Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Next Big Thing blog hop

The Next Big Thing blog hop has been proliferating over the internet like a measles epidemic lately and now it’s my turn to be suckered... oops, I mean tagged, by fellow British author Sharon M Bidwell. Thank, Sharon. I think.  Heh.

The questions are all aimed at discussing my latest work in progress, but I tend to prefer not to say too much about projects while I'm working on them. Partly this is to avoid tempting fate - gabble on endlessly about how exciting it all is and you can almost guarantee I grind to a sticky halt a few days later. Partly it’s also a little more selfish than that - the novel I’ve just started work on is rather unique and I’m reluctant to spill the beans too soon in case someone else nabs the idea! So, I’ve cheated. I’m going to talk about a novella I finished a couple of years ago instead. It’s not a complete cheat, mind you, since I have yet to find a publisher for the book, and in any case I suspect it needs more work. Which, um, makes it a work in progress, doesn’t it?

So, on with the questions:

What is the working title of your book?
"Got Ghosts?" after the name of the television programme featured in the book, where a film crew investigate a haunted house over a single weekend.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Watching some of those awful daytime tv programmes about haunted places, almost all of which are formulaic, filled with manufactured tension, histrionic mediums and screaming presenters, and obviously faked for the cameras.

What genre does your book fall under?
Paranormal comedy romance, with roughly equal parts paranormal and comedy, and a little romance on the side. It's a weird mix, but someone has to do it!

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
This question seems to be flavour of the month but it's a tricky one to answer, for me at any rate. I don't write my characters with specific actors in mind, and trying to match one to t'other afterwards isn't easy. There are plenty of actors who are good enough to take on the roles, of course, but nobody who really looks and 'feels' exactly like what I had in mind. If I had to choose, though, I'd say that Ben Whishaw, who played Q in 'Skyfall', would suit Adam's kooky personality, and Miriam Margolyes (Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter movies) would be perfect as the demented medium Stella.

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?
Scatterbrained Adam's cosy yet haunted world is turned more upside down than usual when the Got Ghosts? film crew come to call.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?
Neither.  I have nothing against self publishing but feel that a good publisher has access to more markets than I would ever be able to; whilst I've still never plucked up courage to approach agents.  So I'll be submitting it to publishers myself the same way I always do. Whether any of them accept it or not is another matter!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It's hard to remember now because it was a couple of years ago, but it would have been at least a year. I do tend to work quite slowly - my recent novel Gleams of a Remoter World took me almost ten years to finish.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Hard to say really since it's fairly unique. It probably has a similar 'feel' to some of Georgette Heyer's dafter crime novels - especially Footsteps in the Dark - but the plot and characters are all mine.

What else about your book might interest the reader?
It's set in an ancient English country house full of hidden passages, secret chambers, ghosts good and bad, and eccentric characters - from the dotty vicar to the artistic Great Uncle Alfred.  Unlike Gleams of a Remoter World, the setting isn't based on real locations, but is a hotch-potch of many places I've visited over the years - and the staircase which features towards the end is loosely based on the one in my grandparents' house!

And now for details of my own victims... oops, I mean willing volunteers.  Many thanks to both Cameron Lawton and Erastes for agreeing to take up the baton and run with it.  Don't forget to check out their blogs in one week's time, on Wednesday 12th December, to see how they tackle these questions.

Cameron Lawton

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