Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Next Big Thing

Last week Cavan Scott (a writer with many fingers in many pies) rather kindly tagged me in the Next Big Thing, which has been referred to variously online as a ‘blog chain’, a ‘tag-athon Q&A’ and even a ‘pass-it-on interview’.

Whatever you care to call it, the idea is that you answer ten questions about the current project you’re working on and then keep the ‘chain’ going by tagging five more writers who will answer the same ten questions and then pass it on again...

So, anywho, without further ado, here are my answers -

What is the working title of your next book?
The novel I’m working on right now is called The Horus Engines, and will be the first book in a brand new series called Tales Of The Iron War.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
It actually developed while I was writing a short story, The God Of All Machines, for an anthology I recently edited for Snowbooks called Resurrection Engines. As I was writing the story I realised that I was creating this epic back-story in my head, an entire war with a steam-driven alien invader that had lasted for thirty-one years (1914-1945) which was just screaming to be told. The short story itself flits back and forth between two time periods - the beginning of the war and a number of years after its end - so very little of the war iself is actually presented. That's when I started thinking, wouldn't it be great to have a series of novels telling the story (or, rather, stories) of that war...I could ask other talented Steampunk authors to write for the series too, to see what they'd do with it!
What genre does your book fall under?
Steampunk, only with a ‘BUTtagged on at the end. Sadly I feel that Steampunk as a genre has been rather tragically misused, misrepresented and under-explored of late. There’s a number of novels being released under the ‘Steampunk’ banner which, aside from the occasional mention of an airship, are really nothing more than Victorian detective novels, or have werewolves and vampires battling it out in late 19th century London – which should really fall under Urban Fantasy. With The Horus Engines I’m intending to push the boundaries a little bit, to really explore what can be done with the genre.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
OK, this is a difficult one. When I’m writing I never actually picture my characters in that way. I know roughly how they look, but it’s very rarely like someone famous.
Oh, alright then, if pushed I’d say that the two Scarlet Council agents Markham Vale and Gaius Creed could be played by John Simm and Adrian Brody respectively. Not least cos it’d be really cool to hang out with them on set.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Gah! I hate writing synopses, no matter the length, but here goes:
"When an archaelogical dig in Egypt in 1907 uncovers an alien crash site, Pharoah Rameses II (a human/machine hybrid clone of the original) unwittingly fires the first shots in the Iron War – thirty-two years later British agents Markham Vale and Gaius Creed are sent to North Africa to infiltrate the country and stop the construction of a fleet of giant space rockets, codenamed the Horus Engines."
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It’s going to be published by Snowbooks in June 2013. From then on 3 books a year in the series will be published.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Hard to say as I’m still writing it. But I’m aiming at having the first draft completed by the beginning of March, so that’ll be between 3 to 4 months. I have several other projects on the go as well, so they all have to be carefully slotted in.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’ve actually stopped reading Steampunk novels since I started working extensively in the genre, but I particularly enjoyed K.W. Jeter’s Morlock Nights and Infernal Devices. I don’t think they can be ‘compared’ to The Horus Engines, but I’d like to think that anyone who enjoyed Jeter’s novels might also enjoy mine.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
A combination of a hell of a lot of things, really; the compulsion to write, a love of the Steampunk genre, the fabulous Emma Barnes, being lucky enough over the past year or two to have worked with some of the most talented and generous writers on the planet…trust me, I could go on for hours here.
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s an Alternate History/Steampunk reimagining of World Wars I & II, which continue in an ongoing series of novels. Also, the books can be read independently of one another and in any order you choose.
So, there you go. And now all that's left is for me to tag five writers who will answer the same questions next week - over to you chaps:
And the fifth will be Gary Russell who will be guesting on this blog next week!


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