06-02-2009 02:22 PM
It's an interesting question. I'm not sure about what style exactly the new books will be but they will be similar in terms of scale and adventure. Although to be honest, until I start writing it's hard to say what they will be. But it's exciting to think about. I have a handful of ideas I'm going to discuss with my editors when the third book is finished.
I hope you enjoy THE SECRET SPEECH.
06-03-2009 01:58 PM
Tom Rob Smith,
I agree. The covers of both of your books are great. I like the raised gold letters - they give the book a wonderful feeling. (Obviously into all aspects of books...)
The Secret Speech is well worth my trip over the mountain. I started it this morning and it's very tempting not to put it down - although I do have things to deal with today.
I often decide whether or not to read a book by its first sentence. The first sentence of The Secret Speech is definitely impressive. I have great respect for a good, long sentence. Yours is poetic, with its alliteration and I like the image created by your words, "...dicing the skyline with columns of burning oil." (p1)
Can you describe what it's like to write that first sentence? Is there more pressure for the first words, page, chapter?
06-04-2009 12:58 PM
You're right, the first line is important. But I think there's sometimes a danger of putting too much emphasis on it, it doesn't need to reinvent the wheel in order to draw a reader in. So it is a juggling act of trying to come up with something that is in itself intriguing but which also services the story. Certainly by the end of the first paragraph you should have allowed the reader to enter the world and hopefully, critically, have them asking "what happens next".
I'm pleased you feel like you can't put it down!
All the best
06-04-2009 01:30 PM
Well, I didn't get to what I thought I needed to do yesterday. I was unable to put your book down, with the exception of fueling myself for what I call power-reading. I read yesterday, into the night and completed your book this morning. I must thank you! I enjoyed it as much as Child 44.
Thank you also for sharing what it's like to be a writer. It occurred to me that you're pretty far into writing your next book by the time the previous is published. How much attention do you pay to reviews and do they influence your writing?
06-05-2009 03:58 AM
I am very pleased you're enjoying THE SECRET SPEECH.
Reviews are very important in terms of making the reader aware a new book is out.
In terms of influencing your writing, the most important element of influence is being able to understand the person giving advice. When I worked in television there would be a whole room full of people giving feedback and for whatever reasons I trusted some of them, and not others. Advice and critcism always comes from a particular position, and without knowing what that position is, it is very hard to act on that advice.
I rely on my editors and long-time readers who were giving advice before I'd been published.
06-06-2009 12:24 AM - edited 06-06-2009 12:31 AM
It's still June 5th here in the Southwest portion of US. May not be wherever you are. I want to thank you again for your communication. I really hope you return with your next book!
You've been writing about the not too distant past - a past which may seem more distant to those younger than me. The present sadly contains similar tragedies. I came across an article in June's Atlantic, about South Africa's new president. It's frightening. I was able to access an article online with a similar viewpoint - http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/12/jacob-
As you know, truth can be stranger than fiction. A president who sings, "Bring me my machine gun."
Take care and Happy writing!
06-11-2009 10:28 PM
It's great to see you're back on this site! I received a copy of The Secret Speech back in March from your wonderful publishers, and I'm so sad to say I still have not finished it! I've been insanely busy but I'm just about to lie down with the book and read a good chunk of it. I finally have some down time.
I'm about half way through, and so far I can say I love it. It's just as thrilling as Child 44 and it still keeps me on my toes. I'll most likely do a review on The Secret Speech as I did for Child 44.
I cannot wait for the last book to come out!!
Thank you so much for taking your time to respond to so many good questions!
I still have a lovely shrine in my room with the two versions of the English cover and the Dutch version.