The next big thing

I’ve been tagged in this author-tagging pyramid scheme of a meme that’s been going around online. Somebody tags you, you answer ten questions, you pass it on.

I’ve been tagged by the gifted and talented William Kostakis.

And have in turn tagged these exceedingly fine writers:

Margo Lanagan
Bel Schenk
Heather Taylor Johnson

Look out for their answers early in January. Here are mine:

What is the working title of your next book?


Where did the idea come from for the book?

Parkour + concrete poetry. I’d been getting interested in both things, and one night I started thinking about them both together. Poetry already made sense to me as a way to represent parkour in words – the fluidity and flow you can get with poetry that’s hard to capture with prose – and when I started to imagine what you could do typographically I got really excited. That was the beginning.

What genre does your book fall under?

The Penguin people came up with the tag “genre fiction meets literary verse novel”. Don’t think I can do better than that. (I wrote a thriller! Never thought I’d do that!)

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

It sounds like a cop out, but I wouldn’t. I don’t really know what my characters look like. It’s like that when I’m reading as well – I tend to skip over the ‘descriptiony bits’, as they seem so irrelevant. So (if that wildest dream ever came true), I’d leave it up to someone who knows film and hope they got it right…

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

For Dee, parkour started out as a way to escape his mundane life, but when he is drawn into a frighteningly real conspiracy, it is parkour that will save him.

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

Apart from a year or two of notes and ideas beforehand, the writing of the first draft took seven months. I can be so precise because I had an Australia Council grant that allowed me to take that time off from my full time day job. I knew I had to get it done in that time or it wouldn’t get done. Love deadlines!

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

Purely for the genre/verse novel tag I would have to say Dorothy Porter’s crime novels (as presumptuous as that is).

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Parkour + concrete poetry, like I say above. Once I actually got to the story, though, that’s what kept me going. Finding out about my characters, finding out about their worlds, finding out what happened to them. I love my people, and it was a privilege to dive in and spend some time in their dark, passionate, intense world.

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

The Bruise Blog I wish I’d kept, for the brief time I was actually going to parkour classes! (Thanks to Parkour NSW for their awesome teachers, who bear no responsibility for this old man’s physio bills!)