Marc Nash (A, B & E)
1. How long did it take you to get “A,B&E” to the point where you felt it was ready?
It was very stop start over 8 years until I could figure out who the main character was talking to as an intermediary between her and the reader. The bulk of the book was in place within the first 18 months.
2. If you walked into a crowd of people with only 10 copies of your book to give away, what three questions would you ask to make sure it went to the people who’d enjoy it most?
Is this putative crowd gathered in a bookshop? In which case I’d have to 1) ask which local Radio Station DJ was doing a book signing to justify such a turnout? 2) Who here redeems their kids’ unwanted book tokens for cash and who just takes them and spends them themselves? – These aren’t related to seeing who should get my book, I’m just curious.
1) What are we protesting about and will we throw eggs?
2) Who likes chiclit, SF & Fantasy? (I like hostile audiences)
3) Who thinks they might have been burned as a witch in a former life? (might not get the requisite 10 on this one) William Tyndale was executed for daring to translate the Bible into everyday English, that’s the kind of vibe I’m after with my words…
3. Suppose someone puts a gun to your head and says “pitch me in one paragraph your autobiography from the moemnt you started writnig this book to the moment it went to the printers”. what would you say to them?
I’ve had to be quite hard headed to get to this point so I hope you’ve got spare ammo. Are they dumdum bullets? This close and you’ll get gunshot residue on your balaclava… All book pitches ought to be done this way, but then fair’s fair, we get to point the gun at them for their verdict? Interestingly, this scenario equates quite closely to my protagonist’s story…
4. “You’ll hate “A,B&E” if you like……”
demure ladies who know their place. Also if you’re a strong advocate of piercings tattoos and body pictorial art, though rest assured the views of my protagonist are not necessarily those of my own.
5. How easy did you find it to find the voice in this book?
I honestly believe any work of art has to derive from the artist’s own self, however imaginatively worked on, whatever creative leaps they have made. My character’s voice is one of my voices, or an amalgam of several probably. What keeps it fresh as I go along writing it, is to quarry those parts of self that may not constitute the daily ‘me’.
6. When this book is reprinted in 10 years time, what will it say on the back flap?
£59.99 or £0.23 depending on the retail price index and the fate of printed books.
7. Which was harder to write, the beginning or the end.
The beginning was a breeze, whereas the end was so elusive for so long, I actually wove a subplot into the whole novel and in the final reckoning it was the subplot that got the last word.
8. Give me 10 adjectives or adverbs you’d have loved to use in this book but couldn’t because you were good and kileld yor darlings.
Nope, they’re pretty much all still in there. Except maybe ‘humble’. I employ ‘guillotine’ and ‘lodestone’ as adjectives to give you an idea…
9. Whilst reading this book, people should listen to…
Greek Rebetika music spliced with trance. Rebetika is the Greek gangster ‘blues’ from their diaspora once they were forcibly evicted from the Ottoman Empire. It is the music of exile. Trance is the music of the developed world getting the primitive badly wrong.
10. What made you write this book, and has writing it exorcised it from your system?
It starts with the convergence of the voice of the main character and the central metaphor. The impulse their combination provides drives the whole writing process for me. Exorcised? Don’t quite see it like that, but equally there will be no sequel either…
11. Avoiding the temptation to answer it, what do you wish I’d asked you?
How to avoid temptation. No, don’t tell me!