I was kindly tagged not once but twice – by Ruth Dugdall and Marva Gregorio De Souza – but I am so absurdly late in answering that it’s probably called The Last Big Thing by now. In any case, here are my answers:
What is the working title of your book?
A Virtual Love. It’s out in April, and now has a cover design which I am showing for the first time.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
The book is concerned with the theme of identity, and how such an apparently simple, fixed concept as “who we really are” is quite contingent and subject to change. The idea came about as I thought about how modern technology helps us to shape our identities in quite different ways and change them at will, while putting extra pressure on us to make those identities acceptable to the watching world.
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
This is going to sound like a copout, but I’m not going to name any. The reason is that I have a very clear image of the main characters in my head, and any real-life actors I tried to shoehorn into the roles just didn’t seem quite right. It’s like when you’ve read a book, and then watch the movie version later – often the actors seem wrong, because they’re displacing the images you’ve created yourself. Because I spent years writing this book, the problem is acute.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
What happens when you spend so long manufacturing identities for the outside world that you lose track of who you really are?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m represented by James Wills at Watson Little, and the book will be published by Legend Press.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About a year and a half or a couple of years, I think. It was quite a long time ago now, as I’ve been through several more drafts since then!
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
My aim was to write a book that is different from books already written.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My inspiration for writing this book was the same as my inspiration for writing in general – I write because I want to express my view of the world. For me a novel is an unparalleled opportunity to see the world through the eyes of another person. I hope that my ideas are interesting to others, and that I have shaped them into a compelling story that people will enjoy and find thought-provoking.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I made the narrative structure reflect the plot and characters. For example, the book is narrated by several characters but we never hear from the main character, for reasons which become clear in the final stages…
So now I have to tag five other writers to complete the same exercise. Here they are, in no particular order:
That’s it! Thanks again to Ruth and Marva, and hope it was interesting. If there’s anything else you’d like to know about the book or the writing of it, please ask!