The Next Big Thing is a series of networked blogs in which writers showcase and promote their latest works. I was very happy to be nominated by the wonderfully talented Carole Johnstone.
1) What is the working title of your next book?
For a long time, the working title for this book was The Silver Sea but I changed it last year to The Door in the Sky (for a number of reasons too numerous to go into here). I love both titles, but have decided to stick with the original one, The Silver Sea. I think as this is primarily a mystery novel it certainly lends the book an air of intrigue.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
My first published book, The Hotel Galileo, was a whodunit in the tradition of Agatha Christie - except that it was set in space. Around the same time I imagined a Victorian detective thriller where the main character finds himself trapped in an alternate reality. I saw it as a steampunk adventure but with a dark, supernatural bent. I also knew that it would be a three-or-four book series with an over-arching story.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
I don’t like to make things easy. I would describe this book as predominantly a detective mystery with a large dash of H.P Lovecraft and H.G. Wells thrown in. There’s horror, romance, science fiction, action and suspense. All you could want from a novel, really. It’s a genre mash-up!
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
When I was younger I was always imagining different actors or actresses playing my characters but reading this question now has made me realise that I don’t do it anymore. Not sure why.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A brilliant detective finds himself trapped in another world far from home, and the only man who can help him find his way back is the killer he is trying to stop . . .
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Steve Upham of Screaming Dreams has already produced some amazing cover artwork for this book. If things work out, I am hoping to publish this book independently.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
The first draft took around four or five months and it almost wrote itself! This story had been alive in my head for so long that putting it down on paper was like an act of auto-writing. It’s gone through some revisions since but the main plot of the first draft is still there. This truly is a labour of love. I hope readers enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it!
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
George Mann’s "Newbury and Hobbes" series.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
H.G. Well is my main inspiration. I love all of his works. I remember reading his short stories years ago and, despite their age, they really fired my imagination. Part of my thrust for writing this book was asking the question, “What kind of story would Wells have written about alternate realities?”
10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest
The Silver Sea is the first volume in a three-part series entitled "The Darknoll Chronicles". Each volume is a standalone adventure, but the over-arching story is about one man’s attempts to find his way home, back to the woman he loves. Volume Two, City of Illusion, is well under way and I cannot wait to write Volume Three, The Oblivion Gate. I know exactly how it all ends and I hope readers will find it exciting, thrilling and ultimately a bit of a heart-breaker. In a good way.
For next week (Wednesday 28th Nov), I nominate the following writers:
Thank you for reading.