You may be aware of The Next Big Thing blog tour which has been making its merry way around the globe this past few months. If you’re not, in a nutshell one author answers a set series of questions about their work, then nominates other authors to do the same thing, who in turn pass it on…. you get the idea.
Well, the talented and Kind Kelly Inglis tagged me in her own answers last time, and I’m honoured to take the time to answer my own….
What is the working title of your next book?
“Europa”. I try to give my stories a title as soon as possible. Names have a certain power, and one facet of that power is to give the named thing a personality.
With this story, though, Europa was just a working title until something more solid came along. But it’s been called that so long now that’s how I think of it, so there’s every chance it will stick.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
From my interest in Napoleonic era Europe. The whole of the 19th century is mixture of wonder and enlightenment. Leaps in scientific understanding coexisted in a world still mostly unknown to even the most worldly of men, where the existence of lost animals and even fabled lands were still widely accepted as a given.
It was also a time of almost unbelievable feats of heroism. If Nelson’s tactics to destroy the French fleet at the Nile were written in a fiction novel it would be laughed off as too fantastical. The possibilities of stories set in such a time are breathtaking
What genre does your book fall under?
Steampunk….or fantasy. I’m not sure. Which genre sells more? That one.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Oooh, not easy. The characters are still finding themselves but I suppose Michael Fassbender is a shoe in. The guy is just ridiculously talented. And Tom Hardy for sheer physical presence. Cilian Muprhy is the perfect villain. And no one does a strong female lead like Ellen Page…. Did I just list the Inception cast with Michael Fassbender? Wow, that film would have rocked.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
“I am more than my country.”
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’ll be going the traditional route and heading out to find a publisher. Having someone else deal with the business end allows the writers to focus on the writing.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I’m at the six month mark at the moment, but that’s with losing current versions and backups twice through a stolen laptop and a lost USB stick (tip to writers – triple back up your work!).
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Richard Harland’s World Shaker and Felix Gilman’s Thunderer. Harland’s work is solid, no nonsense steampunk, and perhaps the finest example of the genre straight up. While in Gilman’s Thunderer, the technology aspect is a sideshow to the left of field story it takes.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Believe it or not, my children. Growing up I had been a voracious reader, and dabbled in some short stories for my college magazine, but the best novels, the Pratchetts and Rices, the Tolkeins and Atwoods, transported me so fully into their worlds… novels were a kind of magic mere mortals like me would never attain.
So I forgot about the idea and just got on with life and books.
When I learned I would be a father, though, I wanted to be more than just a father to my boys. I want to show them that they can do whatever they want if they work hard enough at it.
It was my boys who gave me the inspiration and the courage to write. And I make sure I give them an extra hug at bedtime each night for that.
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
If you ever read a history on Napoleonic warfare and thought the only thing which could make it more awesome were bloody great steam tanks, I have some good news for you….
And that’s me! Hope you enjoyed! And passing on the baton, I’m tagging three up and coming writers whose work I’ve very much enjoyed. Assemble: Jonathan Peace, Beattie Alverez and Nandita Chakraborty.