Over to you, Iain!
I'm going to be greedy here, and tell you about two — my collections of short stories.
Nowhere To Go is eleven crime short stories that were first published in various places in print and on the web. Some of them won awards and stuff. We put one of the stories, One Step Closer, out as an individual free taster and much to our surprise it was downloaded some 10,000 times in a month and spent the whole month as the number one free short story on Amazon UK.
Ice Age is a little different, eight stories of the strange and chilling. Just right for this time of year. It's full of stories about the dead and the living, and about cities at war where it is very hard to tell one from the other. Stories of lonely roads, and forest paths, and wrong turnings. Very wrong turnings.The fiery martyrdom of The New Way, distant voices that call from the sea, and the ice creeping in, ever in.
When you add the lime to the mojito.
How much difference does an editor make?
I had the pleasure of working with an editor over a few months once, and she was brilliant - took a book that I thought was pretty good, showed me where it was flawed, and worked with me to turn it into a much better book than it had been. One of the most educational experiences in my whole writing uh ... don't like to use the word ‘career’ because that doesn't really fit. Experience. That's better.
What aspects of marketing your book do you enjoy?
None of it. And that's the truth. I hate marketing my books, because it makes me feel like the worst kind of in-your-face, pushy-pushy-pushy bore that we all try and avoid. I know that we all have to do it, and I know that we all do do it, and I know that there are ways of doing it that are relatively inoffensive, and I hope that my efforts fall into that category. But I still hate every minute of it.
And if you all buy my books, I won't need to do any more marketing so spare me the pain and — no, no good. Can't do it.
How do you feel about interviews?
I like them. But not the ones where they shine the bright light in your face and give you tea in polystyrene cups that you pick at nervously while the men shout things like: 'So where were you on the night of the 14th and why is your hifi tuned in to a Russian numbers station?'
The biggest challenge with interviews is finding something new and interesting to say, and not feel that you are recycling the same lines over and over again. Cue people googling to see if I have said that before.
I've just come off a massive William Gibson jag. After getting his latest, Zero History, I've actually read my way through his trilogy of trilogies. I started off with the recent three (yeah, I know that's not the best way to have done it), then read the Bridge Trilogy, then went back to Neuromancer and read through the Sprawl books. Lot of fun in the first books, but there's a perception and level of observation in the latter books that really works for me.
So, for a change of pace I'm read Tom Rob Smith's Child 44. I enjoyed the paranoia and horror of the setting in Stalinist USSR, but wasn't at all engaged by the characters and found the whole experience strangely flat. Got worse, when the massive coincidence engine fired up. I've not got a great track record with crime novels that get highly touted and achieve cross-over success — I really wasn't impressed by The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and have never been tempted to read the next two.
In danger of sounding like a total not-like-anything-successful-poser here, I know. To be fair to me, my favourite book ever (The Secret History) was a highly-touted, cross-over success.
As an antidote I just finished the excellent Don Winslow's Savages. Not his best book (The Power Of The Dog is a fantastic novel), but great visceral, smart and mean fun. Has possibly the best opening chapter ever. It's only two words long.
What are you currently working on?
A new novel, about a policeman who lives long-term undercover with a protest group and starts to lose track of who he is, what he's meant to believe in, whose side he's on, and who he's meant to be sleeping with.
I know, unrealistic and could never happen here ...
How can we keep up to date with your news?
Crimestoppers. Or alternatively, and with less chance of a cash reward, my blog — blog.iainrowan.com
Other than writing/being published, do you have a claim to fame?
Björk once told me to fuck off.
What would your epitaph be?
GET OFF MY GRAVE OR I AM COMING FOR YOU.