Today it's my pleasure to join in the publication day celebrations and welcome Jake Cross to the blog to find out a little more about his latest book Hide.
I’ve been writing since I was about ten. I started with pick-your-path adventure gamebooks, then tried my hand at film scripts and short stories. By the time I was fourteen, I was already thinking of a career and already submitting to agents and publishers. I never gave up, but the years flew by and the rejections mounted up. Kids appeared, wrinkles appeared, but no book contracts. But all good things come to those who wait.
If you had to give an elevator pitch for your latest book Hide, what would it be?
Well, here’s the blurb from the publisher:
When armed men infiltrate the tiny Peak District hamlet of Barkelow, Emil Torrance thinks they're here to kill him because of his past. After killing one of the gunmen he flees, but when he learns that the men have taken control of the entire hamlet, he realises his son is in grave danger.
Believing that calling the police will cost lives, he decides to deal with the problem alone. But when he learns that he’s not the target at all, Emil realises he is facing and even greater threat.
How far are the armed men prepared to go?
What is their motive?
If Emil and his son are going to survive, he will have to become the man he has been trying to hide from…
We all have a past but obviously, but in Hide, Emil has a darker past than most so he's prepared to go to almost any lengths to protect his family, were there any situations that you wrote but decided to remove as maybe a step too far?
When I first had the idea for this novel, it was meant to be a very violent action thriller. The book it became was toned down, primarily because the bad guys didn’t turn out to be the wild lunatics I’d initially planned. I’d also sated my desire for the gung-ho with my first novel, The Choice.
Which comes first for you, the plot or characters?
Plot, always. My stories tend to be about normal people having far from normal days. I invent a situation, then decide on the type of characters I want to toss into the fire. Sometimes a character type sways the direction of the plot, but sometimes the whole story can be fully outlined before the cast enters.
If any of your books were to be made into a film, which would you choose and why? And who would you cast in the main roles?
I think HIDE would transfer to the screen quite well. It’s got scenery and cool bad guys and keeps the pace over a short period. I see the lead, Emil, as looking a little like John Goodman. I see Gary Oldman doing a great Alex Cavil.
What was the first book that you read that made you think 'I would like to write something like that one day?'
Out of Their Minds, by Clifford Simak. I was just a kid and this book had dinosaurs, werewolves, and whatever else Simak decided to imagine. It was very cool and I wanted to go wild with my imagination like this.
If you could give some advice to your younger self about the whole writing/publication process, what would it be?
Don’t sit back when you get your book contract. Editing is where the writing gets really hard. But just enjoy every moment. Oh, and go easy on the word ‘dear’ in book three.
If you could write in a collaboration with another author, who would you like to write with and why?
Stephen King, for sure. My mum was a fan of his. I’d heard of a couple of his films, like ‘Salem’s Lot, but I didn’t know he wrote books. I thought he just came up with ideas for films. Once I knew there were novels, I started buying them with my pocket money. Pet Sematary was the new one back then, and I loved it. I was hooked. My mission was to write a book with him by the time I was sixteen. I’ll save you the time of checking his bibliography for my name: never happened.
What novel(s) have you read recently that you wish you had written?
I don’t really do this, but there are writers whose power I wish I could match. Clive Barker and Stephen Hunter are two guys who are simply magicians with the written word. In terms of actual books, I’m impressed more by the dedication involved in non-fiction. Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham is a recent one that massively impressed me.
Follow Jake on Facebook Jake Cross Author or on Twitter @JakeCrossAuthor for news of his books and writing.
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