On the blog today I’m sharing a guest post from the author of Hellcrop, Jonathan Whitelaw.
About the book
Life is hard for The Devil and he desperately wants to take a holiday. Growing weary from playing the cosmic bad guy, he resolves to set up a company that will do his job for him so the sins of the world will tick over while he takes a vacation. God tells him he can have his vacation just as soon as he solves an ancient crime.
But nothing is ever easy and before long he is up to his pitchfork in solving murders, desperate to crack the case so he can finally take the holiday he so badly needs…
This is a perfectly-pitched darkly comic crime novel that is ideal for fans of Christopher Fowler and Ben Aaranovitch.
Hellcrop is published by Urbane Books and available to purchase now – Amazon
Inspiration is defined by Google as “a sudden brilliant or timely idea”. Oh if only it were just that simple. While I don’t envy the dictionary definition writers who had to come up with that one, I think it’s really interesting to see something as huge, amorphous and downright head-scratchingly interesting as inspiration reduced to just a few simple words.
When you write a novel about The Devil solving crimes because he wants to go on holiday, you get asked a lot about what inspired you. To tell you the truth, I don’t really know. HellCorp was such a joy, fun, roller coaster ride of emotion, fun, late nights, early mornings, research and gallons of tea that it just was what it was. And I guess with a bizarre plotline, action, adventure, thrills, spills, kills, chills and arguments between The Devil and God, that’s probably for the best.
Okay, in fairness, I might not have been completely truthful about not knowing where the inspiration came from. I might have a slight idea on that front.
I had always wanted to write a crime novel but I never, ever, thought I was clever enough. There are so many great writers doing such fantastic work out there that I knew they had it covered.
But, like an itch you can’t scratch, I just had to get something down on paper. What erupted from my keyboard was HellCorp – where The Devil tries to solve the murder of a man who took 40 years to die. Just to get a holiday. As a writer, I don’t like to overthink things too much. And dissecting the ins and outs of how I came to put Old Nick in that situation is probably stretching that philosophy.
So, going back to what I was saying about inspiration – it’s a funny old thing. It can hit you at any time from anywhere. But that’s part of its beauty. The mystery of when, where, how and why inspiration comes about is as much part of the fun of writing as the actual writing itself. And when you have characters, settings and set pieces that unfold in front of you in a way that you know works and feels right, that’s a special feeling.
And it’s all down to that little funny, weirdly specific thing called inspiration. While it might be a “sudden brilliant or timely idea” by definition. For me and other writers it’s so much more than that. It’s our lifeblood and or motivation. And what keeps us writing.
A huge thank you to Jonathan Whitelaw for taking the time to write this guest post and I hope you enjoyed reading.
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