THE NEXT BIG THING

Last December AJ Ashworth kindly tagged me in a blog meme called The Next Big Thing. Criminally, I have been very slow on the uptake and have not until now had a chance to participate. I have to answer a series of questions on a recent book. Mine is called The Syllabus of Errors.  I’ll get off the landing craft and onto the beach now:

Where did the idea come from for the book?

While I was standing in Ebertstrasse in  Berlin and realised I knew why the street was so called.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s a story sequence. It’s not quite a novel, or a series of interlinked stories, but they do have an accumulative effect.

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

There are many, many characters in The Syllabus (or there  might just be one). A selection for the screen might include:

Lee Nelson: The Reverse English in ‘Island Gardens’.
Daniel Day-Lewis: Matteotti in ‘The First Suggestion of Night’.
Bruno Ganz: Mr E in ‘I Remember Nothing.’
Clive Owen: Blue Swanson in ‘Post-Leading Man’.
There are lots of female characters, too, but I can’t put any names to faces.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Twelve Stories of Obsession, Loss and Getting in a State.

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

It’s published by Unthank Books and represented by the Robin Jones Agency.

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

Three years.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

It came by increments. Certain atmospheres and references occurred to me around 2008 while I was writing a few short stories. After a while they started to connect and accumulate.

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

You get tips on how to pass history exams, and if you pass you get to visit Berlin, Rome, Paris and Kaliningrad.

All that’s left for me to do now is to pass the baton to five other writers so that they can answer the same questions – so may I introduce you to ( I apologise if this is going to sound like an Unthank Books love-in but we do all love each other):

* Novelist and short story writer Lander Hawes, whose novel ‘Captivity’ is published by Unthank Books.
* Novelist and short story writer Nick Sweeney, whose novel ‘Laikonik Express‘ was also published by Unthank Books;
* Sarah Dobbs, who had a novel published by Unthank, Killing Daniel in 2012.
* Sharon Zink whose debut novel ‘Sharonville’ will be published by Unthank next year.

*Lisa Selvidge, author of a Last Dance over the Berlin Wall, who blogs about Portugal and the Algarve literary scene.

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