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The Next Big Thing ...

I've never met steampunk writer Liesel Schwartz but I feel like I know her really well through her hilarious tweets. When she asked me to take part in The Next Big Thing I have to admit I didn't know what it was. But I've since found out that it's just a game of tag for grown-ups (or not in my case) who have to answer a set questions and then tag other writers and so it goes ... 

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

Deadly Deceit. This is now a confirmed title as it's all ready to go off to the printers. The book opens with a horrendous car crash and, on the other side of Newcastle upon Tyne, a fire that claims two lives - two seemingly unconnected incidents. But are they? You'll have to read the book to find out.

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

A conversation with an elderly relative, a postcard from a prisoner of war, a throwaway remark by my partner who is an ex-murder detective. These three unrelated snippets of information seemed to gel inside my head and I couldn't get rid of them. 

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Depends who you ask: crime fiction, crime thriller, police procedural. I'm not a fan of labels but those three best describe what I write.

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

My series is set in the north east of England, an area full of talented actors. I've been asked many times who would play my protagonist DCI Kate Daniels should the series ever be commissioned for TV. My editor suggested Jill Halfpenny and I think she would be a perfect choice. She's the right age and physically very like the Kate I see in my head as I write.

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

Two people crave a better lifestyle but only one is prepared to kill to get it.

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

I'm represented by a fabulous man and talented agent, Oli Munson. Deady Deceit will be published by Pan Macmillan on 11th April 2013. I've already written book four in the series and I'm currently writing book five.

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

It took me a while to do the research, a couple of weeks to knock up a road map for the book, almost like a film treatment that set out all the major plot points. After that, it took maybe six months. I edit as I go along, so by the time I got to the end it was almost ready to show to my agent.

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

The style of my writing has often been compared to that of Peter James. No complaints there then! But I like to think that I have my own voice, that my Kate Daniels series stands out as having a unique selling point. All writers strive to be different.

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

In 2010, I won a Northern Writers' Award for my second novel Settled Blood which has been out less than a fortnight. Winning the award gave me the confidence to push on with Deadly Deceit.

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

Without giving too much away, there are some suprising developments in Kate Daniels' backstory! My lips are sealed as to what they might be.

That's it from me. Thanks to Liesel for tagging me. The rest of you should get over to her blog and read all about her. But now it's my turn to tag other writers who will make up my Next Big Thing. Flexes fingers and narrows eyes ... 

David Jackson (Dave to his mates) whose protagonist NYPD Detective Second Grade Callum Doyle I absolutely love. Dave's books are all set in New York. Pariah was the debut, then came The Helper. Both had me gripped from the first to the last page. I really can't wait for the third in the series, the title of which is Marked. It will be out on 3rd January 2013. Check out his website for more details. 

Mel Sherratt who has had so much success in the last year. First with Taunting the Dead which received rave reviews, then a change in direction, a new Estate series: Somewhere to Hide and Behind a Closed Door. Mel writes so fast, I can hardly keep up. She's currently enthusing over a new psychological thriller and the words are flowing out of her she tells me. That's great news for me as she's promised I can read it when it's finished. Get over there and check her out!

David Mark with whom I share an agent. If you haven't come across this writer yet, you're in for a real treat. His debut The Dark Winter is superbly written, set in Hull, and features DS Aector McAvoy. David is an ex-journalist and his experience as a crime reporter on the Yorshire Post shine through in his writing. I'm luckly enough to have copped a proof copy of his second novel Original Skin which I am currently reading. Wow! You're going to like this one.

Niel Bushnell - winner of the Northern Writers' Award 2011 - is one to watch for the future. Niel writes children's fantasy adventure, the debut Sorrowline will be published by Andersen on 3rd January 2013. The premise is wonderful and I'm counting down the days until this book comes out. Do yourself a favour: save up your Christmas book vouchers and treat yourself. Niel's second book Timesmith will follow in 2014.

Anya Lipska whose book Where the Devil Can't Go was one of the most assured debuts I have read in a long time. I'm immensely proud to have been asked recently by her new publisher, Harper Collins imprint (The Friday Project) for a quote for this book. I jumped at the chance. Anya's experience as a scriptwriter and docu-drama producer are written all over this book, a pacy thriller set in London amongst the Polish expat community. It will be out in February 2013.  

Reader Comments (2)

Great to see you joining in, Mari! Can't wait to read Settled Blood.

November 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulia Stagg

My pleasure. It was fun and a great way to alert people to the Next Big Thing. x

November 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterMari Hannah

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