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Interview with Terry Newman, author of Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf - December 22, 2014


Please welcome Terry Newman to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf was published on December 18th by Harper Voyager.



Interview with Terry Newman, author of Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf - December 22, 2014




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. You've written for film, TV and radio and more. How does all that influence (or not) your novel writing?

Terry:  Thank you very much for the invitation, Sally. And can I just say that I love what you’ve done with the place. I’ve never seen so many swan feathers in one place.

That’s a very good question and I should probably explain that the only reason I initially pursued writing for radio and stage, then TV and film, was to get some contacts to help find a home for my book. I blush at my naivety, but I sort of assumed all these people lived in the same world – one that was just labelled ‘non-scientists’. Of course, the ‘other writing’ then became more important after I hung up my microscope and this definitely fed back into the novel writing. I’d have to single out radio and TV comedy writing as having the most influence, mostly because this craft teaches you about word economy – make each one count if you can.



TQ:   Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Terry:  I do a lot of scriptwriting and a lot of good scriptwriting is about structure. Maybe it’s my science training but that side of it does really appeal. However, when it comes to book writing, part of the joy is the freedom to be led by your characters, so I enjoy the pantsing side there enormously. I guess I always know where I am going though, which would make me a pretty pantsy plotter.



TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Terry:  Stopping. Stopping is very tricky. I usually take the bruised fingertips and the bleeding eyes as a hint; otherwise I might overdo it. Actually I can write anywhere, trains, buses, you name it. I always carry a notebook – you have to don’t you? However, my writing is appalling and my typing is poor too. I would never have got anywhere without the Word Processor. Let us praise the Word Processor and the Toshiba Libretto. Before Netbooks this little gem ran Word and was the size of large paperback book. I wrote just about everywhere on my Libretto, especially the N49.



TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Terry:  Hmm, my favourite things, eh? I feel a song coming on!

Heinlein and Hammett and Chandler and Butcher
Most Douglas Adams and some Arthur Koestler
Lloyd Biggle junior Lord of the Rings
These are a few of my favourite things

Forward and Pratchett and Kerr’s Bernie Gunther
Patricia Highsmith and lyrics by Lerner
Then Robert Holdstock and Easy Rawlings
These are a few of my favourite things

Asimov’s robots and Dalziel and Pascoe
Shardlake and Sam Spade and Umberto Eco
Dragons that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favourite things

When the orc bites
When the blade swings
When I’m bleeding bad
I’m simply remembering my favourite things
And so I don’t feel too bad.



TQ:  Describe Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf in 140 characters or less. 

Terry:  Tolkien meets Chandler in a seedy underworld bar run by a defrocked Wizard.



TQ:  Tell us something about Detective Strongoak that is not in the book description.

Terry:  Nicely makes an excellent 5-egg omelette (it’s the nutmeg). The book is actually a real who-done-it so ‘No Spoilers’ please.



TQ:  What inspired you to write Detective Strongoak?

Terry:  I was broke in Hamburg without a return ticket. It focuses the mind somewhat. (Not as exciting or intriguing as it sounds).



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Detective Strongoak?

Terry:  I read non-stop from the age of five – often when walking. I’m surprised more people don’t walk and read. Not recommended so much if you live in a big city, but anywhere with decent pavements, and not much traffic.



TQ:  In Detective Strongoak who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Terry:  The easiest to write was, of course, Detective Nicely Strongoak as he had been talking to me for so many years. After him all the other characters sort of did what they were told. He has that type of personality.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Detective Strongoak.

Terry:  Special 3 for the price of 2 offer this week on favourite lines:

“The elf was dancing the full length of the surfboard, poised between the wind and water. Despite myself, I couldn’t help but be impressed. If only the whole exercise wasn’t so, well, wet.”

“She stretched like some large cat. She was wearing a dinner dress that was cut by a master. It must have been magic that held it together, because there was little enough material. She filled it to perfection, more curves than a dragon’s tail.”

‘Now goblin, let’s try again: who are you working for?’
‘What’s the magic word?’
‘Bang.’



TQ:  What's next?

Terry:  There is another ‘Detective Strongoak’ adventure well underway and a very different type of fantasy novel currently with Harper Voyager as well. No dwarfs or elves at all, but equally close to my heart. In a different sphere of endeavour, I am writing ‘the book’ for a musical called ‘Resurrection’ for a brilliant songwriter name of David Alter. He’s got a top show with knockout songs, full of imagination, which I believe will be an absolute winner when we find the right home. Plus, there’s a couple of sit coms written that I’m very excited about – so fingers crossed for an exciting 2015.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Terry:  The pleasure was all mine, thank you for the invitation and the feathers.





Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf
Harper Voyager (UK), December 18, 2014
eBook

Interview with Terry Newman, author of Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf - December 22, 2014
Private eye Nicely Strongoak is your average detective-for-hire, if your average detective is a dwarf with a Napoleon complex. In a city filled with drug-taking gnomes, goblins packing heat and a serious case of missing-persons, Strongoak might just be what’s needed.

But things are about to turn sour. When on the trail of the vanished surfer, Perry Goodfellow, Nicely receives a sharp blow to the head, is burgled by goblins and awakes in a narcotic-induced haze on the floor of a steamwagon with an extremely deceased elf, who just happens to have Nicely’s axe wedged in his head.

