The Next Big Thing

We interrupt this blog and its recent meditation on shoes and boots and handstands for a bit of blatant self publicity. “The Next Big Thing” is a self referential interview that’s been  hopping round the writer’s community. You question yourself on your latest opus, “tag” someone for the next interrogation and then they pull their socks off, until everyone gets to show their bunions in public.

I was tagged by the unclassifiable surrealist writer and one man novel engine Douglas Thompson. Douglas has about four novels coming out or just released and is probably having a novel published in the Balkans that even he can’t remember writing. What’s more his poetry has just been included in the legendary Ambit Magazine which Carol Anne Duffy and J G Ballard cut their teeth on and then edited.

But let’s tiptoe into my latest strangeness.

1) What is the title of your next book?

The Centrally Locked Mothers of America.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

Lord knows. These things pop into my head like a finger through a piece of cellophane.  I seem to have a thing about people and animals being pushed around on small wooden castors. (My first book was about dogs on castors made into furniture. This is one has a cast of comatose American mothers being rolled about on little wheels)

3) What genre does your book fall under?

The genre that includes animate beings being rolled around on little castors. Either that or “Home Improvement”.

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

The main protagonist in “The Centrally Locked Mothers of America”, Professor Wolfenstein, is a bit of a lothario. So probably a Hollywood bad boy. Or a younger Alan Rickman. Someone with balls and hair.


5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A professor is completely paralysed by the syndrome he helps to discover and then wakes up on a cloud-base in the sky surrounded by his naked female patients playing tennis.

6) When will the book be published?

As soon as I get my bunions looked at.

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

Well I wrote the first draft over  3 months. There’s been a lot of drawer slamming and rewrites and WD 4o since then.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Automatic Safe Dog” ( my first novel about dog furniture) . And I know it sounds poncy but Renee Descartes “Meditations” must have been a big  influence ( the philosopher who came up with the mind body divide)  Think of my book as  a mix of Descartes and those patient information leaflets wilting in the racks of the doctors surgery like forlorn birds. Mix that with an Elmore Leonard potboiler,  a dash of cumin and Borges, a few shavings of bunion and you’re there.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The man pulling the strings at the bottom of my brainstem. I don’t know who he is or what he’s doing there but all day long he’s pulling on those ropes like a bell ringer at a coronation.

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

Sex in the sky, sex on earth and not much contraception.

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