I got tagged in a blog thing by the marvellous and handy-with-a-sword Fran Terminiello, so witness my rambling answers…
What is the working title of your
The Snake House
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Originally I wanted to write a story about someone who has to make a journey into hell; in the end, Felia doesn’t quite go to hell, but she goes somewhere pretty close. I also had an urge to write a book set in London, something I’d tried before and utterly failed at.
What genre does your book fall under?
To my own surprise, I suppose it’s Urban Fantasy with strong elements of horror.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I never really picture actors as my characters while writing a book, but if a fabulously wealthy Hollywood producer gave me a fat wad of cash to film The Snake House, these are the people I’d suggest (I will never reveal how long I spent agonizing over this):
Zawe Ashton as Felia Jones (tremendous actress, always the most watchable person on screen)
Ellen Thomas as Wilhelmina Sunbow (although she’d have to be aged up rather a lot)
Maggie Smith as Katya Orbison
Miriam Margoyles as Mavis Bickerstaff
Damien Maloney as the adult Stanley Cubb (easy on the eye, as they say, but there’s a sense of danger to him that’s perfect for Stanley)
Robert Sheehan as Hob (Hob is pixie-like, mischievous, slightly other-worldly… Sheehan is pretty much spot on)
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
I’m cheating slightly here, but:
Felia Jones is less than pleased to be moving to a run-down council estate with her mother and half-brother – she is even less interested in the ravings of three old ladies who claim she has the “sight”. But they know a darkness is growing at Cornwall House, a shadow of a past so terrible it has been forcibly forgotten, and if Felia Jones can’t face it down they may all be lost.
Because what happened on the third floor left a scar that won’t heal, and the Snake House is hungry again.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I would love for it to be published in a way that means I don’t have to make the cover…By which I mean I’ll be subbing it around.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I wrote the first draft in two months, thanks to the slightly unhinged process of Nanowrimo.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch has a similar feel (London, magic, weirdness) as well as Kate Griffin’s Matthew Swift sequence.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I really wanted to write a horror novel, or, in a way I felt it was expected of me; I’ve written lots of short horror stories, but all my books are fantasy. Let’s see, I thought, if I can maintain the creepiness. I’d also done a lot of reading on serial killers (cheery stuff) and I really wanted to explore the nature of evil and what lies behind a monster.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
There are three brilliant old ladies in this. And there’s a sequence that genuinely still freaks me out big time, despite having written it myself and having read it several times now. Oh, and the last couple of chapters make me cry. It’s very dark, but also funny and hopefully ultimately uplifting.
What stage is your book at now?
It’s been read by my lovely beta team, and it’s been redrafted a number of times, so now it is winging its way out into the wider world, hopefully to find a home somewhere.
Here we go! Tag, you’re it: