The next big thing – MIDNIGHT & MOONSHINE

Long, long ago, in pretty much this galaxy right here, a guy called Paul Magrs started this viral author promotional idea. The idea was to start with, say, five writers, and send them a set of interview questions asking about their latest writing project, whether they’re published, or still struggling (or, of course, published and struggling).

Thanks to the wonderful (though slightly misguided) Adrian Bedford, I present my deluded ramblings.

What is the working title of your next book?

That’s tricky, being a publisher I’ve got a number of next books. The next book we’ll start shipping is MIDNIGHT & MOONSHINE, by Lisa L. Hannett and Angela Slatter. The next book in the list to publish is INVISIBLE KINGDOMS by Steven Utley, in February 2013. And the forthcoming book that I’m focussing most attention on at this very moment is Juliet Marillier’s PRICKLE MOON, publication April 2013.

Given this is about “the next big thing”, I should talk about MIDNIGHT & MOONSHINE, as Hannett and Slatter fit that best. Juliet Mariller has been bigger than the next big thing for over a decade; while Utley has been writing the most underrated short stories for 40 years.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea came via email from Angela Slatter, that went something along the lines of, “Lisa and I are going to write a collection of linked stories about Norse Gods, fairies, and shoes, and it’s going to be awesome, and you’re gonna publish it, and pay us lots of shoe-money.  And here’s a story about fairies and shoes that we prepared earlier.”

Given I think fairies are crap and am blissfully ignorant in the ways of women’s shoes, I agreed straight away. It also helped that I knew Angela and Lisa were totally shit-hot writers who could make anything work.

What genre does your book fall under?

Dark fantasy, or fantasy with horror elements, or horror with fantastical elements. I’m not good at putting books into genres.

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

This is tricky, given the stories span over a thousand years, with characters coming and going. I’d like to see Angelica Houston in it somewhere, and if Dame Margaret Smith could play an ageing Southern belle there’s a role just right for her.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

From fire giants to whispering halls, disappearing children to evening-wolves, fairy hills to bewitched cypress trees, and talking heads to moonshiners of a special sort, MIDNIGHT & MOONSHINE takes readers on a journey from ninth century Vinland to America’s Deep South in the present day.

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

Published by Ticonderoga Publications.

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

The contract was signed December 2010, and the manuscript was delivered around August this year.

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

It would be tempting and lazy to compare MIDNIGHT & MOONSHINE with Neil Gaiman’s AMERICAN GODS, but while there are thematic similarities, really the two are very different. Hannett and Slatter are very different writers indeed.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I have absolutely no idea. What inspired me to buy it was the fiercely fabulous body of work Hannett and Slatter have produced, and the confidence that they’d deliver something that would be uniquely brilliant.

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

There’s fantastic cover art by Kathleen Jennings, a wonderful introduction by Kim Wilkins, and a limited hardcover edition signed by all contributors. We’re launching it in Brisbane at Avid Reader bookshop on 30 November, with a second launch at the South Australian Writers Centre in Adelaide on 14 December. MIDNIGHT & MOONSHINE received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, and you can order this awesome book from http://www.indiebooksonline.com

Now, who to tag next?

Definitely Juliet Marillier and Steven Utley, as I short-changed them right at the start of this. Kim Wilkins, Amanda Pillar, and Greg Mellor (I’d also tag my beautiful fiancé Liz Grzyb if she didn’t keep telling me how busy she is at this time of year).

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