Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing is a chain of writers' blogs. Each writer answers a list of interview questions about their Work In Progress, and tags a couple of other writers who do the same. I was tagged by the lovely Liah (the queen of fantasy and timeslip fiction - though so far not at the same time).
 My interview is below.

What is the working title of your book?
The Abbey Gate

Where did the idea come from?
I've always been interested in social history  - the lives of ordinary people rather than of kings and queens. Local history is an obvious source for that, and Abingdon has plenty: it's said to be the oldest continuously inhabited town in England.

What genre is your book?
Historical fiction.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Alys - Felicity Jones
Will - Sam Claffin
Stephen - Alex Pettyfer
Giles - Derek Jacobi

Give us a one-sentence synopsis.
When rioters attack Abingdon Abbey, Will faces a tough decision: if he joins the rebels, he will lose his livelihood; if he refuses, he will lose the woman he loves.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Not self-published - submission package is with an agent now.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I was ill and off work for a year, and started writing to stave off boredom. Rewriting has taken longer, not least because I went back to work.

What other books would you compare your story to?
Most historical novels seem to be of the Famous People in History type. Some of the early Elizabeth Chadwick novels deal more with ordinary life in the period.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Reading about the Abingdon riots of 1327. Contemporary accounts make it sound like a local dispute - but there were uprisings in other monastery towns in the same year. This led me to speculate about the influence of wider political issues: it was the year of Edward II's deposition.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
We know the names and livelihoods of dozens of people involved in the riot - real people who lived in Abingdon and walked around the same streets as us. I've included lots of them as characters in the book.

I'm tagging Claire Dunn, Donna Fletcher Crow, Mel Menzies and Marion Stroud to pick up the baton...

2 comments:

CF Dunn said...

How interesting, Jan. The years just before the plague are not often touched upon in fiction so I'm looking forward to reading The Abbey Gate (great title). Thanks for tagging me, too.

Anna Ilona Mussmann said...

The book sounds interesting! I would definitely check it out if I read the info from your interview here on a book jacket.