My friend Australian poet Vanessa Page tagged me to participate in The Next Big Thing, a blogging project which invites writers to self-interview about their next project. I’ve not talked too much about the content of my novel, so here’s your chance to get an insight into what I was doing in 2012.
What is the title of your book?
It has a working title but I’m worried gives the twist away so I need to come up with a new one. So I’m not telling!
What genre does your book fall under?
It’s a supernatural thriller.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Joanna Foster becomes obsessed with discovering who murdered her best friend Beth while they were on a couples’ holiday in Amsterdam and stumbles across a hidden world of demonic possession.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
My partner and I went on a Red Light District Walking Tour in Amsterdam and met a couple from Liverpool who were celebrating their anniversary. We took them to a coffee shop and a joint or so later the wife suddenly wanted to leave. We bumped into them randomly the next day and found out she’d got paranoid that we were perverts or serial killers, which I found hilarious. The idea for the book spun off that ‘what if’….
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
About three months.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I was struggling with a technically complicated screenplay that made my brain hurt. It was no fun at all, just hard, so I longed to do something where I could just have fun with ideas, instead of spending all my time doing intricate plotting. I’d been nursing this concept for a while and it seemed like it would be fun to work on. It was!
Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?
I’ve pitched it to an agent who said I can submit to her, which I’ll do once I’ve finished the re-write. If I can’t get representation, I intend to explore self-publishing. I think I’ll learn more from having readers than having it languish on my hard drive.
What other books would you compare this book to within your genre?
I loved Dean Koontz books when I was younger and I have them in mind when I write, as well as Stephen King novels. But I wouldn’t dream of comparing myself to either of them at this early stage! It’s also a bit raunchier than their novels. Jackie Collins meets Dean Koontz, shall we say?
What actors would you choose to play the characters in a movie rendition?
Funnily enough, I haven’t thought about this, despite my love of the cinema. I always think of the Chancellor, George Osborne, when I’m writing one nasty little character.
For the two couples: perhaps Charlize Theron and Hugh Jackman for Joanna and Dennis Foster. And Ruth Jones and Idris Elba for Beth Goodman and Graeme Rickard.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s largely set in South London: Brixton, Camberwell and Dulwich all feature prominently so locals will recognise some places and local colour. The demonic possession element centres on succubi and incubi – demons that use humans for sexual gratification. A lot of that mythology is to do with our fears about sex and I play with that in the novel.