I have been invited to take part in the Next Big Thing – an online publicity drive for authors. A Blog Hop if you will.

It consists of 10 questions (below) about a work in progress, and after completing those questions it is my task to tag other authors and their blogs who also have new work coming soon.
So, without further ado, here we go…

Q1: What is the working title of your book?

Jackie Jones

Q2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

I was watching the Christopher Nolan – Batman movies, thinking about alter-egos and thought that instead of writing something about characters with duel personas, I could twist the concept and write about a group of people thrown together who all share the same name. And so the pieces fitted together, a contest, a mystery and 6 Jackie Joneses. I discussed it with my crit’ partners/writing group and they loved the general idea, and so I built the layers from there. Instead of going super hero and other world, it also became rooted in the English Countryside, which has given it a different feel altogether. I blame this on watching too many period dramas and getting caught up with my old friends Dickens and Doyle again.

Q3: What genre does your book fall under?

Middle Grade 9+

Q4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Jackie – My cousin Alex – a budding young actor, he would be perfect for the role! Also does anyone remember Wil Wheaton (Gordie Lechance) from Stand By Me? Love that film and thought it was spectacular when I was a kid and he really does remind me of Jackie…

Jonesy– She would be kind of like Eliza Dushku’s portrayal of Faith in Buffy, that kind of spirit and vulnerability all rolled into one! Yeah that would work.

Wilson– A younger Daniel Kaluuya (The Fades, Kick Ass 2) would be perfect – how awesome was this guy in The Fades – incredible!

Dark – Shaun Evans (Endeavour, The Last Weekend, Silk) – he would portray a scary albino with menace – he’s such a great actor.

Ryder – Warren Brown (Good Cop, Inside Men, Luther) A quiet but menacing chauffeur, I think he’d be brilliant

That is a solid cast right there my friends, now has anyone seen my producer and director? Oh, and I may need a time machine too for this fantasy cast to assemble.

Q5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Jackie (14) gets an invite to compete for a cash prize which could save his troubled family, but his fellow conestants not only share his desire to win, they also share his name.

Q6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I am preparing to send it off to agents after completing my rewrites to see if there will be any interest, but after self publishing The Amber Room, I feel very confident about the possibilities of self publishing again. I really believe in the story and that’s my criteria for self publishing. I just have to be honest about what I have in front of my at the end of my final edit.

I really want people to read this story, I think people would enjoy it.

Q7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About 3-4 months – May-August 2012

Q8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Always a difficult question, so I will look at books I’ve read that have inspired elements of Jackie.

It has a dash of James Dashner’s excellent The Maze Runner about it I would say – what a fantastic book that is! There’s always a little influence from The Hunger Games and the Harry Potter series, they are just so influential and the sort of stuff I just love. Marcus Sedgwick is a real inspiration to me as is Neil Gaiman, now I’ve discovered his incredible stuff. I’ve tried to focus on strong character voice to seperate the Jackie Joneses, and there is a great example of how to write voice in the opening chapters of the excellent Blood Red Road by Moira Young, which blew my away when I read it, can’t wait to read the sequel when I get a minute. These are the books that inspired me a lot whilst writing the book.

Q9: Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Whoops! Please see above 🙂 I do get a lot of visual inspiration from movies and TV, as well as reading other books. Nolan’s Batman trilogy, a brilliant British series called The Fades, Sherlock the TV series, Luther, Harpers Island, and all 7 Harry Potter films fuelled the concept and characters. Two movies really inspired the setting – The Descent and The Others.

Q10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

When writing the cave scenes I watched The Descent movies back to back to try and get into the feel of being vulnerable and in the dark. The penultimate game at Heath Hall is set in three rooms inspired by old fashioned board games – guess which ones? Three artists also inspired the soundtrack for these literal ‘games rooms’ – The Doors, The Prodigy and Adele. I also speak about Dartitis, an incredibly frustrating condition for many darts players who suddenly find it hard to release a dart. I encountered this whilst playing in a pub league and it’s bloody terrible! Incredibly sad to see the human machine when it breaks down like this, especially when people are trying so hard to fight it!

So, that’s a bit about Jackie Jones my new book, if you follow the links below you will find other authors who will be answering these questions about their up and coming work.

So next week look out for posts by –

Steve McHugh – https://stevejmchugh.wordpress.com/

Steve McHugh writes the Urban Fantasy series the Hellequin Chronicles the first book of which is Crimes Against Magic and is available now

Jan Carr – http://jancarr.wordpress.com/

Jan Carr is a childrens writer working on her debut novel and is a member of SCBWI

Matt Wingett – http://www.lifeisamazing.co.uk/

Matt Wingett is the writer of The Portsmouth Stories, available now from Amazon.

William Sutton – http://www.william-sutton.co.uk/index.html

William Sutton’s first novel The Worms of Euston Square is a literary mystery set beneath the smoggy  cobblestones of Victorian London and is also availble from Amazon.

Stay tuned for more news on Jackie Jones and a new Deed Verb episode in December.

Also in December, writing begins on The Amber Antidote.

Cheers for dropping by