Paul Cornell was kind enough to stop by today and talk about his brand new book, London Falling. We’ve also got a copy of the book up for grabs, so be sure to check the details at the bottom of the post!
Paul, will you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background? Have you always wanted to be a writer?
It was something I did for pleasure when I was growing up, that needed to become a career when I failed a science degree. I wanted to be an astronomer. I recommend the learning curve of having to write to make a living. Apart from the bits with the poverty.
Your brand new novel, London Falling, just released in the US last month! What inspired you to write the novel?
I wanted to write about real life, using magic. Urban fantasy is a genre that really lets one do that, and the police procedural is also a genre that lets an author take things apart and see what’s underneath. London Falling is the story of a group of modern undercover police in London who accidentally gain the ability to see the dark stuff, and then decide to use real police methods against it. In their world, magic (which is never called that) is a sort of metaphor generated by the city itself. It’s like I’ve built myself a machine to help me write the sort of books I’d like to read.
London Falling is a London procedural full of monsters and mayhem. Did you have to do any research for the novel?
Hugely. I’ve got a whole bunch of undercover police officers and intelligence analysts helping me, many of them Doctor Who fans, which is how I met most of them!
What do you love most about writing SF/Fantasy?
It’s an extra string to one’s bow. People call it escapism, but that’s just not true when it’s any good.
What are some of your biggest literary influences?
The British New Wave of the 1970s: Chris Priest; Aldiss; M.John Harrison. Terrance Dicks!
You have a background in comics and television. What was it like to transition to writing a novel?
Well, I’d done it before, twice in the mainstream and many times for Doctor Who. Prose is the medium I feel most at home in. It’s where I can speak most from the heart.
If you could read one book again for the very first time, which one would it be?
Light by M. John Harrison.
When you’re not working on your next writing project, how do you like to spend your free time?
Watching cricket, reading about matters Fortean, looking after my baby son.
What’s next for you?
I’m writing Wolverine every month for Marvel, there’s a new Wild Cards story from me up at Tor.com soon, and the sequel to LF, The Severed Streets, is out later in the year. Plus lots of stuff I can’t tell you about!
About LONDON FALLING:
Police officers Quill, Costain, Sefton, and Ross know the worst of London—or they think they do. While investigating a mobster’s mysterious death, they come into contact with a strange artifact and accidentally develop the Sight. Suddenly they can see the true evil haunting London’s streets.
Armed with police instincts and procedures, the four officers take on the otherworldly creatures secretly prowling London. Football lore and the tragic history of a Tudor queen become entwined in their pursuit of an age-old witch with a penchant for child sacrifice. But when London’s monsters become aware of their meddling, the officers must decide what they are willing to sacrifice to clean up their city.
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