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Louis Greenberg

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Work in progress: Dark Windows

Diane Awerbuck has just tagged me in her intriguing Next Big Thing post, so I thought I’d look up briefly from reading about tags in Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin to post my answers about my work in progress, Dark Windows. It’s certainly not for me to decide whether it’ll be the next big thing. How long is a piece of string?

In turn, I’d like to hear more about Fiona Snyckers‘s upcoming two books, and what Kathryn White and Jassy Mackenzie have up their inky sleeves.

What is the working title of your next book?
Dark Windows

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I honestly can’t remember. It hijacked another idea I was starting out on, and overnight this became the book I was writing. The hijacked book has become far more interesting in the interim and it’s going to be my next solo project (if it doesn’t get hijacked by some other upstart).

What genre does your book fall under?
Literary thriller, about 68% literary.

What actors would you choose to play the parts of your characters in a movie adaptation?
Me and my pals. We’d make it on Super 8. In primary school, my filmy friend directed the class gang in renditions of The A Team and a self-penned crime mystery. I had a starring role – as the villain, being the semitic-looking kid. My acting career was halted by my mother when the false blood didn’t wash out of my T-shirt, but it might be time for a comeback.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A wave of New Age belief has radically altered the country’s political landscape, but not everyone buys into the miracle; an affair, mysterious suicides and an elaborate political hoax send three troubled characters spiralling into the most dangerous week of their lives. [I cheated and made two sentences into one with a semi-colon.]

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am currently sowing seeds into the wind.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
It took about two years. Most of the drafting happened over two six-week bursts a year apart. Life, work, depression, near-breakdowns, revisions, other writing, exhaustion and lots of family fun, too, filled up the rest of my time.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I was hoping for something both intelligent and pacy, perhaps like Robert Harris or David Mitchell. I think it turned out differently, more introspective, more intense; I don’t have enough distance to judge. I’ll leave it to readers to say.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
There’s a depressing sense of inevitability about South African politics; I imagined a Johannesburg where the political environment was vastly different and how that might affect people’s lives. That served as the stage.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
There’s an alien invasion. Maybe. Or maybe not.


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Rachel Zadok</a>
    Rachel Zadok
    March 26th, 2013 @20:50 #

    I'm intrigued. Definitely going on my to read stickie.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    March 27th, 2013 @08:13 #

    Sounds brilliant!


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