Guttridge: What is the working title of your next book?

Forshaw: It’s British Gothic Cinema, and it’s following hard on the heels of the book that’s just appeared, British Crime Film. Neither is about crime fiction, which people think is my main meat! (Though British Crime Film does intersect with the written variety.)

Where did the idea come from the book?

I was keen to remind people that as well as being a crime fiction specialist (and not just Scandinavian crime!), I’m also a film specialist — that’s how I started my writing career. And I’ve always been a keen aficionado of the British horror film.

What genre does your book fall under?

Although it is for an academic publisher, Palgrave Macmillan, I hope it’s a readable — and knowledgeable — history of horror films from the British Isles, right up to the present-day revival.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Something like the preceding answer: an accessible and enthusiastic examination (and celebration) of British Gothic cinema

Will you will be self-published or represented by an agency?

No and no

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

Actually I’ve been worrying away at this book for over a year in between writing other books. Fortunately, it was a movable feast, as long as I could maintain that through-line in my mind of any arguments I was making. And I had to watch all the films again (not just those starring Christopher Lee)! A dirty job, but… etc.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

When my family home was torn down some years ago, I rescued from my bedroom (which had fallen into some disrepair) several fragile ringbound books which contained the criticism I’d written on books and films from the age of 12-14. Some of these pieces make me cringe, some of them indicate that I had some modest critical acumen even at that tender age (or was a pretentious little bugger). Either way, it was proof that I’ve always wanted to write about the arts for as long as I can remember. The inspiration? From the age of 12: the rich tradition of the British horror film.

And your commissioning editor?

I was commissioned by series editor (and author) Clive Boom, who knew I was devoted fan of the genre (He is, too, for his sins).

What else about your book might pique the readers’ interest?

The fact that I have striven with every sinew to come up with new insights about that much-written about-territory, the British horror film — and picking up this book will hopefully have people pulling DVDs down from their shelves, their enthusiasm re-kindled. My books always have a hidden agenda: to send people out to investigate (or rediscover) rich and fecund territory, be it that of books or films.

For the next in the Next Big Thing interviews, I’m passing my baton on to three excellent writers of crime fiction:




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