I am beyond thrilled to welcome Incy Black to my blog on this most exciting of days, the publication date for Hard To Protect, Incy’s third novel in the Hard To series.
Incy was kind enough to answer some questions that I’ve been dying to know. Whether you’re a fan of Incy’s work, or haven’t discovered her immense talent yet, I hope you enjoy reading my interview
Thanks for joining me here at Passionate About Books, Incy. Tell me, what led you to becoming a published author?
It was short, sharp and shocking. It was not supposed to happen. About four years ago, I wrote a book—and hid it. Wrote another. Hid that one, too, because writing was my little secret. Then, bored one night, I entered a Twitter 40-word pitch competition. Next thing I know, I’m in the company of an ostrich, a bat, a spider and a ghoul (I’m dressed as a bolt of lightning) and I get ‘the call’ or, in my case, ‘the email’—and I damn near threw my phone into a hedge in fright. The fact that I was offered a publishing contract whilst trick or treating on Halloween sums up my journey to publication—and I’m still in recovery
Hard to Protect is the third book in your ‘Hard to…’ series which focuses on Will Berwick and Angel Treherne. Can you describe Will and Angel using only three words each.
Will: Lethal, wily, cock-sure
Angel: Loyal, spirited, guarded
What kind of research did you do for this novel?
Stuff that probably got me put on some ‘watch list’. Weapon making, bio-chemical terrorism, double agents, political conspiracies and sleeping with the enemy, non-combat related deaths in the military, the Ministry of Defence, urban explorers, the law of trespass, the hidden web of tunnels beneath London, the Rolling Stones and Nine Inch Nails, the history of absinth, Members of Parliament and their mistresses, brothels…there were a lot of weird tangents I followed.
How long did you spend researching this book before you began the first draft?
No time at all. I research post the writing process, only so as to avoid being sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Once a draft manuscript is written I spend weeks on the ‘Could this happen?’. Wonderful weeks because the internet is a worm hole that sucks you in and spits you out in the most unexpected and bizarre of locations. Did you know that otters hold hands to avoid drifting apart, that rats laugh if tickled, that one of the highest paid female escorts earns $24,000 a night or that during the Cannes film festival the most prized female escorts can demand upwards of $40,000 a night.
Who do you prefer to write – men or women? And why?
The male bastard is by far the most fun to write because they can get away with behaving badly whilst remaining heroic. Unfortunately, if a woman has a sharp tongue (and even sharper intelligence), or her actions are questionable, she is labelled a bitch or a slut—so annoying. I like hard bastards, bitches and sluts, there’s a real challenge to redeeming them.
How long, on average, does it take you to write a novel?
It used to take me about five weeks until I took up studying the craft of writing, had a crisis of confidence, and now it can take me a year and about a gazillion drafts. I mourn the days of the spontaneous word spew.
What are your top three favourite books?
Impossible, but off the top of my head:
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Papillon – Henri Charrière
The Collector – John Fowles
Absolutely nothing, ever again, by Jane Austin.
What’s your favourite, unappreciated novel or series?
I’m not too sure they’re unappreciated, but:
John Connelly’s Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker series
Carol O’Connell’s Kathy Mallory series
And because I refuse to be confined by quantity or to the page, the TV series ‘Luther’.
What is the one thing you would give up to become a better writer?
My soul? Kidding. The only thing I’d give up to improve as a writer is my time.
What piece of advice would you give aspiring writers?
Learn the rules of writing just to break them, then slice your veins and bleed all over the page.
Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on next?
Well, take five anti-hero hard bastards locked together by a shared childhood crisis of conscience, position them on the wrong side of the law, torture each of them by making them fall in love with ‘almost normal’, throw in a few dead bodies and multiple threats, and you have the five book Skulk Vulpes (a skulk of foxes) series.
And now for some non writing related questions – just for fun!
- Cake or Biscuits: Liquorice humbugs (because no dietary advice ever specifically mentions those as best avoided)
- X-Factor or The Voice: Both make me laugh, but The Voice ‘appears’ to have more integrity.
- Facebook or Twitter: I understand Facebook—sort of.
- Coke or Diet Coke: Real coke, none of that sugar-free crap.
- Dogs or Cats: I quite fancy a goat, but goats smell so I’ll settle for a couple of Bengal cats.
- Coffee or Tea: So long as there’s a tonne load of sugar in each I don’t much care.
- Walking Dead or Game of Thrones: Sons of Anarchy—though it had a really stupid ending.
- Mac or Windows: Mac Not that I give a damn about the operating system but Macs take ‘stunningly beautiful’ to a new level.
I can’t thank Incy enough for taking the time to answer my questions.
Hard to Protect is out today, 20th March 2017. Grab your copy here
My Reviews of Incy’s work
Hard to Forget (Book 1)
Hard to Hold (Book 2)
Hard to Protect (Book 3)
About the Author
It took a swan dive from a roof to convince Incy (aged 5) that she could not fly. Bruised but undefeated she retreated deeper into her make-believe world of superheroes and arch villains where good always triumphs over evil—eventually. When her imagination gets too crowded, and the voices in her head too loud, she depopulates by spilling her characters and events onto paper.
When not fighting injustice and righting wrongs on ‘Planet Incy’ she works as a Marketing Director, and slaves as a cook, cleaner and homemaker. Unfortunately, her law degree languishes unused, the distinction between good and evil proving too worrisome in real life.
Now living in the West Country (UK), her five children are well versed in what scares her (most things) and delight in pushing her neurotic buttons—at their peril.
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