Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Next Big Thing

Recently Karin Cox invited me to take part in The Next Big Thing, a blog chain in which each person writes on their own blog a post about their next or current book, and links back to the person who invited them, and forward to a few more writers. I’ve known Karin through Indie Chicks Café for nearly a year, and I was delighted to be mentioned in her excellent blog, http://karincox.wordpress.com/
Karin has been a professional editor for fifteen years. She has written many non fiction articles and books, and has recently branched out into fiction. If you go to her blog you can read some very interesting stuff about her new book, Curxim, which should be out sometime in December. Worth checking out!

And now for my own post, answering the questions supplied by Karin.

What is the title of your new book?
It depends what you mean. I’ve recently published two books. One of them, Lady Molly and the Snapper, is a YA book. The other, Angel in Flight, is a romantic thriller, intended to be the first of a series. And I’m currently working on a follow-up to Angel in Flight, to be called Angel in Belfast. But if I’m concentrating on one book today, it will be Angel in Flight.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

I’ve always wanted to follow in Agatha Christie’s footsteps and write a detective story. But after a few attempts, I realized that the intricate plot wasn’t something I was good at. My writing skills are more description and character drawing. However, Christie also wrote lots of thrillers, starting with her second ever book, The Secret Adversary, and going on to many more. So I thought I would go for that. A good few years ago, I wrote a book about a girl coming out of an abusive marriage, finding more trouble during her holiday in Greece. It was called Lady in the Labyrinth. I was also influenced by Mary Stewart in the style of the book.
Recently, I attended a crime writing class run by the great Sam Millar, and he kindly had a look at this book and suggested some changes. Later again, after my book Belfast Girls had been an Amazon bestseller, I thought I’d rewrite the book, taking Sam Millar’s advice – and Angel in Flight was the result.

What genre does your book fall under?

Both Angel in Flight and the Work in Progress, Angel in Belfast, are Romantic Thrillers.

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

I suppose the obvious choice for Angel would be Angelina Jolie – except that Angel is fair-haired (blonde has too many connotations!) For the hero, Josh, Matt Damon would be my first choice!

Will your book be self published or do you have an agent/publisher?

Self publishing is no longer sneered at. I’d be happy to be self published, if I had the technical know how. But as a matter of fact, my first book, Belfast Girls, was accepted and published by Night Publishing, for which I’ll always be grateful; and when my husband Raymond McCullough set up his own publishing company, Precious Oil Publications, I switched to him for my second book, Danger Danger, and for all succeeding books. Just like Virginia Wolfe, who was also published by her husband.

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

Good question. Either years, or a few months, depending on what you mean!

What other books would you compare your book to within the genre?

The Modesty Blaise books, by Peter O’Donnell are probably the closest.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I’d always loved the Saint books, James Bond, and Modesty Blaise. Recently, I’ve also really enjoyed the Lara Croft movies. Angel, described by a reviewer as ‘a feisty wee Belfast Girl,’ is similar to all these, with, I hope, an individuality of her own. I’ve tried to give her a lot more depth, while still putting in the thrills, action, and wit of these great heroes.

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

The setting, in the Greek Isles. The background in Belfast (which doesn’t seem to have done my bestseller, Belfast Girls, any harm. There are lots of people out there with Irish roots!) And the plot, which deals with greed in big business – something which is of major importance to all of us who suffer from it these days.

And now I'd like to recommend three other excellent writers. You can check each of them out at their blogs.

Hannah Warren:

Born in Paris, the second child of a Dutch father and English mother, Hannah has lived in the Netherlands almost all her life She studied Dutch literature and Mass Communication at the University of Amsterdam and also has a BA in Eng Lit and in Translation from Rotterdam Uni. A bright little lass! Hannah has been writing since she was eight, but it’s only in the last years that she has seen her book published – When the Ink Dries, published by Taylor Street in 2012. A first class romance, not to be missed.

Lucy Pireel:


Lucy says she’s always been a storyteller, but now sees herself as a writer. She’s a wife and mother and an avid reader, who loves baking and her dog. She refuses to be limited to one genre – good for her! – and writes anything from romance to horror to fairy tales with a twist. Her new book, Red Gone Bad, has just been published on Amazon. 

And last but definitely not least,

Melanie Dent:


Melanie is a marvellous story teller and a prolific writer. I love her Lynchcliffe series, which are currently in process of being given a fresh edit, and republished. If you enjoy Downton Abbey, you'll love Mel's books, which are set in the same pre world war times and have the same lovely period feeling. Mel has been through a lot in her not very long life, but is a woman of tremendous courage and strength who doesn't give up, and this is reflected in her writing. The first of Melanie's re-edited books is available on Lulu but not yet on Amazon. When she posts her Next Big Thing post soon, I expect the links will be there. Meanwhile, you can get the first  Volume of the Lynchcliffe Chronicles here.


  1. Lovely piece and interesting to read more about you, Gerry. You're such an example to many other writers, esp. to me. I will never forget that you have helped me from the time when I made my first tentative moves towards publication. Thank you so much for this and everything.

  2. Hannah, thanks so much. But remember that you have also helped me, and your writing has given me so much joy. Your debut book, finally titled When the Ink Dries is a real delight.

  3. Wonderful interview and so informative Gerry. I loved Belfast Girls (as you know)and I am rushing through my TBR pile so I can get to Angel and Danger, Danger asap. Writing crime/thrillers/mystery stories is a challenge and there are so many 'mistresses' of the genres, it is daunting. But I have no doubts, judging by what I have read of yours to date, that you will be nipping at their heels soon enough. I will pop along and visit your nominee's blogs as well....thanks so much.

  4. Jane, thanks so much for taking time to read this post and comment. I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I'm delighted that you liked Belfast Girls, and it will be even nicer if you find that you like my other books when you get to them. Thanks again!

  5. You're a true inspiration! I look forward to having some time to read your romantic thrillers over the holidays. Thanks so much for taking part.

  6. Thanks so much, Write with you! And I do hope you enjoy the books!

  7. Love Gerry's books. Excellent reads.

  8. Aw, thank you, Barb! And may I recommend to asnyone who hasn't read them Barbara's own Twisted Fairy Tales series, starting with The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland Aged 42 and three quarters – marvellous title! http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Wonderland-Three-Quarters-Mystery-ebook/dp/B003BIGFSE