The Next Big Thing – Raw Material
The idea of this is that a writer puts up a post on his or her own blog answering ten questions about his/her work in progress, and then “tags” three writers to do the same. Then, the writer posts a link to his/her “tagger” and to the people he/she is “tagging” so that readers who are interested can visit those pages and perhaps discover some new authors whose work they’d like to read.
I was tagged by Frances di Plino, author of Bad Moon Rising
Frances di Plino impresses me enormously with her take on crime, psychopathy and gender attitudes. Her view is balanced, mature and addresses violence as what it is. She’s also a damn good writer in control of her material.
The authors I have tagged in my turn appear at the bottom of this post.
What is the working title for your book?
Raw Material. The title was the hardest thing. Seriously, this book has undergone many redrafts, but the title remained elusive until I began thinking about the cover. The colours showed me the way.
Where did the idea come from for this book?
There’s a tiny kernel from a memory I can’t quite grasp. As a teenager, I read a book set in the Scilly Isles, in which a child is in the wrong place at the wrong time. That adventure triggered by accidental observation is at the root of one strand. The other – The Finsbury Park Flasher – just tumbled from my fingers as I sketched out the plot in my dentist’s waiting-room. Which is in no way a reflection on my dentist.
What genre does your book fall under?
Crime, but closer to Kate Atkinson than Karin Slaughter.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Undiscovered actors. I’d love to have the majority of the cast played by talented people who bring something fresh and unique to the part. As for Beatrice … I change my mind for every book.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
From deserted Pembrokeshire beaches to the shadowy underpasses of North London, Beatrice discovers protecting the vulnerable is far more difficult than it looks.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Both. I retain the English-speaking rights as an indie author, but I have an agent representing me for translation rights. I believe Beatrice has international appeal, despite, or possibly due to her classic Britishness.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
First draft, about four months. The edit, rewrite, redraft phase has taken another six. But as this is the second book in the series, many decisions had already been taken in book one, Behind Closed Doors.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
No particular books, but I’d point to particular European crime writers. Michael Dibdin, Donna Leon, Camilla Lackberg, Henning Mankell and Manuel Vázquez Montalbán are all authors who make great use of setting, culture and especially in the latter two, politics and food.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Pembrokeshire and the West Wales coast as depicted by artist John Knapp-Fisher. London boroughs and their distinct identities. And an urge to explore how the human mind is capable of performing appalling acts with the conviction that you are ‘doing the right thing.’
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Raw Material turns unfamiliar stones and shines a light on parts of our world we rarely consider. But much more importantly, it’s got a car chase.
Raw Material comes out in ebook and paperback on 1st December, via Triskele Books.
The writers I’m very proudly tagging are:
Richard Wright, who has been writing strange, dark fictions for over a decade. Currently living with his wife and daughter in New Delhi, India, his stories have been widely published in the United Kingdom and USA. Most recently, his tales have been found in magazines and anthologies including World’s Collider, Dark Faith: Invocations, the Doctor Who collection Short Trips: Re:Collections, and the Iris Wildthyme anthology Wildthyme in Purple. He is the author of the novel Cuckoo, and the novella Hiram Grange and the Nymphs of Krakow. His apocalyptic new novel Thy Fearful Symmetry, bringing the end of the world to Glasgow, was released in August 2012.
Charlotte Otter, a South African writer living in Germany. An avid reader, she grew tired of crime fiction that centred on the mutilated bodies of beautiful young women and set out to write a novel that didn’t. Her first book, Balthasar’s Gift, will be published by Argument Verlag mit Ariadne in Spring 2013. She is presently working on a second novel in the series, called Karkloof Blue.
Charlotte has been a crime reporter, corporate journalist and freelance writer and presently works in IT communications. She lives in Heidelberg with her husband, three children and a lot of books. www.charlotteotter.wordpress.com
Dan Holloway, who writes literary novels and performance poetry and would dearly love to be to literature what Tracey Emin is to art. He is also the MC of the spoken word show The New Libertines, and has just started an imprint for conceptual literature, 79 rat press. http://79ratpress.blogspot.co.uk