- What is a Guy Adams?
- The Clown Service
- Heaven's Gate
- The Engine
- The Change
- The World House ▼
- Sherlock Holmes ▼
- Torchwood ▼
- Life On Mars ▼
- Hammer Horror ▼
- Biographies ▼
- Anthologies ▼
- The Rest ▼
It's spreading like a virus. A pyramid scheme of ego...
Yes! It's The Next Big Thing!
How it works: an author answers the below ten questions on his blog and then tags five authors to do so the week after. Which presumes said author has been sociable enough in his life to know another five people. And they're all authors. Naturally I'll be tagging my cats, expect shouting about fish and duvets in a week's time.
1) What is the working title of your next book?
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE INFERNAL. It's the first of THE HEAVEN'S GATE CHRONICLES and it's coming out from Solaris.
Originally it was just called HEAVEN'S GATE because I liked the idea of naming a book after one of the most infamous western movies of all time, Michael Cimino's great folly and the picture that bankrupted United Artists. This is because I am silly.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
No idea, I honestly can't remember. It's a story I've wanted to tell for a long time. Cheese or gin probably played their part.
I've always been a fan of Spaghetti Westerns, that slightly skewed, beautiful and operatic view of the Wild West.
I also love mash-up western movies such as GRIM PRAIRIE TALES and I may have been the only man alive to actually enjoy WILD WILD WEST.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
Weird western as you've probably guessed. It's also a quest novel, my second after THE WORLD HOUSE. It's a sub-genre I'll be leaving alone for the next few years, I can't keep writing about groups of people hunting for something.
That said, there's a world of difference between the two series. For a start, one contains a great deal more horses.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
There are a fair few of them... To scratch the surface:
The book contains an ancient gunslinger With No Name. Naturally Eastwood can play him.
Henry Jones is a blind shootist who runs a band of outlaws from a freak show. Michael Fassbender can take that on because he's wonderful.
Elisabeth Forset is the daughter of a rather dotty peer. She is adventurous, fun and something of a daredevil. She's utterly lovely and Eva Green can play her because so is she.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A ghost town holds the doorway to the afterlife but it only exists for twenty-four hours.
Sergio Leone directs Brigadoon.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It's published by Solaris Books because sometimes editors drink too.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I haven't quite finished it! As with all my books though it's a case of a long time thinking (in this case something like eight or nine years) and then a mad burst of writing.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The influences really are more cinematic than literary. There are a few Steampunk elements (though it's far from being a Steampunk novel).
To get the 'ear' for language and tone I turned to that bible of western writing, LONESOME DOVE by Larry McMurtry. Obviously its content is hardly similar (though McMurtry's book is a quest novel itself really) though I play a similar trick in layering the book with stories, fleshing out the characters with glimpses of previous events.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Sergio Leone, one of the greatest filmmakers of the twentieth century. The fantastical, epic beauty he brought to the western is what made me fall in love with the genre. It may not be historically accurate but who cares? He painted broad, stunning canvases that I never tire of looking at.
Ennio Morricone, for doing to the ears what Leone did to the eyes. Was there ever such a brilliant, powerful and soaring piece of music as this:
10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
It's a big adventure, and the first step in a much longer story. Full of action, theology and freakshows.
And the authors I tag are:
ANNE BILLSON: Film critic, novelist and photographer. Sometimes people have too many skills. Her movie articles in The Guardian were compulsory reading for anyone who loved film (especially the sort of weird films she does) and her novels SUCKERS, STIFF LIPS and THE EX saw Granta name her as one of 1993's "Best Young British Novelists" which has too many qualitative words to do her work justice.
CHRISTOPHER FOWLER Author of the staggeringly wonderful Bryant & May mysteries alongside novels such as HELL TRAIN, PSYCHOVILLE and the frankly blissful CALABASH. Also one of the finest short story writers working today, his last collection RED GLOVES from PS Publishing lifts a mundane shelf to one of distinction and sex appeal that will never have a problem getting laid with other shelves.
STEPHEN GALLAGHER Novelist and screenwriter, Steve is irritatingly accomplished at both. Creator of THE ELEVENTH HOUR he has also written for such diverse shows as BUGS, MURDER ROOMS, SILENT WITNESS and Horticulture Murder Porn ROSEMARY AND THYME. His latest novel is THE KINGDOM OF BONES, a historical detective thriller that reeks of tweed and boxing gloves.
LIESEL SCHWARZ describes herself as "a hopeless romantic... loves Victorians, steampunk, fairies, fantasy monsters, the Fin de siècle, and the correct way to drink absinthe." I can go along with most of that bar the absinthe. The correct way to drink that devil's juice is to first ensure you are sitting in a different building to the bottle. Her debut novel, the first in an Edwardian Steampunk series, is forthcoming from Del Rey UK.
