The ‘Next Big Thing’ Tag-athon

Last week, Paul Finch kindly tagged me in the ‘Next Big Thing’, a pass-it-on interview for writers. Paul is a crime and horror writer extraordinaire, and his own answers to the interview – featuring his new novel, STALKERS – can be found here.

So here are my answers . . .

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

Path of Needles.

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

It grew out of my love of fairy tales when I was a kid – one I’ve never grown out of (they are the original horror stories, after all!).

3. What genre does your book fall under?

That’s actually a really difficult question. There’s horror in it, but it perhaps falls more accurately under ‘dark fantasy’. And there’s a strong crime element, with a police procedural underpinning it all. But if I had to plump for one, I’d say dark fantasy bags it.

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

I’ve been asked this question before, and can only say I’m rubbish at it! I don’t tend to have a very clear image of the physical appearance of my characters – I’m too busy being inside their heads. Maybe Daniel Craig could play the senior investigating officer, Heath – then I could wangle my way onto the set and say hello . . . so him, yes. Definitely.

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

Some fairy tales are born of dreams, some are born of nightmares . . .

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

It’s going to be published in June 2013 by Jo Fletcher Books, the same publisher as A Cold Season.

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

Ages! Much longer than I’ve ever taken to write a first draft before. It had a longer editing process, too. It’s a complicated beastie – I’d tweak one thread and find I had to tweak a dozen. At times I had definite head-tangle, but I got there!

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

Gulp. It’s a bit of a genre-blender, so quite difficult to do.

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

I didn’t have just one specific influence. There are threads in the inspiration for this that lead me back to being a dreamy little kid, glued to a copy of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales. But it took everything I’ve written to date – the experience of everything I’ve written to date – to be able to complete it.

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

The oldest and wildest variants of the fairy tales we think we know, pathless woods, dark dreams, and a little bit of magic . . .


And now, the next Next Big Thing! I confess it, the people I wanted to tag have either been nabbed by someone else (hey, great minds) or have done this already. But they certainly aren’t yesterday’s big thing, so I’m going to tag them again:

Ray Cluley – a terrific short story writer, often to be found in the pages of Black Static magazine

Rio Youers – author of Westlake Soul, a mind-blowingly good book

Sarah Pinborough – author of the Dog Faced Gods trilogy and mistress of the macabre

Stephen Volk – an amazing screenwriter – creator of Ghostwatch, Afterlife and hit movie The Awakening

And editing and writing powerhouse duo, Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane, are up soon . . .

A Cold Silence

A Cold Silence

Acapulcalypse Now

Acapulcalypse Now

The Unquiet House

The Unquiet House

Path of Needles

Path of Needles

A Cold Season

A Cold Season