So, having been tagged for the last Next Big Thing and duly completing ten questions about Marching Dead, I was tagged by the deeply sexy Jason Nahrung, and declined him, because I had nothing else to talk about. Then I finished Father Muerte & The Divine, just before I was tagged by the equally sexy Rowena Cory Daniells.
So here I am, talking about that book, too:
What is the working title of your next book?
Father Muerte and the Divine.
Where did the idea of your book come from?
I’ve explored the character of Father Muerte in four previous short stories: Father Muerte & The Theft (Aurealis 29); Father Muerte & The Rain (Aurealis 33/34/35 triple issue); Father Muerte & the Flesh (Aurealis 36) and Father Muerte & The Joy of Warfare (Aurealis 37). I’ve received a lot of feedback from readers wanting to know more about the character’s background, and wanting to see him interact with a larger story, so it was a good chance to go back into his past and expand upon the scope of his mystery, especially as I had a couple of breaks in my writing calendar where I could spend a goodly amount of time working on the story.
What genre does your book fall under?
Definitely fantasy, but more towards the Urban end of the spectrum rather than the epic. Except it takes place in a seaside town that may or may not exist. Is there such a thing as Holiday Village Fantasy?
If you found yourself in a lift with a movie director you admire and you had the chance to pitch your book to them, what would you say?
Now you’ve finished the Corpse-Rat King movie, Mister Gilliam, do you fancy a read of this one?
Every writer dreams of their book being turned into a movie or TV series like Game of Thrones: if this happened to your work, which actors would you choose to play your characters?
Like Game of Thrones? Do I have to? Sorry fans, but I couldn’t get past episode three. I don’t care how much you gussy it up, I can spot a soap opera when I see one.
However, when it comes to characters, I rarely picture a known face upon them. Occasionally, if I want a characters to continue to act in a certain way I’ll try it out– Captain Bomthe from the Corpse-Rat King was lightly modelled on Bill Nighy’s ‘uptight’ character. But not with these charatcers: I’ve been working with them, on and off, for a decade now. They have their own faces.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Love. I love Muerte, Henri and Benito. There’s a small core of readers who love the stories and keep nagging me for another one. And I loved the idea of doing something really spectacular with what had come before: this is the fifth instalment of the narrative, so I had some history to play with.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
It was written in two bursts of about a month each, a year apart. the first half was written whilst I was waiting for the Angry Robot Open Submission period was grinding its way to a conclusion, and then I had to drop it when they picked up CRK. Once I’d delivered Marching Dead it was just about time to start this year’s nanowrimo, and there I was with a novel needing roughly 50 000 words to finish it…
What other books would you compare this book to within your genre?
I’m not sure. If anything, it probably sits– in my mental image of it, at least– closest to those convoluted Grant Morrison ‘everything’s an illusion and a conspiracy and all your paranoias are just silly. And correct.’ comic book series, with a faint hint of Gaiman’s ‘Seasons of Mist’. But that’s not really it, either.
It’s just, I dunno, weird. And cool. And there’s sort of a Keith Laumer oddness to it, and a China Meiville Gothic urban-ness, and a rollicking Bester tongue-in-cheekness, and half the documentaries I’ve watched in the last six years contributed, and then there’s some stuff that’s probably just me having a mental seizure…. maybe I’m not the best person to answer this question.
When will your book be available?
I expect to deliver the synopses and 5 chapter package to SuperAgent Rich in the next couple of weeks, and then the rest is up to him.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Time-travelling Benito Mussolinis, a colony of hyper-intelligent dinosaur ghosts, live human skinning, the fall of Satan, Maxwell’s Demon, the Red Baron’s fetish for post-World War I biplanes, coelacanths, pareidolia, bit-culling souls, molybdomancy… what’s not to love?
Keen-eyed readers will note that I haven’t tagged five authors to continue the meme onwards. That’s because every author I know has done the damn thing and it’s all getting rather circular and incestuous. Consider me your cul-de-sac for the day.