On the blog today I have a interview with M.R.C Kasasian author of Dark Dawn over Steep House. Also I have the opportunity for two lucky winners to win a copy of the book.
The Real You Interview with M.R.C.Kasasian
Thank you for stopping by Love Book Group Blog today, could you please tell my readers a little bit about yourself and your publishing journey.
For as long as I can remember I’ve written stories. When I was eleven my parents gave me a Petite typewriter for Christmas. I’d just read Oliver Twist so all my stories were about orphaned boys. They generally lasted about one page.
I drifted after leaving school, doing all kinds of jobs, mostly unskilled and underpaid until I pulled myself together and went to study Dentistry at UCH London. I worked in an NHS family practice and I loved it. I felt I was providing a service for the community but after 30 years I was exhausted.
Then my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. The shock of it made me reassess my life and so I quit to do what I always wanted to do – be with her and write. Fifteen years on she’s alive and well and so is my writing, I hope.
Describe yourself using three words?
Not dead yet.
What inspired you to write your first novel?
My very first novel was based on my experiences as a hotel waiter in Southport. It was, like many first novels, too autobiographical and was – thank heavens – rejected. I still have a corner of my heart and my loft for it though.
What time of day do you like to write?
Any time any and every day. Once I get steam up I start around 0630 and, family permitting, go on all day.
What is your favourite book and why?
I always feel this is like asking somebody to choose their favourite child. Today it’s Hemingway’s ‘A Movable Feast’ about his days as a struggling writer with his wife Hadley and their child Jack. I know a lot of it is idealized and exaggerated but he can make sitting in a café sharpening pencils sound like heaven.
Tomorrow it might be ‘Great Expectations’ or ‘Treasure Island’ or ‘The Leopard’
How did you pick the title of your book?
All of my Gower Street Detective series have been titled after the main place in the title, starting with Mangle Street and visiting The House of Foskett, Saturn Villa, Gaslight lane and finally this one, Steep House. Head of Zeus suggested the Dark Dawn bit. I wanted something more gruesome and less suitable.
Are the characters in your book based on real people?
No. I try to use the names of real people in public life e.g. a Home Secretary or a Bishop (People send me messages if I get it wrong) but all my fictional characters are completely fictional (though they might disagree with that).
What’s your favourite word?
Myristicivorous which means ‘feeding upon nutmegs’. I once read the preface of a Chambers Dictionary and the writer expressed his disappointment that the word had not been included and I wished I was that erudite. I’m not.
If you were a colour what would it be?
Green to merge with the leather top on my desk.
Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?
I fill notebooks and multiple scraps of paper with plans and stick post-its on drawing boards with different colours for characters, plot etc., type several versions and follow the final one assiduously for three pages when a new angle occurs to me.
Who is your favourite Author?
Again an impossible choice but, since I’ve put him down for my favourite book, I’ll plump for Ernest Hemingway. He could write very badly sometimes but he could also write wonderfully with not a word wasted. He was probably a horrible man at times and wouldn’t have liked me at all. I don’t hunt big game or relish watching bulls being put to death but I would love to have met him.
You are attending a dinner party with four fictitious book characters who would they be and why?
Sherlock Holmes – to explain to him that he was really only a fictional version of my character, Sidney Grice.
Philip from ‘My Cousin Rachel’ so I could give him a good shaking and tell him not to be such a bloody fool.
Sorry to say (because it sounds egotistical) I’d like to meet one of my own characters, March Middleton. I am absolutely besotted with her and could give her a few tips on which disastrous situations to avoid.
Vernon Smith from the Greyfriars stories. I don’t suppose many people have even heard of him but he was known as ‘the bounder’ and used to sneak out of school to smoke and drink – more than a bit like me, though I quit the smoking many years ago.
(Can I sneak Jeeves in to serve dinner and stop us getting into scrapes?)
What book are you reading at the moment?
I read several books at once by which I mean I skip one to the other. I’m not quite clever enough to read different ones with each eye. Mainly factual books about life in WW2 but also Bill Bryson’s History of Almost Everything. He has a rare gift of making what could be dry facts, fascinating and funny.
Where in the world is your happy place?
Anywhere in the sun with Tiggy (my wife) and a bottle of wine.
If you had one superpower what would it be?
Flying. I have a recurrent dream about stretching out my arms and floating into the air, summersaulting and soaring. Last time I ended up sitting in an apple tree with men in white coats gathered below – not a premonition, I hope.
If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?
Shylock. I always felt he was treated abominably and would like to discover an original folio in which he gets his pound of flesh, blood and all.
Are you working on a new project?
Have skipped forwards 6 decades from the 1880’s of my Gower St Detective Series and am now writing about a Woman Police Officer in 1939 and I’ve already fallen in love with her. I hope readers will too.
Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?
I’m going for a quick walk around the block if anyone wants to join me.
London, 1884: Sidney Grice – London’s foremost personal detective – is restless. Having filed his latest case under ‘S’ for ‘Still To Be Solved’, he has returned to his book, A Brief History of Doorstep Whitening in Preston, to await further inspiration. His ward, March Middleton, remains determined to uncover the truth.
Geraldine Hockaday, the daughter of a respected Naval captain, was outraged on the murky streets of Limehouse. Yet her attacker is still on the loose.
But then a chance encounter in an overcrowded cafe brings a new victim to light, and it seems clear March and Grice are on the trail of a serial offender.
A trail that will lead them to the dining room of a Prussian Prince, the dingy hangout of an Armenian gangster, and the shadowy ruin of a once-loved family home, Steep House…
We have two copies courtesy of Head Of Zeus Books. To enter simply CLICK HERE
Huge thanks to M.R.C Kasasian and Head Of Zeus for being on the blog today and also for the lovely giveaway prizes.
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