Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Next Big Thing Guest - Gary Russell

Last week I took part in the Next Big Thing blog-a-thon (see previous entry) and one of the five brilliant writers I tagged at the end was a certain Mr Gary Russell. His work includes author of over a dozen Doctor Who and Torchwood novels, comic strip writer, script editor on Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures and the new audio series The Confessions of Dorian Gray, as well as acting in such fab 70s and 80s film/television as The Famous Five, The Phoenix in the Carpet, Dark Towers and Octopussy!

As Gary doesn't have his own blog I have invited him to run riot on mine for today! Some might say that was a silly thing to decide!
What is the working title of your next book?

At the mo it's called Bernice Summerfield and the Splinter of the Mince Pies - but I suspect that'll change, because crap Star Wars jokes are so passé these days (and Disney might sue) :-) But I'm doing my first ever proper Benny novel (my one and only Virgin Benny NA was about Jason - Benny was in about three pages of it!) This features Benny and the lovely Jack. At the same time, I'm also starting work on a non-genre novel that's been in my head for years. That has no title as yet.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The Benny book is just a fun romp really - so no one thing sparked it off, I just wanted to write something with spaceships, rayguns and giant chefs. The non-genre one is inspired by memory, the loss of it and identity. Themes I'm very interested in. How do we survive through amnesia?

What genre does your book fall under?

It's just a contemporary thriller. At the moment. God help me if I get bored and put spaceships and rayguns in that, too.

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

Ha! My Benny will be "cast" as I go along, other than seeing Lisa Bowerman and David Ames in my head obviously. My memory book will star whoever I most fancy on telly at the time :-)

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

1) Bernice Summerfield realises she should never enter a pie-eating contest, no matter how high the prize "or cash-amount" is.

2) Memory is a funny thing. Until you lose it. Then it's not funny at all.

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

All go through my agent. The Benny book will be published by Big Finish. The memory book is purely a spec book at the mo.

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

I haven't started either. But my books generally take four months.

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

Well, all my Doctor Who books are very "me" so the Benny one will appeal to those who like my stuff and be reviled by the vast majority who don't. The memory book is a whole new departure for me, an attempt to stretch myself out of my comfort zone and see if I can actually write, rather than write within the confines of established shared universes.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Benny - the desire to do one, simple as that. The memory book, it's just been in my head, burning away since 1998. I *have* to do it, get it out of my system.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
It's not got any spaceships and rayguns in it.

To continue the blog chain Gary is nominating; Kathy Sullivan, John Richards, Xanna Eve Chown and Zan Christensen.

A huge thank you to Gary for taking the time out to take part in the Next Big Thing blog. I'm looking forward to reading both of those books!

And now...normal service will resume.

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