What is the working title of your next book?
Opening with the big question, the shocker – the working title of the book is Ecko II. I’d go into the reasoning, but, y’know, that’s a tough one to break down…
Where did the idea come from for the book?
From a decade of shared creativity and story-telling, from friends with imagination and humour, from having too much time on our hands and the energy to dream whatever we wanted, limitless and occasionally ludicrous. Some people to use their youth and fire to change worlds – we made our own.
And then we broke them.
And then we made some more.
From the concepts initially explored in the first novel, this one takes Ecko’s fundamental culture-shock and savage denial to a different level, but also moves in new directions, looking at a more politically involved storyline and dipping a curious toe into the concept of a fantasy dystopia. Can such a thing exist – or do you need urban/modernisation before you can add the decay?
What genre does your book fall under?
Apparently, I’ve committed the cardinal sin, written the unthinkable – though I wasn’t aware of this when I started. The Ecko books are science fiction and fantasy fused, they’re a hard-edged SF character in an essentially fantasy world – a mix that can result in hard violence, sharp insight and dark humour, and often in all three combined.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
That’s always a tough one. Andy Serkis was one of our first ever guests at the FP Megastore – and watching him do Gollum for real was both transfixing and terrifying. In some ways, he has the capability to craft a perfect Ecko, but my inspiration (one of them anyway) has always been Michael Keeton’s Beetlejuice.
You know he’d do a good job!
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
The strapline for the first one was ‘a unique and stunning debut novel’. Marketeer I may be, by writing my own publicity defeats me!
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m represented by Sally Harding at The Cooke Agency, and Ecko II will be published by Titan Books next September.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
And here we come to the old joke – twenty years to write the first one, I want the second one in six months…
In fact, like ‘Rising’, this book was originally written in the 1990’s, though has been revised and re-drafted in keeping with the changes to the overall story, the requirements of characters and editors, and (not to put too fine a point on it) that fact that I’m now in my forties and have a slightly different take on the world/s around me…
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Is this a trick question? ‘Rising’ was compared to everything from Game of Thrones to Neuromancer to Thomas Covenant to Michael Marshall Smith. Go figure!
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
In the first instance, my friends. Coming back to the story after an eight-year break from writing? Um, that would kind of be my friends.
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Ecko is difficult, dissonant, foul-mouthed and chaotic – in the first book, he was an explosion looking for somewhere to happen.
In this book, he finds it.
For next week’s NEXT BIG THING I nominate some of my fellow debut authors from 2012 – and very proud to be in such capable company…