I’d like to thank Anne Zouroudi for nominating me as one of her choices when she completed the ‘Next Big Thing’ questions.  I am a keen admirer of Anne’s novels and also greatly respect her as a writer with a genuine desire to help less established authors than herself.   Most readers of this blog will already be familiar with the ‘Next Big Thing’, a blog-hop that spreads the news about what new book authors are working on, via a common set of ten questions.  So here I go:

What’s the title of your next book?

It’s Almost Love, to be published in June 2013.  There is more information about it here.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It came partly from the extraordinary venue used for a conference that I attended – a house that had once been owned by Liberace – and partly from my discovery of an unlikely liaison between two people I know.

What genre does your book fall under?

It is a crime novel.  Elaine Aldred has kindly described me as a ‘literary’ crime writer.  I don’t really like categorising books, but, as a Salt writer, I do try to pay as much attention to the characters and the language that I use as to the plot.

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

It depends on which characters!  Rupert Penry-Jones fits the bill almost exactly for DI Yates; Franka Potente would be excellent as Katrin;  Ralph Fiennes would play Guy Maichment, one of the villains, to perfection.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

The disappearance of an elderly eminent female archaeologist and the simultaneous, but apparently unrelated, start of an illicit love affair between two colleagues together set off a chain of events that results in several murders; as the aspirations of a macabre right wing political group are also re-ignited, catastrophe threatens.

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

Like In the Family, it will be published by Salt Publishing.  I don’t have an agent.  I’m proud to be a Salt author.

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

I’m still tidying it up in places.  I started writing it when on holiday in France in August 2011.

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

That’s a very difficult question!  I honestly haven’t read anything that resembles it much, partly because, as with In the Family, the South Lincolnshire setting is very important.   I suppose it could be described as Michael Dibdin meets Henning Mankell in South Lincs, though that sounds terribly pretentious and more than a little absurd!

 Who or what inspired you to write this book?

It was always my intention to write several DI Yates stories.  The first seeds of Almost Love were sown by a telephone conversation; it was a piece of gossip, really.

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

I’ve taken a lot of trouble with the archaeological background, which is inspired in part by the existence of the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society, a fascinating three-centuries-old organisation. Readers who’ve already met Tim Yates may be intrigued by some additional complications in his personal life.

I’d now like to pass the Next Big Thing baton to Laura Joyce, a fellow Salt author who has greatly impressed me with her debut novel, The Museum of Atheism.