I’ve been tagged in the Next Big Thing by the super talented Ray Cluley whose work has been published just about everywhere. My fave thing by him this year is “Shark! Shark!” which appeared in Black Static 29 and is on the HWA’s Stoker Reading List for 2012.
Here are my answers:
1) What is the working title of your project? It’s a short story called “Rag and Bone” that I’ve recently finished and sent off for judgement.
2) Where did the idea come from for the story? I remember rag and bone men from my childhood, although they’re now making a bit of a comeback, albeit in vans rather than with horses and carts. And I’m a child of the 1970s, so have fond memories of “Steptoe and Son”. The name, rag and bone man, always sounded sinister to me.
3) What genre does your book fall under? Alternative history.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? This is going to sound cryptic but I can’t tell you who’d play the main character. You’ll see why if it ever gets published. What I would say is that it would be filmed in Liverpool (see below).
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A rag and bone man risks revealing his secret when he gets involved with an industrialist’s search for body parts, set against the backdrop of a pseudo-Victorian Liverpool.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? It’s currently with someone awaiting a decision, so I’ve got everything crossed.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? All my first drafts take weeks as I write stories piecemeal and then patch them together. It’s not a terribly efficient way of working but the joy is that a complete story often emerges from what I think are a pile of scraps.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? That’s a tough question- if I’m lucky enough to get this published and anyone reads it, let me know if you draw any comparisons.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book? Liverpool, where I was a student. I now live across the Mersey, on the Wirral. Liverpool is beautiful- it has the highest number of listed buildings in the UK outside London. It wears its history on its sleeve- shipping, the docks, trade unionism, the ugliness of its involvement in the slave trade, its mansions, terraces, art galleries, museums, universities, stadiums, hospitals and pubs.
There are plans to redevelop the waterfront, which are contentious as they may result in the city losing its World Heritage Site status but will create jobs. It set me thinking about an alternative Liverpool still rooted in its industrial past, where its people live in squalor and the merchant princes are all powerful and have access to modern technology. Once I put this together with what I had planned for the rag and bone man, I started to imagine him walking around the city and that’s when he came alive for me.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest? It’s a story about identity and what people have to do to survive.
I’m handing the baton on to four other authors, whose answers to the above questions on their latest project will be available on Wed 28th November 2012.
Ilan Lerman . Ilan is a wonderful writer and has a new story out in Black Static soon called “Love as Deep as Bones”.
Jo Hall, author and Chair of Bristol Con has had some very exciting news about her writing. New UK based publishers Kristell Ink, the fantasy and SF imprint of Holland House, have accepted her fantasy novel, “Art of Forgetting” and are planning to publish it over two volumes.
I’m a big fan of Georgina Bruce. After reading her stories, “Touch,Typing” in Dark Tales magazine and “Crow Voodoo” in Clockwork Phoenix Volume 4, I immediately emailed a friend saying, You’ve got to read this woman’s work, she’s the real deal.