It finally got me. I’ve been tagged in the Next Big Thing meme (shout-out to Danie Ware, Paul Kane and Elspeth Cooper, all of whom cornered me and memed me into submission, as has the lovely Janet Edwards).
The idea is to answer a few questions on whatever it is you (the Tag-ee? The Be-tagged?) happen to be working on and then to pass on the tag to five other people. Think of it like Ringu, only with writers crawling through your computer screen.
Lovely mental image, isn’t it? Anyway. Let’s get on with things, shall we?
What is the working title of your next book?
At the moment, I’m working on BLOOD AND FEATHERS: REBELLION. Which is, fairly obviously, the follow-up to BLOOD AND FEATHERS, which came out in August this year.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
REBELLION being a direct sequel to B&F, it largely sprang from the fact that the characters’ stories weren’t finished. Alice wasn’t done, Mallory wasn’t done and Vin, well… Vin’s so scatty he’d probably forget if he was done. I wanted to open up the world – after all, we’ve only really seen hell so far – and to spend some more time with those characters, as well as to bring new ones into play. The angelic war’s been going on forever… and there’s a lot more to it than Alice knew.
What genre does your book fall under?
Like B&F, REBELLION likes to lurk on the borders. It’s closest to urban fantasy (certainly this time around, there’s an actual city…) but there’s elements of fantasy and horror in there too. What it isn’t is paranormal romance. By the way, I’m quite taken with “featherpunk” by way of sub-genre, if anyone feels like running with that…
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Ah. The best / worst question. I have fairly strong views on who’d be ideal for most of the characters… and several of them, I’m not sharing. This is largely because I like the idea that everyone has a slightly different mental image of Alice, or Vin, or Mallory – and that, technically, none of them are wrong. The Mallory you have in your head might look and sound completely different from the one in mine – but that’s the way it should be. It doesn’t make your Mallory any less “Mallory” than mine. So I’ll keep those three to myself, but I will tell you about a couple of others.
Michael, in an ideal and perfectly perfect world, would be Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. It’s funny, because I’d had a very clear mental image of Michael right from the get-go, which is a couple of years back… and the first time I saw a photo of him, he fitted exactly.
A new character who appears in REBELLION is the Earthbound angel, Castor – and him, I’d love to see played by Jamie Parker (who’ll be familiar to anyone who saw the Globe’s Henry V this year.) You should totally follow him on Twitter, by the way – @DickLeFenwick.
Finally, the one that everyone who’s familiar with my own Twitter feed (or, well, me) will have been waiting for. The Archangel Zadkiel – he’s mentioned in BLOOD & FEATHERS, but doesn’t appear in person until REBELLION.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
With the Fallen wreaking havoc in the world and on humanity, the Archangel Michael is determined to destroy Lucifer once and for all – whatever the cost – and Alice, Mallory and Vin will be called on to sacrifice more than they ever imagined possible…
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Ask me that when I’ve finished it… which should hopefully be sometime in the next couple of weeks. If all goes to plan, it’ll have taken a few months. But that’s only a first draft. Getting to a cleaner version will take another month or so of tinkering on my part, and that’s before my fantastic and long-suffering editor Jon gets his hands (and his red pen) on it!
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The easy answer is that it’s like BLOOD AND FEATHERS. I’ve been told that one’s comparable to SANDMAN SLIM, which I’ve not read yet but certainly will do. The easiest (and probably most useful) comparison to make is with the TV show SUPERNATURAL – we seem to overlap in a lot of ways, much to my initial despair. I’d written most of B&F before I started watching that one, so you can imagine how I felt when I got as far as season 4…
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The first book, in a way. There was that, and there was somewhere I went. I was on holiday with my family – while B&F was on submission to Solaris, funnily enough, and I had no idea whether they were going to want it or not – and we went somewhere that made me start thinking. You can’t take me anywhere…
There was also this, which has (in my head at least) become an informal theme tune for Michael. Because if this doesn’t make you think of angels, nothing will.
Not only is the video utterly extraordinary, if REBELLION had a sound, that would be it.
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Someone described BLOOD AND FEATHERS as “post-Bourne angels”. REBELLION has more of them, interacting much more widely with the world, with the Fallen and with one another. Oh, and you might just get to find out what’s in all those notebooks that Mallory keeps knocking around his floor…
So that was relatively painless. (The photo of Renner helped, right?)
I’m going to pass on the meme by tagging five people to write their own post in a week’s time – but as this is me, I’m going slightly off-piste and tagging someone who’s not an author, but an editor. In this case, that’s Jared Shurin of Pornokitsch, and one of the people behind the Pandemonium anthologies.