Call me a tragic sad-case or label me a self-indulgent mastermind — ether way, I think you’ll agree that this interview with me by me is a shamelessly great way to get info out there about my upcoming novel, The Number 3 Mystery Book.
So Chris, can you tell me how this book came about? I’m dying to know. I simply shan’t sleep until I do. I’m not being sarcastic, honest.
Well, thanks for asking and being so enthusiastic as ever, Chris. I wish I could tell you exactly how it came about, but the truth is that I don’t know. I literally woke up in the night one day in 2010 and thought That’s it! That’s the whole book! Within 3 weeks the first shocking draft was complete. Although back then it had a completely different name.
I’d love to say I hadn’t heard it all before, but obviously I can’t. Anyway, can you tell us why you chose a 13 year old boy with Cherubism as the main protagonist? Some people think that’s a bit weird…
Well there’s no need to be like that. But anyway, I don’t think it’s that weird. What I think, actually, is that medical conditions like Cherubism are really fascinating. I suspect this is partially the case because over the last few years I’ve been forced to read up about a lot of medical stuff. Because of that I’ve often come across obscure diseases and conditions. Also, I read a lot of books where the people are very normal. While we can all associate with that, I think it’s fun to write about the obscure things too. Dark humour lends itself to that too, which is good – and humour is a great way of making an otherwise upsetting story a bit more readable, I think.
In the book, Barney is obsessed with Cryptozoology – the study of creatures not yet recognized by science, which may or may not be real. How have you become quite the expert on this subject? And honestly, do you really believe all that crap?
I tell you what, you’d better stop being so hostile or this interview is over.
Forget it. And to answer your questions, a) I’ve always been intrigued by Cryptozoology, and always wanted to write a book about it in some form, and b) no, I don’t believe all that “crap”. I am open minded about a number of things though. That doesn’t mean I believe it per say, it just means that I’ve read up enough to know that although a lot of it is obviously untrue, some of it just may hold water.
If you say so, weirdo. What about editing? Did you just write it and say “da da, it’s done!” or did you have other people read it, comment it and edit it?
I think we’d better make this the last question. And no, I didn’t just write it, say “da da, it’s done!” and call it a day. In fact, I had 1 close friend read it and give me feedback, and 2 other people also gave me their opinions on the opening chapters. Once I’d got a general opinion, I started again with the 2nd draft and basically just tore it apart. While most of the original story stayed where it was, a lot was cut and revised. Mainly dialogue. After about 8 months I then, by pure chance, came across a guy (Phil) who was really good at spotting problems with the logic in computer games, and passed him the book. He then went through it and pointed out a lot of technical problems with the story – things I was already aware needed some work. It was definitely worthwhile, and yeah, I’d advise anyone who has written a book to have it edited by someone. Failing that, it should at least be read by a number of people. After all, if you don’t do that, how will you know what works before you put it out there?
OK, I think I need a wee.
Shut it. Just tell me lastly, how long did it take for you to complete the whole process, including the cover art?
Don’t worry, I’ll be quick, don’t wet yourself! It took me about a year to write the book, from start to finish, with 3 drafts before I was ready. The cover was the quickest thing about it. That was over and done with in about a day, and I painted it using black acrylic on white paper. There should be an image coming soon.