I’ve been memed. Barry Forshaw, critic, author and editor of the CrimeTime website, has named me in the Next Big Thing. Ten questions in ten minutes is the idea.
So here goes:
1) What is the working title of your next book?
The book is called The Mannequin House. It started life as a novella called The Monkey and The Mannequin. Or was it the Mannequin and the Monkey? Something like that. I suppose that was the working title.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
The book’s set in a department store in 1914. I love the idea of those early department stores and have long wanted to write a novel set in one – ever since reading The Ladies’ Paradise by Zola. The store in my book is loosely based on Whiteleys. I discovered that William Whiteley was shot and killed in his own store. So that fed into my story.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh God, I’m hopeless at this as I can never remember any actors’ names. I’m a big fan of League of Gentleman and Psychoville so I would try to get a few of those guys into it. Let’s have Reece Shearsmith for Silas Quinn. Ray Winstone would have to be Sergeant Inchball. Michael Gambon for Blackley. Steve Pemberton could be Sergeant Macadam. Maybe Dawn French could play Miss Mortimer. Oh and we’d better have Mark Gatiss in it too. There must be a part for him in there somewhere. Sir Edward Henry perhaps.
5) What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Ground floor for ladies’ fashions, haberdashery, footwear and murder…
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be published by Severn House. My agent is Christopher Sinclair-Stevenson.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I had six months to write the book, but I did it in three.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I got my head into the period by reading G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown stories. Something of the weirdness of those tales has rubbed off on me, I think. Or maybe I was weird to begin with.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
There’s a monkey wearing a fez in it.
Linda Stratmann, who wrote Whiteley’s Folly, the story of William Whiteley. Linda writes crime fiction and true crime non-fiction.
William Ryan, author of The Holy Thief and The Bloody Meadow. However, unfortunately, Bill doesn’t blog, so he won’t be picking up the baton.
Michael Gregorio, the husband and wife crime-writing team of Michael Jacob and Danliela de Gregorio, authors of the Hanno Stiffeniis series of books. Mike and Dani are currently on tour, but will get to it as soon as they can.
MFW Curran, author of the fantasy novels The Secret War and The Hoard of Mhorrer.
Ian Hocking, author of the Saskia Brandt novels, the latest of which is The Amber Rooms. I haven’t heard from Ian, so I don’t know whether he can take on the challenge or not.