Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Okay ... time for the next 'Next Big Thing'

I was quite honoured last week when the indefatigable TIM LEBBON tagged me as part of his ‘The Next Big Thing’ blog. For those not totally in the know, this is a kind of chain-letter thing in which a writer answers a bunch of pre-set questions, and then tags some other writers of his own choice, and they repeat the process the following week and so on.

Or something to that effect. Anyway, it's a fun process, which, if it works as it should, will take those interested - readers, fans, genre buffs, internet explorers etc - through a variety of authors' blogs, which all share a love of the weird and wonderful. Who knows, it may open up a whole new world of reading matter that you didn't even know was out there.

So here we go. First the questions, then my own taggees.

1) What is the title of your latest book?


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

It’s the first novel in a trilogy due out next year from Avon Books, describing the investigations of Detective Sergeant Mark 'Heck' Heckenburg, an obsessive blue-collar cop attached to Scotland Yard's elite Serial Crimes Unit. Where did the idea come from? My own experiences as a police officer in Manchester, and just about every exciting, suspenseful and hardbitten cop movie or TV series that I've ever seen.

I'm a big fan of the horror genre as well as the thriller genre, so there is be plenty of dark stuff in there too - nothing supernatural I hasten to add, but this is not just a police procedural. It features some big action sequences and some very nasty killers. Those who read it - at least, this is my intention and hope - will be thrilled, intrigued and scared in equal measure.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

It’s an crime thriller, which goes heavy on action, suspense and urban grime.

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

If I could pick absolutely anyone, the following:

Mark 'Heck' Heckenburg – Tom Hardy

Lauren Wraxford – Nathalie Emmanuel

Gemma Piper – Melissa George

Des Palliser – Malcolm McDowell

Mike Silver - Jason Isaacs

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

At least 38 victims; an unknown number of killers; one detective at the very end of his tether.

6) Who published your book?

Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.

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

About four to five months.

8) What other books are similar in tone to this story?

Hell Is A City by Maurice Proctor, and Jack's Return Home by Ted Lewis.

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

My late-father, Brian Finch, was, and remains, the inspiration behind everything I've ever written.

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

Violent action, dark mystery, even a dollop or two of romance (though that will be developed more in the later books). Plus, the eternal drama of working class heroes confronting darkness in the heart of the urban jungle.

And now … enough about me. Here are my recommended taggees:

ALISON LITTLEWOOD (mistress of the taut thriller, but always with a magical, mystical undertone), and SIMON BESTWICK (master of the brutal urban nightmare, but never without a cutting political edge).

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