British Fantasy Award Winner; 3x British Fantasy Award Nominee

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Cold Turkey Preview as part of The Next Big Thing

Today, I'm taking part in the series of networked writer blog interviews, The Next Big Thing. Last week, the very lovely Thana Niveau nominated me, and at the end of this post, I'll nominate five others to carry on the mantle!

I've chosen to talk about my forthcoming novel/novella, Cold Turkey, out soon with TTA Press.

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

It's called Cold Turkey, and although it's in the editing stage with the publisher at the moment, I'm pretty certain that will be the final title.

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

My attempt to give up smoking. For good. It's a story about addiction and the lengths that a person will go to either in pursuing it or in trying to defeat it. It's also about escalating stakes and making the proverbial deal with the Devil; how we often don't realise how far from the shore we've swum until it's too late.
For a very long time, I've wanted to write a funny and frightening and hopefully entertaining story that examines the nature of addiction and obsession, and in particular control: how the desperate need to have it can have entirely the opposite effect. 

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Horror, although there's a lot of humour in it too. Giving up smoking is a barrel of laughs!

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

Cold Turkey is set in a small Scottish town similar but absolutely not the same (I wouldn't want to get lynched) as my old home town. So, if the budget allowed, I'd have Ewan McGregor as the main protagonist, Raym; I think he could pull it off!
As Robert Helpmann (the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) is no longer with us and I was always quite partial to Pennywise the clown, maybe Tim Curry could play the main antagonist, Top Hat!

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

When Raym decides to give up his worst vice, he soon discovers just how many demons he will have to face in order to beat his own.

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

It will be published by TTA Press, ed. Andy Cox. Hopefully in the next few months, although there is no firm launch date yet. Updated info can be found here: TTA Press or on this blog

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

A few months. I was working on other projects at the same time: a short story collection, another novel and some commissioned shorts, so it's hard to tell!

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

From Faust to Dorian Gray to Spiderman (apparently), making a deal with the Devil – metaphorical or otherwise – is a fairly common theme (type 361 on the Aarne-Thompson folklorists' index, if you're interested!) Cold Turkey invites, I hope, a different interpretation of this motif, while still paying homage to some great classics.
The story also draws some obvious parallels with Stephen King's short, Quitters Inc. Both are darkly funny, although aside from the giving up smoking angle, the plots are very different.

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

See my answer to Question 2.

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

Glengower, the fictional setting for the book, has featured in many of my short stories, and is the location for a novel-in-progress, provisionally titled The Weekend. See this blog for any and all updates!

And for next week's Next Big Thing on Wed Nov 21st, I nominate Nina Allan, Joe Mynhardt, Stuart Young, Lee Moan and P.G. Bell.

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