The Next Big Thing!

Blog Hopping Event

Dave McCall: ‘I've been tagged in The Next Big Thing by fellow writer Helen Hollick (Helen reached the USA Today Bestseller list with her novel The Forever Queen in 2011).

I'm instructed to tell you all about my next book by answering the following questions and then I tag five other authors about their Next Big Thing. So here I go!

What is the working title of your next book?
My second novel is called The Assassin’s Mark and I’m working towards a publication date of March-April 2013.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was researching a novel about the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War and came across a paper on the Battlefield Tours that Franco launched – mainly for British tourists – before the war was even finished. It was too good a story to ignore.

What genre does your book fall under?
Historical thriller with a generous amount Agatha Christie and a splash of Rick Stein, seasoned with a pinch of mild erotica.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I always picture actors in my main character roles anyway so, in this case, Christopher Eccleston as Jack Telford and Rachel Weisz as Valerie Carter-Holt.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A Christie-esque thriller set on a battlefield tour bus towards the end of the Spanish Civil War.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m planning to self-publish with the help of SilverWood Books but if somebody wants to make me an offer I can’t refuse...

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I started to write in February 2011 and finished the first draft (180,000 words) in October that year – then travelled with it through all its locations in Northern Spain to check the “feel” and complete the first re-write (168,000 words). The final version is 152,000 words.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
C J Sansom’s Winter in Madrid; Dave Boling’s Guernica; Rebecca Pawel’s Death of a Nationalist; Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Long list, I’m afraid. Old comrades like Jack Jones and Frank Deagan from whom I first learned about the “real” experience of the Spanish Civil War. Spanish family friends who lived through the war and Franco’s repression that followed it. Wonderful historians like Antony Beevor and Paul Preston who’ve never lost sight of the Spanish Civil War’s significance for all of us. Sandie Holguin who introduced me to the bus tours that feature centrally in the story.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
The Spanish Civil War is badly neglected by English-language fiction writers so, at one level, I wanted the novel to be informative as well as entertaining. I’d like it to be a “must” for all those who already have an affection for Spain and maybe want to learn a bit more about the country’s history and culture – while still being able to sit on a beach with a good pot-boiler and need to keep “turning the pages.”

For more about my current novel, The Jacobites’ Apprentice, and other relevant information, please visit my main website...

Here are some great authors I've tagged to tell you about their own Next Big Thing!

Jean Dorricott
: Born in North Wales, Jean’s short stories and poems began to win awards and she was asked to write a non-fiction study guide to science and religion. She has recently published a futuristic thriller, Ruin of the Soul, and she currently lives in Norwich.

Nick Marsh: Nick is a science fiction author, veterinary surgeon and, he says, a self-confessed geek. His books include Soul Purpose, Past Tense and, most recently, The Express Diaries. He is an active member of New Writers UK.

A R Dance: Alan writes novels – Narrow Marsh and Leen Times - set in the world of nineteenth century Nottingham. He is also a local historian, author of The Chilwell Ghost: A New Investigation.

Sherry Jones: American journalist and internationally best-selling author of the controversial The Jewel of Medina and other historical fiction novels about women's power.

Moira McPartlin: A writer from Stirlingshire, her first novel, The Incomers, is set in Fife during the 1960s. She is also a convenor for the Federation of Writers Scotland.

Annemarie Neary: Annemarie's short fiction has appeared in anthologies, magazines and on numerous shortlists in the UK, Ireland and the US. Her first novel, A Parachute in the Lime Tree, was published by The History Press Ireland in 2012.