Nicely must enter the murky world of government politics if he is going to crack his toughest case yet. He’ll have to find Perry, uncover who the dead elf is and leave no cobblestone unturned…





About Terry

Interview with Terry Newman, author of Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf - December 22, 2014
Terry Newman is a biomedical research scientist who used to spend most of his day in the dark in front of an electron microscope. Then he started writing comedy for the BBC and ended up as full time scriptwriter. Whether this represents a turning to or from the Dark Side is debatable. He has a weakness for linen suits and spotty dogs. He lives at drtel.co.uk, which is being redecorated.




Website





2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts


It's time for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for December 2014! We're starting the December Cover Wars earlier than usual so we have time to start the Cover of Year battle before 2014 is over.


2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts


Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from that month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2014 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is released in the US. Cover artist/illustrator information is provided when we have it.

I'm using PollCode for this vote. After you the check the circle next to your favorite, click "Vote" to record your vote. If you'd like to see the real-time results click "View". This will take you to the PollCode site where you may see the results. If you want to come back to The Qwillery click "Back" and you will return to this page. Voting will end sometime on December 17, 2014.

You can see the previous months' winners on the 2014 DAC page - here.


Due to the inclusion of an additional debut, please vote using this poll. Votes from the initial poll will be counted and added to the results from this poll.

Vote for your favorite December 2014 Debut Cover
 
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Results from initial poll. Please continue voting in the poll above.

2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts

Voting on this poll has been suspended. Please vote in the poll above!

Vote for your favorite December 2014 Debut Cover



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2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts




2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts

2014 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts



2014 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts


There are 4 debuts for December. Please note that we use the publisher's publication date in the United States, not copyright dates or non-US publication dates.

The December debut authors and their novels are listed in alphabetical order by author (not book title or publication date). Take a good look at the covers. Voting for your favorite December cover for the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will take place soon.

If you are participating as a reader in the Challenge, please let us know in the comments what you are thinking of reading or email us at "DAC . TheQwillery  @  gmail . com" (remove the spaces and quotation marks). Please note that we list all debuts for the month (of which we are aware), but not all of these authors will be 2014 Debut Author Challenge featured authors. However, any of these novels may be read by Challenge readers to meet the goal for December. The list is correct as of the day posted.




Jennifer Marie Brissett

Elysium
Aqueduct Press, December 1, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 208 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
A computer program etched into the atmosphere has a story to tell, the story of two people, of a city lost to chaos, of survival and love. The program's data, however, has been corrupted. As the novel's characters struggle to survive apocalypse, they are sustained and challenged by the demands of love in a shattered world both haunted and dangerous.




Terry Newman

Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf
Harper Voyager (UK), December 18, 2014
eBook

2014 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
Private eye Nicely Strongoak is your average detective-for-hire, if your average detective is a dwarf with a Napoleon complex. In a city filled with drug-taking gnomes, goblins packing heat and a serious case of missing-persons, Strongoak might just be what’s needed.

But things are about to turn sour. When on the trail of the vanished surfer, Perry Goodfellow, Nicely receives a sharp blow to the head, is burgled by goblins and awakes in a narcotic-induced haze on the floor of a steamwagon with an extremely deceased elf, who just happens to have Nicely’s axe wedged in his head.

Nicely must enter the murky world of government politics if he is going to crack his toughest case yet. He’ll have to find Perry, uncover who the dead elf is and leave no cobblestone unturned…




Sarah Remy

Stonehill Downs
Harper Voyager Impulse, December 2, 2014
   eBook
Harper Voyager Impulse, December 30, 2014
   Mass Market Paperback,  400 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
Malachi is the last of his kind—a magus who can communicate with the dead, and who relies on the help of spirits to keep his kingdom safe. When he's sent to investigate brutal murders in the isolated village of Stonehill Downs, he uncovers dangerous sorceries and unleashes a killer who strikes close to home.

Avani is an outsider living on the Downs, one of the few survivors from the Sunken Islands. She has innate magics of her own, and when she discovers the mutilated bodies of the first victims, she enters into a reluctant alliance with Malachi that takes her far from home.

But Mal is distracted by the suspicious death of his mentor and haunted by secrets from his past. And Avani discovers troubling truths about the magus through her visions. She could free Malachi, but first they must work together to save the kingdom from the lethal horror that has arisen.




Suzanne Rigdon

Into the Night
Spence City, December 2, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 328 pages

2014 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts
When Selina Baker, a coordinator for a Boston non-profit, goes out on the town with her friend Jess, she never expects to meet the man of her dreams. And she certainly never expects him to be undead.

When things go from flirty to majorly flawed on her first date with James Lawton, he is forced to save her the only way he can--by killing her. Selina suddenly finds herself in the mix with the creatures she thought were made up solely for late-night TV.  Into the Night follows Selina’s transformation from a wallflower into an impulsive and dangerous new vampire.  With no choice in the matter, Selina becomes trapped between a new man, his wary brothers, and his cruel and controlling Queen, who wants nothing more than to watch her suffer.  Selina must walk the fine line between adjusting to her new powers, life after death, and following the rules--all while avoiding disaster.  


Interview with Terry Newman, author of Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf - December 22, 20142014 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - December Debuts2014 Debut Author Challenge - December Debuts

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