The Next Big Thing Meme

So there's this challenge being passed around the British SFF novelist community, and, kindly,Danie Ware tagged me to take part.  It's about what we're working on right at the moment.  So here we go...

What is the working title of your next book?

I'm afraid that right now I'm going to have to just call it London Falling 2.  I have a title in mind, but my editor and I haven't had a conversation about that, so I don't know how she feels about it, and besides, I don't want to give it away early.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wanted a straightforward twenty-five words or less backbone for a simple story that would serve to expand greatly the world my heroes work in.  I've always been interested in the industry and mythology of Jack the Ripper, rather than the murders themselves, and I wanted to write something that took that stuff apart in a modern way, that recognised that straightforward depictions of that material are pretty meaningless nowadays.  This is the continuation of the story of my undercover London police team who accidentally become able to see the supernatural.  Their numbers this time are... altered.  There's loads of wry copper humour, but it's really a very dark book.

What genre does your book fall under?

Urban fantasy.  With rather an SF approach to it, mind you, in that my police heroes always dissect the nature of the supernatural, rather than take it at face value.

What actors would you choose to play the parts of your characters in a movie adaptation?

I think this is a bit of a trap, because I want readers to inhabit them, not to have the distance between them and the characters that always thinking of an actor playing them would give.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

'Jack the Ripper is back, but this time he's killing rich white men.'

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

It'll be published by Tor in the UK in 2013, in the US (presumably) in 2014.  I'm represented by an agency. This is really two different questions.

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

About eleven months, starting almost as soon as I'd finished London Falling.  I deliver in December, and I'm confident of doing that.

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

That's really tough.  I think most of us working in a genre try and make our work as distinct as possible from that of others.  If you like Ben Aaronovitch, I guess you might like this, but we really do very different things, albeit using some of the same ingredients.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Some of it's informed by anger at what's happening in the world right now, from Jimmy Saville to attacks on the BBC to various horrors within the fan community.  The great thing about writing modern police-based urban fantasy is that you get to talk about the real world right now, and yet use the great metaphorical thump of fantasy to do it.

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

Well, most people won't have seen London Falling yet, so it seems weird to say 'if you liked that...' But there is one thing I'd like to tease.  There's a celebrity guest star in this one who's given me permission to have them appear 'as themselves'.  It gives a certain frisson to various parts of the book, and I'm terribly grateful they allowed me to do it.  You'll be hearing more about that, I daresay, in the coming months.

For next week's NEXT BIG THING I hereby nominate five of my compatriots, in whose company I am proud to be.  You're tagged, Liz Williams, David Barnett, Sophia McDougall, Jaine Fenn, and Simon Spurrier!

There, my duty is done.  There is also some other news to report.  In your comic shops today (and in digital form around teatime) are Demon Knights #14 (where there's a big character moment for the Shining Knight, which may get reported elsewhere) and Saucer Country #9 (the second part of the 'Reticulan Candidate' arc, of which I am very proud).  You can see a preview of the latter here.

And I'd like to mention Aces Weekly, the digital only comic from David Lloyd, featuring an astonishing list of talent.  You get an enormous weekly issue, full of great new strips, plus supporting material, for about a quid.  It's an incredible bargain, and a great new platform for comics.  They're now several issues in, and it gets better all the time.  Do give it a look.

More bloggage at the end of the week.  And, I think, baby photos!  Cheerio!

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