What is the working title of your next book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I’ve always been fascinated by the notion of ‘otherness’, and have explored this in both of my previous novels, Tourniquet and Cyber Circus. In Curtain Falls, I have shifted focus to the human psyche, in particular the fine lines between sanity and madness, good and evil, and even life and death. As a character-driven author, I really want to get under the skin of my characters. I’m trying to create one of those books with layers of meaning and interlinking themes. In terms of world building, I wanted to write a story set in Camden – one of my spiritual homes – and also dip into history via 1938 Berlin.
What genre does your book fall under?
I suspect Dark Fantasy. But I’m still not sure how much overt fantasy will be in the book, or if it will just verge on the weird.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Jonathan Ryes Myers usually features heavily as the face of a male lead – hell, why not? But this book is less of an exploration of the sensual and more heavily invested in our emotional baggage as human beings. Some of my characters are still a little freakish though, so a little CGI trickery might be required. For the diminutive Lil Honey, I’d opt for Elle Fanning. The German giant Ulbrecht would be played by Adrian Brody. Sam, my lead, an ex-tattooist and con newly released onto the streets of Camden is a role suited to Luke Goss aka balding vamp version as opposed to tooth-achingly pretty pop prince. I’d love to squeeze in parts for Eva Green, Taylor Momsen, Coco Rocha and Paz de la Huerta too – maybe I’ll write them specially!
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Wracked with guilt for killing his sister in self-defence, Sam Elvin commits suicide in The Showboat theatre – the catalyst for a fantastical journey through a warped Wild West, a Parisian Fairytale and Nazi Berlin, and all with Death on his tail.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Represented by Joe Monti of Barry Goldblatt Literary, NY
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I am currently working on the first draft. I research as I go and have been working on this story alongside a new YA for the past three months.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It’s a little Tales of the Unexpected and a little Quantum Leap. There is an urban fantasy feel in the vein of Mike Shevdon’s fantastic Sixty One Nails. There are also historical elements influenced by the classic horror stories of MR James, Susan Hill, and Edith Wharton.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My grandmother. She was a ballerina, appearing on stage all over Europe in the 1920s. I have wonderful photographs from that time, of my grandmother driving a beautiful big gangster car, sat outside coffee shops, and on stage in a line of dancing girls, and heard so many wonderful anecdotes about her preference for violinists, or burning her leg when stepping onto the wrong spot of a flaming trapdoor. Even more dramatic were her tales of escaping her marital home in Nazi-occupied Paris with three children under five. I’ve always treasured the amazing stories she told me and I wanted to write my own take on a cabaret/vaudeville theatre. I also wanted to write a ghost story.
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s going to be good. I promise.
For next week’s NEXT BIG THING I nominate: Ian Whates, Gareth L Powell, Charlotte Strong and Scott Faulkner.
Ian Whates currently has two published novel series, the Noise books from Solaris and the City of 100 Rows trilogy via Angry Robot. He has also seen some 45 of his short stories appear in a variety of venues, two of which have been shortlisted for BSFA awards and many of which are gathered in his second collection, Growing Pains, due from PS Publishing in March 2013. Ian served a term as Overseas Regional Director for SFWA (the Science Fiction Writers of America) and has chaired the BSFA (British Science Fiction Association) since 2008. In his spare time he runs award-wining independent publisher NewCon Press, which he founded quite by accident in 2006: www.newconpress.co.uk.
Catch up with Ian at www.ianwhates.co.uk
Gareth L Powell
Gareth L. Powell is the author of the novels Ack-Ack Macaque, The Recollection, and Silversands, and the short story collection, The Last Reef.
Gareth can be found over at www.garethlpowell.com/articles/
Charlotte Strong is a British fantasy writer, currently working on my first novel, and I’m represented by the John Jarrold Literary Agency. She has also been known to cook, bake, make jewellery, draw, rock climb and sword fight, but not all at once.
This is Charlotte’s blog: http://eslaya.is.wonky.org.uk/
Scott F. Falkner
Scott F. Falkner’s first book, the critically acclaimed “cult classic” horror novella “The Feast of Catchville” (2006) broke the publisher’s (Stone Garden Books) single month sales record. Falkner’s first novel, a paranormal suspense piece titled “Swaybuck” was also released in 2006.
The Dark Fantasy “Delving” trilogy saw the light of day in 2007 with the release of “Delving: Obligations.” It continued with “Delving: Assassins” in 2008.
2009 heralded the release of Falkner’s first collection: “Exile: The Collected Helman Graff,” as well as a Dark Fantasy Western entitled “Calvin Dyer and the Reatian Horde.”
The final volume of the Delving trilogy, “Delving: Culminations,” was released in 2011.
More info on Scott can be found here http://scottfalkner.wordpress.com/
I’m afraid I am coming in short at only 4 writers instead of 5. As I’m currently in hospital recovering from an operation, I haven’t had a chance to contact more writers. I hope the gods of this round robin will look kindly on me and forgive the shortfall.