• The Next Big Thing

    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 – or five, depending on which version you see – other 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 John Hudspith, http://www.johnhudspith.co.uk author of Kimi’s Secret. ‘With a deformed hand, an affection for animal skulls, and a soft spot for Marmite, Kimi always knew she was different - but never how much until she’s thrown into the supernatural dimension of Heart, given powers beyond comprehension, a mission to alter the past, and a secret which must never be revealed.’

    What is the working title for your book?

    A Puff of Madness

    Where did the idea come from for this book?

    The idea came from a documentary shown a few years ago about twin sisters who tried to commit suicide by jumping from a motorway bridge. Neither succeeded, and the reasons for their behaviour were never explained. I thought it would make a great jumping off point for a novel.

    What genre does your book fall under?

    A crime thriller

    Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

    It’s a peculiarly British novel, but with a French twist! Choosing actors is a tough call, but I think Rupert Penry-Jones (Spooks, Whitechapel) would make a fantastic Ruben Quinn (the main character), with Robert Glenister as the world-weary police inspector, David Miller. Across the channel, Marcel Bernard, an investigating magistrate, bears more than a passing resemblance in my head to Philippe Duclos, who plays, funnily enough, a magistrate in the superb French TV series ‘Spiral’. Quinn’s psychologist sidekick would be a perfect role for Lenora Crichlow (Being Human).

    What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

    When psychiatrist Ruben Quinn is called in to assess the mental health of a young woman in custody, he is thrown into a tangle of murder, corruption and conspiracy spanning three decades - and a shocking secret that some will go to any lengths to preserve.

    Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

    It’s too early to say at this stage – I have been lucky enough to have my fantasy trilogy published by Wild Wolf Publishing, but this is a new departure, and right now I’m just enjoying the process of writing.

    How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

    I’ve been working on the novel for around six months, and anticipate completing the first draft by early 2013.

    What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

    I suppose it could be described as Val McDermid meets Dan Brown – but that is probably doing both authors a disservice!

    Who or what inspired you to write this book?

    As a working psychologist, there is always an element of that in my writing, and I wanted to create a character with a profession I feel confident to explore. I also adore good crime novels – I started as a small child reading big print versions of Sherlock Holmes and have been hooked on crime ever since. Currently my favourite crime writers are Val McDermid and Colin Dexter, and some great upcoming new writers – JJ Marsh, Gillian Hamer and Frances Di Plino.

    What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

    Because my main character is a psychiatrist rather than a policeman, the plot unfolds from a different perspective to that of the police procedural novel. I’m hoping Quinn’s viewpoint gives readers a new slant on the developing investigation – especially as the law and the medical profession don’t always see eye to eye!

    Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

    I’ve included a link to John Hudspith above, who tagged me – thanks John! His Young Adult novel, Kimi’s Secret, is a great read, even for a rather old young adult like me! I’ve known John through all the trials and tribulations of drafting, submitting and finally publishing our respective novels, and he is one of those rare, generous people who gives his time, support and expertise at the drop of a hat.

    As this is titled ‘The next Big Thing’, I have chosen just two writers who are about to publish their debut novels.

    The first is Sheila Bugler. Sheila is an Irish crime writer living in London. She writes novels and short stories. Her work has been shortlisted for a number of awards, including the Harry Bowling Prize for new writing and the Yeovil Literary Prize. She is represented by Svetlana Pironko of Author Rights Agency. Earlier this year, Sheila signed a two-book deal with the O'Brien Press and her first novel will be published under their Brandon Books imprint in 2013. website: http://www.sheilabugler.com/

    My second choice is Jasper Dorgan. Jasper’s debut novel, The Open Arms of the Sea, is due to be published under the Triskele Books imprint. You can read more at www.jasperdorgan.com and on Jasper’s blog, http://www.jasperdorgan.com/blog/ He is also on Goodreads: http://www.jasperdorgan.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=255&action=edit

    I know I should have a third tag – I’ll post another here shortly – there are so many great novels coming through these days it’s almost impossible to make a choice!

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