The Next Big Thing

I was tagged in a rather playground style game between writers.  I’m now ‘it’, caught by always wonderfully happy Gaie Sebold of the Babylon Steel books.  Her second book, Dangerous Gifts, is having a launch party at Forbidden Planet, Shaftesbury Avenue in London on Thursday 24th January.

I have to answer a bunch of questions and then, pyramid selling style, tag five other writers.  They can’t have been tagged before, so that final part may prove to be tricky.

1. What is the title of your book?

I, Phone

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

You only have to look up from texting on your mobile to see that everyone is hunched over their contraptions and realise that the world has changed.  Also, if I’m honest, I wanted to have a go at all the films that have so get computers utterly wrong.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Hard SF… no, I can’t write that with a straight face.  Cyber-geek?  Techno-satire?

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

I’d have to have Stephen Fry as the Voice of Jeeves, Alan Rickman as Clint Eastwood and Billie Piper as Alice.  I’ve just realised I’ve not written a part in it for myself, but I could do the Voice of Bob.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

In the not too distant future, where phones are more intelligent than their owners but are still thrown away as fashion accessories, an obsolete, second-hand mobile must save its owner when her speed dating goes so disastrously wrong that she’s framed for murder.

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

Self-published.  I can’t wait another two years for a decision, otherwise the answer to Question 3 will become Historical Fantasy.

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

A month to produce draft zero, a year to generate draft one, and then a fair few months to go through an editor and proof-readers.

8. What other books would you compare this book to within your genre?

Er… everything – we attempt to stand on the shoulders of giants.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Windows Vista but it would be a strange use of the word ‘inspired’.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s written in the first person and you can play ‘spot what the author’s pointing the finger and ranting at now’.  There’s some nudity.

Now to choose five authors:-

Andy Conway, whose Touchstone series I’m currently reading.

Andrew Killeen,, whose The Father of Locks is an good take on the period of the Arabian Nights and he has an interesting trick with his speech.

Lee McAulay,, whose The Last Rhinemaiden is grand.

Martin Owton. of T-Party fame.

Andrew J. Wilson  I’ve appeared in two pieces written by Andrew, The Terminal Zone, which is the life of Rod Serling and I’m grateful to Andrew and our director, Mark Slater, for educating me about the man, and Under the Bright and Hollow Sky, which we did at the Edinburgh Fringe.


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