The Next Big Thing but rather later than most

I’ve been tagged in The Next Big Thing by fellow writer Heikki Hietala, author of the excellent, many-layered Tulagi Hotel and so I have to tell you all about my next book by answering these questions and then tagging five other authors about their Next Big Thing. So …

What is the working title of your next book?
Hmmm, first problem. The book could be one of three and I never have even a working title until I finish. It’s always the narrative that suggests the titles to me.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
OK, I said there were three; two are sequels (to The Figurehead and The Sparrow Conundrum) and the third is the final one in my Jack Carston series.

What genre does your book fall under?
History, Humour and Crime, in that order.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
This could get complicated so let’s stick with Carston. He’s middle-aged, attractive but getting a bit grumpy, so Alan Rickman, and for his wife, self-assured, GSOH, the brilliant Olivia Colman.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
His compassion for people and his awareness of the limits of his role as a cop lead to drastic actions and his leaving the police service.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Self-published. The industry is changing ever faster.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I haven’t started it yet, but the average is about 4-6 months for the first draft, then the same for the subsequent editing.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Crime is so disparate that there are plenty in the range of sympathetic, atypical detectives. I don’t think my books follow a traditional pattern and in this case, Carston will certainly overstep the bounds of his remit, so I have to pass.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I don’t like the word ‘inspire’ much but I’ll play along. It was the character himself and the natural progression he’s followed through the five previous books. (By the way, the same is true of the two sequels I mentioned. It’s always the characters who dictate what needs to happen, who insist on being given more room.)

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
A liking for Carston the character from reading one or more of the other books in the series. The fact that this is where the journey through them has led him. Or maybe the thought that the darker bits will always be counterbalanced by humour.

And now, just to show how cutting edge I’m not, I have no other writers to recommend to you yet because most of my friends seem to have been tagged already, some of them ages ago..


  1. And it’s definitely good to see you back, Sara. If you’d like me to send you the list of my fees for various services, you’ll find that ‘Providing inspiration’ is very competitively priced.

    1. Thank you Donna. Isn’t ‘working on’ a lovely, flexible term? Much better than the sort of ‘working’ that leads to ‘completing’. And glad you agree about Rickman – that voice and his delivery are perfect too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.