So, here goes.
1. What am I working on?
Having just finished checking the proof pages for THE FEARLESS (out in less than 8 weeks - eep!) I'm now trying to come up with some ideas for new books. It's quite a strange place to be in as I haven't written anything 'new' since 2011, when I started TF (and before that, I was working on ACID). I am horribly superstitious about new ideas and believe that if I tell too many people about them before I've written a first draft, I'll jinx them, so I'm not going to say anything more than both ideas are thrillers, one has a fantasy element and the other is contemporary, and right now, sample chapters and outlines are with my agent, so I'm waiting to hear what she thinks…
2. How does my work differ from others?
The sort of fiction I write – gritty, dystopian and post-apocalyptic thrillers, is often set in the US. My books are very 'British', with settings I hope a lot of my UK readers will be familiar with. For example, a lot of ACID is set in London… although it's very different to the London of today, having been divided into 'Outer', 'Middle' and 'Upper, with people being placed in the different districts according to their social standing. And Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield plays a major part in THE FEARLESS.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I love fast-paced, entertaining, exciting reads. My stories play out in my heads like films – in fact, it was films that got me writing in the first place – so when I write, I try to capture that 'film' on the page. Thrillers are the perfect vehicle for this sort of writing because they lend themselves to big, dramatic action scenes which (I hope!) create strong images in my readers' minds.
4. How does my writing process work?
I'm going to quote Elizabeth Goudge in her autobiography The Joy of Snow here, as she sums up my writing process perfectly:
"…what a crazy way to earn a living, making dirty marks on clean paper. Of what use can they be to anyone when made? None. Yet what else can I do? What else am I fit for? Nothing. Better make a start, turn the tap on… see what comes. Nothing comes. There is an airlock somewhere. No good. Try again tomorrow. One tries again tomorrow for several days and then the airlock suddenly yields and there's a small trickle of water. A couple of pages are made a mess of. Next day they are read over, found to be hopeless and torn up. The process is repeated and then suddenly one happy day the tap is running freely; unbelievably one is once more writing a book. For a short while that is. Then comes another airlock, and then another, until the first draft of a book is finished at last. Now it is there, out of us… The rewriting of a book, and when the time comes the correcting of the proofs, is pure joy."
So that's my writing process! And I'm going to tag fellow Lucky 13s Kelly Fiore, author of TASTE TEST, and Rachele Alpine, author of CANARY, to share theirs with you next.