The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing – what is that I hear you ask? (Well I don’t, but let’s pretend). It’s a blog chain – writers answer a few questions about their next book, and then link to five other writers. Technically these should be people who haven’t been linked yet, but, ya know, I’m cheating a bit. *blows raspberry at rules*

So, on with the questions! Disclaimer: I may or may not have been entirely serious with the answers. Because I’m contrary like that.

1) What is the working title of your next book?

Fade to Black, which is the final title.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

Gah, hate this question! All over the place, like most of my ideas – a bit here, a bit there, then the ideas get together, start partying and gang up on me. If I told you the main inspiration you’d look at me funny.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Fantasy Noir. Possibly.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Ooh, now, see I can play this game all day. I’ve got a picture of Christian Bale with one eyebrow raised, like he’s questioning the world (very Rojan!) but he’s not quite right. Maybe Adam Beach.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Bladerunner, only with mages instead of replicants. Yes, I know that’s not a synopsis. But it’s what you’re getting.

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

It’s represented by my lovely agent, Alex Field, and will be published by Orbit books in February 2013.

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

It was initially a NaNo book (my one and only time up till this month). The first 20k came out in one mad weekend. I made the 50k by the end of the month and then went back to other projects. It sat on my hard drive for a while (bar the occasional tinker) until I decided I really ought to do something with it at the start of last year, and it took another month to finish the first draft. All told, it took five months writing time to get it finished and ready to send out.

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

It’s a bit Harry Dresden, but then again it’s a bit Sandman Slim too, with a soupçon of Perdido Street Station for good measure.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Didn’t we cover this in question 2? Anyway, for the atmosphere, I very much had Bladerunner and Sin City in mind. I wanted to write something different to anything I’d done before, something dark.

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

Hmmm. Well, the magic system is based on pain. Want to play with magic? Dislocating a thumb works well for smaller spells, although Rojan thinks this is a bloody stupid way to get his “juice”. Hence he doesn’t use his magic very often. Until he has to.

Rojan was hellishly fun to write too – he’s your natural sarcastic bastard, on the outside at least. So he and I got to unleash our inner snark. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

And on to the linkies:

First up, Benedict Jacka, whose Alex Verus series is WELL worth a read for anyone into UF. Seriously – go buy one.

Then the estimable Sara Townsend, who likes a bit of the horrors. So does Luke Walker (yes, we call him Sky, bless his heart)

And for my cheats, I’m going with Anne Lyle (cos she writes some pretty great historical fantasy and obviously has waaay more patience with research than I do) and Tom Pollock (who is fearsomely smart. Fearsomely, and also bloody good at the writing malarky)