a novelist, but my early influences were the comic 2000AD, with writer like Pat Mills and John Wagner, and the 80s adventure gamebooks of Joe Dever and Ian Livingstone. Over the years I’ve become a fan of all kinds of stories in all kids of media, and this series of novels is in some way inspired by all of them.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
How about I steal some more blurb straight off the back cover: ‘An unbalanced veteran, a disillusioned assassin, a hapless apprentice, a drunken swindler, a desperate thief… in times of crisis, you don’t get to choose your heroes.’
So there you go, that’s me up to date! Apparently I’ve now got to tag some other authors, so let’s see… how about Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Gav Thorpe, Guy Haley and Marc Aplin. Whether any of them will be bothered or not is a different story but it’s now out of my hands!!