Stephen Gallagher - writer, director and dear pal for more years than I care to remember - tagged me into something called the Blog Hop. This is a feature where you ask writers 10 questions about the 'next big thing' that's happening for them, and then they tag 5 other writers. It seems to be the equivalent of what used to be called a chain-letter (for those that ever remember sending a letter through the post), but with sincere friendship rather than malicious intent. However, it seems that the 5 writers I would have tagged have already been tagged in this process, so I may be last of the line. If you're a Facebook writer friend, please don't be offended if I haven't include you here - I just wouldn't want to pass this on to you if we hadn't met face to face, or shared a drink or something. To me, it would be the equivalent of grabbing you by the lapels in a bar and demanding: "Sign this ..." But hey, if you're a Facebook friend and meet me in a bar; come say 'Hello'.

Check out Steve G's blog for other writers at - brooligan.blogspot.co.uk

My 10 Q & A are:-

(1) What is the title of your book?
‘SOMEWHERE SOUTH OF MIDNIGHT’ (a first ebook release of the novel originally released by Hodder and Stoughton/New English Library).

(2) Where did the idea come from?
There was no single idea. As with most of my novels, it was a combination of ideas and related themes which finally came together in a narrative strand that excited me.

(3) What genre best defines your book?
It’s a horror novel, and I’m proud to be a horror novelist. But the term ‘horror’ on its own doesn’t describe SOMEWHERE. It’s a ‘horror/thriller/mystery/disaster/epic’ novel – but I’d be surprised if you found a shelf in a bookstore with that title.

(4) What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
Character actors, rather than stars. I occasionally have an actor or actress in mind when developing a character (although not always), because if they’re really good at what they do then their mannerisms and attitude can help in formulating that character. I recall using Charles Durning for ex-policeman ‘Chadderton’ in my first novel GHOST TRAIN. ‘Sir James Callender’ in THE FRIGHTENERS was essentially Andre Morell (as per his persona in Hammer Films’ THE PLAGUEOF THE ZOMBIES, right down to the white hair). On the ‘star actor’ front – Rod Taylor as ‘Taylor’ the ex-mercenary in DAEMONIC, and Ingrid Pitt as the ‘Swamp Water Woman’ from the same novel. Ingrid knew about this one while I was writing it, was dead-keen to play the part if it became a film. But it didn’t, so she couldn’t and now she can’t. (Steve Gallagher turns up in THE FRIGHTENERS as a hit man, and his death by jagged tin can is, I believe, a literary first).

(5) What is the one-sentence synopsis?
After a horrific motorway crash caused by something ‘unknown’ (resulting in the death of eighty-seven people) seven survivors emerge – all changed and with terrifying powers.

(6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
The novel has already been published in hardback and paperback by Hodder and Stoughton. This is an ebook release, by Samhain available 4 December 2012).

(7) How long did it take you to write the first draft?
 About a year.

(8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Can’t think of a comparable example, but one review suggested that this was ‘Stephen Laws moving into high-octane thriller territory’ – so maybe in the area that Dean Koontz operates? Or Robert McCammon.

(9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The Zeebrugge ferry disaster. And lots of other things too numerous to mention.

(10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
A quote from my short story collection THE MIDNIGHT MAN (to be republished in June 2013 by Samhain as a trade paperback and an ebook): “The beauty of the genre is simply this – until you take that step through Midnight’s Doorway you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get”. Hopefully, you’ll think you’re getting a horror novel – and you will, but you’ll also be getting a ‘thriller’. You’ll think you’re getting a ‘thriller’- and you will, but you’ll also be getting a ‘mystery’. You think you’ll be getting a ‘mystery’ and you’ll get that, too. But you’ll also be getting something in the journey South of Midnight that I hope will be an emotional engagement that you won’t forget. I hope.