The splendid novelist Anna Stothard has tagged me in ‘the Next Big Thing meme’, which means this week you get a bonus blog post from me. It’s a chance to tell you a little bit about my novel, which, let’s hope, will be the Next Big Thing.
What is the title of your next book?
A London House … I think.
What genre does your book fall under?
Fiction. Most of it is set in the present day, but there are also some historical chapters.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I’m afraid I just don’t know for most of my characters, but I would love Bill Nighy to play Roger, an eccentric old man who lives on a houseboat. Anna, the main character, is trickier. Perhaps Romola Garai, who seems to have a habit of playing the main part in film adaptations of many of my favourite books.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
One night, two girls break into a derelict house, where the air is thick with stories of the people who have lived there in the past.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Perhaps it’s morbid, but I absolutely love buildings in various states of decay. I love to imagine them in their former glory, and wonder who might once have looked out of the broken windows, or trod on the rotting floorboards.
A couple of years ago, bulldozers were hard at work on a big school near where I live. There was a stage in its demolition when the whole back wall of the building had been taken off, so that you could see into each of the different classrooms and each one was painted a different colour. It was like looking into a box of paints, an image which really tugged at me. I began to imagine pulling off the walls of other houses, looking into all their rooms, painted and wallpapered in different colours and designs. It made me think about the marks and impressions people make on their houses by living in them, and how many stories lie hidden there in the smallest things.
Several books have helped to inspire me with my one – here are a few of them:
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My agent is Andrew Kidd at Aitken Alexander.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Just over a year and a half.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Hitchcock and Picasso both have cameo roles.
Now it’s my turn to tag – too thrilling! Wayne Gooderham – journalist, blogger, collector of second-hand books and curator of an exhibition of book dedications now on at Foyles, and Samantha Ellis – playwright, blogger and writer of a fascinating-sounding book about literary heroines, consider yourself the next bearers of the meme.