The Man On The Middle Floor by Elisabeth S. Moore
- Published by Red Door Books
Despite living in the same three-flat house in the suburbs of London, the residents are strangers to one another. The bottom floor is home to Tam, a recent ex-cop who spends his days drowning his sorrows in whisky. On the middle floor is Nick, a young man with Asperger’s who likes to stick to his schedules and routines. The top floor belongs to Karen, a doctor and researcher who has spent her life trying to understand the rising rates of autism. They have lived their lives separately, until now, when an unsolved murder and the man on the middle floor connect them all together. Told from three points of view, The Man on the Middle Floor is about disconnection in all its forms; sexual, physical, parental and emotional. It questions whether society is meeting the needs of the fast growing autistic section of society, or exacerbating it.
What book truly inspired your life and why?
Wuthering Heights because you can see almost every human trait from true wickedness to sweetness in the characters, and as a child that made any life or choice seem possible to me.
How did you pick who you dedicated your book too?
I didn’t even have to think about it, my family is everything to me, each child and my husband. I don’t have a close relationship with nuclear family so I concentrate on the family I have built myself and my friends which are an extension of it. Everything else pales beside it.
Did you do a lot of research for your book?
I did a huge amount of research around autism, parenting, disconnection and even necrophilia and online porn which I wouldn’t want to do again. I then had to discard many of the stats and facts I had gathered as no one talks accurately about important issues, it’s a novel and there is a huge amount of ignorance round autism and Aspergers and that had to be reflected in the story and the attitudes of the characters, so do your research but don’t just regurgitate it onto the page would be my advice. Listen to how people talk about a subject, and watch how they act around it.
What was your favourite read of 2017?
Without a doubt it was The Lie of the Land by Amanda Craig, it kept me sane and amused while I wrote about some very dark subjects.
If you had to take three books on a desert island what would they be?
I would take A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas, Wuthering Heights of course, and QB V11 by Leon Uris which I re read often and never fails to stir up questions about good and evil, motivation and consequences.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?
I have always written articles as a freelancer, then decided to do the Faber Write a Novel course. I was approached by a lot of agents at the end but still didn’t have a book, so I stepped back and wrote The Man on the Middle Floor and sent it around myself as I still hadn’t committed to an agent, and was lucky enough to get a couple of publishing houses interested. I then thought about publishing as an Indie as it really appealed to my personality to have some control, and eventually, I went with Red Door, a hybrid publisher who is growing rapidly and where you are really involved in the process. I can’t recommend them highly enough. I also learned a huge amount about the publishing industry and found a wonderful team of people through trial and error.
What would you like your readers to know before starting your book?
I’d like them to know that this is a compassionate book which explores the nature of disconnection in a page-turning thriller. I had some initial negative reaction to the main character, Nick, being on the autistic spectrum and a murderer, but he is actually the hero of the book. Society fails him not the other way round and if you read the book to the end that is clear.
Do you have any questions that you would like to ask your readers?
Red Door Publishing
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