What is the title of your next book? I’ve been really productive this last year, with the result I have three books contracted – a collection of anonymous children’s verse, Erky Perky Silly Stuff, also The Beginner’s Guide to Better English and an adult novel, The Girl in the Basement, due out in May 2013.
Where did the idea come from for the book? A photograph was the impetus for The Girl in the Basement. Found in a US shopping strip mall car park, it showed a teenage girl in the foreground who was gagged and bound; behind her was a boy about seven, also gagged and bound. When the photo appeared on national television, two sets of parents came forward; their respective children had disappeared months previously and this was the first evidence of what had happened to them. I wondered what kind of man would kidnap children and why.
What genre does your book fall under? Written from two points of view – the girl’s and the kidnappers – the novel is a psychological thriller.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? Edward Norton would be a good choice for the kidnapper/serial killer while Abigail Breslin would probably suit the role of Libby, the kidnapped teenager.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A serial killer looking for love kidnaps and imprisons children.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? The book will be published by Morris Publishing Australia www.morrispublishingaustralia.com
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? First draft took about 12 months but it’s been rewritten a number of times so all up from inception to completion it’s taken three years or so.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? A YA novel, Stolen by Lucy Christopher, which is set in outback Australia wherein a teenage boy kidnaps a girl he has a crush on while she is in transit in an overseas airport. There are parallels, too, with Stephen King’s Misery.
What else about the book might pique the reader's interest? My publisher has described The Girl in the Basement as ‘thrilling’, ‘gripping’, ‘chilling’ and ‘action-packed’. The kidnapper is a psychopath, ready to kill at a moment’s notice, so there is considerable tension in the novel as his teenage hostage tries to keep alive by employing at much guile as possible, all the time despising him and seeking ways of escaping.