Next Big Thing

 I was tagged to take part in the Next Big Thing by award winning writer Zena Shapter. To avoid letting Zena down I must now answer ten questions about my next book. Here’s hoping I know the answers …

1) What is the working title of your next book?

Savage Tide

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

It’s a strange thing to say, but the idea for the book didn’t come until I’d written about half of it. I was floundering about, writing my characters in and out of a few dicey situations when the true premise occurred to me. I immediately deleted nine-tenths of what I had just done and started all over again.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

My publisher is pushing my books as ‘intelligent thrillers.’ That suits me fine, and I think that label definitely fits Savage Tide. They are most definitely books for grown-ups. People who have been around a bit and taken notice of what’s going on in the world seem to like them the most.

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

I find this almost impossible to answer. To me the characters are real, with their own faces and bodies. To think of an actor taking over those faces and bodies just seems impossible to me.

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

 A terrorist group prepares to deploy a weapon left hidden by a Middle Eastern regime.

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

 It will be published by HarperCollins Australia in book form and also available on Kindle and iBookstore.

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

 I wrote a 105 000 word first draft (including false starts) in about four months. After twelve months of rewriting the manuscript is now 140 000 words long. It’s currently with the copy editor at HarperCollins, and I hope to cut it a little when it comes back to me.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Going back to the ‘intelligent thriller’ tag, I guess I’d compare Savage Tide, to works like Mila 18 by Leon Uris, Executive Orders by Tom Clancy, maybe The Wreckage by Michael Robotham. This one is a little more Tom Clancy than Rotten Gods was, with maybe just a dash of Wilbur Smith.

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

Unfortunately, in the wash-up of George Bush’s war against Iraq, the quite justified condemnation of the US and its allies has somehow allowed the true nature of the Iraqi regime to be hidden. The war was wrong, but have we allowed one of the great butchers of the last century to become whitewashed?

Saddam Hussein did control a large arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, until the mid 1990s at least. United Nations observers oversaw the destruction of half a million litres of chemical agents. Saddam Hussein did conduct a reign of terror against the Kurds, Shi’ites, and political opponents. He did kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and order at least the same number to be tortured, maimed, and degraded in his prisons. He killed almost the entire population of a town after an attempt on his life.

I wanted to help redress this imbalance.

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

Savage Tide, like Rotten Gods, is set just a few years in the future. Climate Change is biting harder. Government debt is bringing down nations. The war with Iran is over, but the peace is uneasy. China continues its economic takeover.

The world is on a knife edge. Two organisations join forces to deploy a ‘legacy weapon’ left hidden by the Iraqi regime.

Below are the authors I’m tagging to answer these questions next. Check out their online platforms in a week, Wednesday, 19th December:

 Kelly McGrath – Co-author of the Life and Times of Chester Lewis –!/KellyInglisAuthor

 Stephen Ormsby – Author of Long Lost Song

 Cameron Raynes – Author of The Colour of Kerosene and Other Stories (Wakefield)!/CamRaynes?fref=ts

Steve Worland – Author of Velocity (Penguin)

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