Today I’d like to welcome UK author, Rewan Tremethick, to celebrate the impending launch of his debut novel, FALLEN ON GOOD TIMES, which is released in paperback and on kindle on 31 May via Paddy’s Daddy Publishing.
Fairy tales are warnings. Legend is history. Monsters are real.
Paranormal detective Laslo Kane learned this truth the hard way. He’s had enough of the supernatural trying to kill him, but his latest job offer could provide him with a way out. A desperate investor has come to him for help investigating the murder of his business partner, and the money he is offering could change Laslo’s life forever.
It quickly becomes apparent that the killing is just one of several and that they are all linked. Laslo must follow the trail, even though he knows exactly where it ends: the mob.
Get Chapter One: Chicago Lightning free when you subscribe to Rewan’s mailing list here. View the book trailer at the bottom of this post.
I asked Rewan a few questions about his inspiration for the book and also what he likes to read himself…
What kind of experience can readers expect from Fallen on Good Times?
What I most hope readers will take away is the sense that they’ve visited a place they want to come back to. The experience of reading the novel is one that transports you to a city that seems quite familiar, until you look closer. It’s a real ‘anything can happen’ type of world – monsters have their own banks, ogres run the mob, and the people can be just as odd as the creatures hiding in the shadows.
What do you love most about the finished work?
I love the world I’ve started to create. It feels like I’ve planted a seed, and the idea of Pilgrim’s Wane (the American city in which the novel is set) and the people who inhabit it is constantly growing in my mind. It’s full of possibilities, which is what you always want from an idea. It’s a great blend of comedy, noir, and the supernatural.
What was the central idea behind the novel and how did you approach writing it?
Funnily enough, the central idea originally was to write an easy read: a nice, straightforward adventure that people could enjoy for a few hours then forget about entirely. I had been working on more complex projects before then, and wanted a break, and maybe to write something that was a bit more commercially appealing and might finally get the attention of a publisher. In the end, I realised that I just couldn’t write a novel like that. I needed the story to have substance.
The central premise is still a good old fashioned mystery, it’s just that everyone has a bit more motivation, and there are some big questions hanging over it all. It’s not a whodunit, it’s a ‘whydunit’. I wrote it during National Novel Writing Month, where the challenge is to complete 50,000 words in November, so my approach was just to get it done. Since then the focus has been on ensuring that the characters in the book feel real, and on telling a compelling story.
What aspect of storytelling are you most passionate about?
I like to be able to explore big ideas and questions in my stories. I believe good writing makes you feel, but great writing makes you think. Getting people to question their own beliefs and perspectives – would they have made the same choices as the protagonist? Do they agree that the villain was in the wrong? – is, in my view, the most powerful thing literature can do.
What is it about the fantasy genre that inspires you — as a reader, as a writer?
I think it’s about escape and control. When you grow up, you have such an active imagination, and the television, cinema and literature you consume are all full of magic and wonder. Then as you get older, it seems that the real world becomes more prominent: taxes, responsibility, politics, and so on. Sometimes it’s good to just be able to go back to the times when you genuinely thought that dragons were real.
As a writer, I like being able to make a world exactly as I want it to be. That’s why I set Fallen on Good Times in a fictional city. It means I get to make the rules, and I can do what I want as I build my world.
Care to share some of your favourite fantasy reads with us (and why)?
A friend got me signed copy of Robin Hobb’s The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince for Christmas, and that’s a brilliant book. It contains all the best elements of her writing, without the facets that tend to annoy me – the overly ‘emo’ characters, mainly. It’s a tragic story, and beautifully told. The Dragon Keeper is very good, too.
I read The Hobbit several times when I was growing up, so I suppose that has stuck with me. It was such a wonderfully detailed fantasy world that Tolkien created, and every fantasy writer and reader owes a lot to him, whether they like his work or not.
One of my all-time favourite books is Joanne Harris’ The Evil Seed, which is a modern day vampire novel, so perhaps more paranormal than fantasy, but still worth mentioning. It’s written in that wonderful eloquent, flowing style of prose that you don’t really see anymore. It uses complex language and good old fashioned storytelling to create an extraordinary book. She’ll be at an event I’m going to next month, so hopefully I can get my copy signed.
What fantasy book has had the most profound impact on you?
I’d have to say Sir Terry Pratchett’s Monstrous Regiment. Although set in his Discworld universe, it’s a much darker novel than many of his other books. It deals with a lot of different themes, mainly the realities of war, and gender expectations, while still containing his trademark humour. To be able to say very serious things in a comic novel is quite a talent, and this book showed me just how much scope there really is for fantasy to act as an allegory for the modern world around us.
What’s on the top of your to-read pile?
I have a few introductory books on philosophy and psychology to get through, which are both topics that fascinate me. Fiction-wise, I’ve got Changes by Jim Butcher and Headhunters by Jo Nesbo. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg – my to-read pile is as big as most readers’.
Rewan (not pronounced ‘Rowan’) Tremethick is a British author who was named after a saint. St Ruan was invulnerable to wolves; Rewan isn’t. Rewan is a fan of clever plots, strong woman who don’t have to be described using words like ‘feisty’, and epic music. He has dabbled in stand-up comedy, radio presenting, and writing sentences without trying to make a joke. He balances his desire to write something meaningful by wearing extremely tight jeans.
Rewan is touring around the blogosphere this month in the lead up to the launch, so you may see him around. It’s been fun to have him visit here and I wish him all the best with this novel.
View the book trailer for Fallen on good times below!