E J SWIFT Ruled by cats, E J Swift was given time away from can-opening and belly rubbing duties to write her first novel, OSIRIS. A dystopian story set in a far future ocean metropolis whose inhabitants believe they live on the last city on earth. It's forthcoming from Night Shade Books in the US and Del Rey UK. Sometimes she can be found on a trapeze, a fact that pleases me beyond words.
Sorry for the silence, things have gone a bit crazy for a couple of weeks. Things should settle down soon so I'll talk more then. In the meantime, here I am at Book Chick City talking about Hammer Books.
So, SHERLOCK's finished and everyone's making a fuss as usual. I remember a time when TV was something you discussed enthusiastically rather than wrote news items about Every Time It Did Something Interesting. If you're one of the few who didn't watch it all you likely know is that it contained nakedness and an ending that made lots of people scrabble around the internet tying themselves in knots. Naturally, this is perfect telly as far as I'm concerned.
I am genuinely at a loss as to why I continue to enjoy these movies but enjoy them I do. Everything says I should be heartily sick of their formulaic, predictable nonsense and yet here I am again, waiting impatiently to watch a handful of “characters” die in convoluted and absurd ways. The set-pieces are always impressive, I think that’s what does it, nothing does Death Slapstick quite like a Final Destination movie.
Remember the game we all used to play when watching BBC TV Nurse-Angst-Stew-Soap CASUALTY? Monitoring the movements of each week’s guest cast as they moved inexorably towards a hospital bed and emotionally satisfying cubicle scene with a member of their family? You couldn’t help but try and second guess the impending accident, keeping an eye out for loose ladders or distracted motorists, cluttered top steps or flaky power tools. This is that game played out over ninety minutes, something the makers of the movies know only too well as they have become positively masterful in their misdirection “Will it be the school bus in the background? Or will he trip over that dangling shoelace and impale himself on a fire hydrant? (Close up of fire hydrant looking Menacing) . No! He'll be crushed by a falling mobile phone satellite! Gotcha!
God help me but this was a particularly good entry, too when taken on its own merits (as all movies must be). I am almost ashamed to admit how much I enjoyed such hollow fun.
BUY FINAL DESTINATION 5 FROM AMAZON.CO.UK HERE
I lent this to my mother and her partner before watching it myself. They love movies with a bit of death in them.
‘What did you think?’ I asked.
‘Couldn’t follow it,’ Mother replies, ‘couldn’t understand their strange accents.’
‘It’s a British film,’ I replied with my usual baffled dismissal.
The accents are not what have confused some (though not many, Kill List has had many more favourable words heaped on it than not) rather the resolution. About which I will say nothing, reviewing a film is one thing, spoiling it for others quite another.
Still, I can’t say the ending was unsatisfactory, nor can I agree with the Daily Mail’s review that it left important questions unanswered. But then I can’t imagine I’ll ever agree with the Daily Mail, about anything, purely out of pigheadedness.
I will say that Kill List is not a thriller it’s a horror film. The distinction is often hard to make but Kill List doesn’t set out to offer mysteries and solutions, or edge-of-your-seat excitement, it just wants to unsettle you. That’s the job of a horror movie, and an admirable job too. In this, Kill List completes its task with considerably more professionalism and success than its protagonists.
Buy Kill List in the UK via this link
I've been giving a lot of thought to the site for the last few weeks. I've never been much cop as a regular blogger (I've never been good at small talk and, while the best bloggers never talk small when I try and do it my attempts seem aimless and boring). I often have news of one sort or another of course, but a blog's pretty boring if it just boils down to "sold another book please buy it, the cats need new clothes" once very couple of months.
Enough of this silly prevarication. Statistics and a public exhibition of how anal I am are all well and good but how was 2011 on a personal level?
The obsessive-compulsive behaviour continues as I look at the books that I read over the year. A fairly bumper crop, 111 books in total (plus twenty random shorts dropped in here or there). 101 of those were novels, with only six collections and five non-fiction books. At some point I must have slept.
I'm no more capable of avoiding the New Year blog cliches than anyone else, so, expect three posts over the next few days.
Talking to Debs yesterday (the unfortunate owner of a Guy Adams) I realised what a chasm of difference there is between those who collect things and those who don't. Expressed at its extreme, to Debs there is really no point in having more than one of anything at any given time. The book you're reading, the film you fancy watching tonight etc. When you've finished that -- Debs is not one to reread or re-watch -- let it go and move on to the next. Whereas I have a room filled with books and DVDs. I don't so much think 'I fancy watching a bit of Italian horror tonight,' as much as 'I think I'll read Tim Lucas' Mario Bava biography, so I must make sure I can gather together everything Bava ever worked on so that I can immerse myself in it.' Until, of course, I suddenly get bored and move on to an obsessive period of watching Carry On movies (I own them all, yes... even Emmanuelle and Columbus).