How Long is a Piece of Rope: Iain Rowan

Nowhere to Go by Iain Rowan is £2.14 for Kindle

or $2.99 outside the UK

An ordinary man who finds himself caught up in a bank raid gone wrong. A murder caught on security camera where the victim doesn’t exist. A man with just months to live, who is already living in hell but decides to take on the devil. A mob accountant babysitting a hired killer on a trip to the countryside, and a burglar on an easy job who finds it might not be so easy after all. A con-artist conned, and what a man will do when in the grip of an obsession more important to him than his own life.

Eleven crime stories first published in Alfred Hitchcock’s, Ellery Queen’s, and elsewhere by award-winning writer Iain Rowan. Eleven stories of what people do when there is nowhere left to go.

Iain’s short fiction has been reprinted in Year’s Best anthologies, won a Derringer Award, and been the basis for a novel shortlisted for the UK Crime Writers’ Association’s Debut Dagger award.

“I loved the nuances and true heartfelt emotion that Iain filled his stories with, and Iain quickly became a must read author for me–everything I read of Iain’s had this tragic, and sometimes, horrific beauty filling it, and was guaranteed to be something special.”
(Dave Zeltserman, author of Outsourced, and Washington Post best books of year Small Crimes and Pariah)

“A short story writer of the highest calibre.”
(Allan Guthrie, author of Top Ten Kindle Bestseller Bye Bye Baby, winner of Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year)

“Iain Rowan’s stories never fail to surprise and delight, and just when you think you know what will happen next, you realize how much you’ve been caught unaware.”
(Sarah Weinman, writer, critic, reviewer, columnist for the Los Angeles Times and News Editor for Publishers Marketplace)

“Iain Rowan is both a meticulous and a passionate writer, and these stories showcase his ample talent wonderfully well. You owe it to yourself to discover Rowan’s fiction if you haven’t already had the pleasure.”
(Jeff Vandermeer, author of Finch, Shriek:An Afterword, City of Saints and Madmen; two-time winner of the World Fantasy Award)

So, Iain, pull up a stoll and tell us what you think…

1. Nowhere To Go is way better than I sometimes write, but one day I’d really like to be as good as I can write.

2. You will just love my book if you enjoyed Tony Blair: A Journey, but if you’re a fan of dark crime fiction steer well clear. On reflection, I’m not sure I’ve got that the right way round.

3. What comes from the barrel of a gun?

Change.
Power.
Oppression.
Revolution.
A little flag that says BANG!

4. How do you see the role of food in the contemporary thriller and where does Nowhere To Go fit into the spectrum?

I think food should play no role at all in the contemporary thriller. This is because if I am reading, happily lost in the fictive dream, one mention of food and I’m pulled back to reality and the thought that actually, I could quite fancy one of those. I remind myself that we don’t have any of those in, and anyway I only ate an hour ago, so then I’m back to the book but the protagonist’s plight, and the careful foreshadowing, and the dramatic plot twist all keep getting nudged out of the way by the thought that the supermarket’s still open for another half hour.

5. How would it affect the direction Nowhere To Go takes if the action were moved wholesale to the set of Glee in chapter 7?

It would make it a better book, to be honest. Most dark crime stories about what desperate people do when they have nowhere left to go would benefit from occasionally pausing for a big musical number, with lots of energetic choreography and an auto-tuned version of a softish rock classic. And then back to the desperation, and the inevitability of fate, and the raw savagery of man.

6. When you’re writing, would you rather look out at the sea, or in at your thoughts?

Oh, the sea. Always the sea. I’m not sure I’d get more writing done, but I do like to look at the sea.

7. When writing, do you start at the beginning and keep going, or start at the end and work back?

Short stories, start at the beginning and keep going. Novels, a bit of both. I’ll write the scenes that are in my head, the scenes that sparked it off or that bring the novel alive for me, and then I’ll go back and start from the beginning, heading towards them. There may be diversions along the route though that mean I never get there, but as long as the journey turns out to be an interesting one, that’s fine.

8. A great villain or a great hero?

A flawed hero, and a villain with redeeming qualities.

9. Nowhere To Go will change the way a reader looks at ornaments in a hotel room. You never know whether there might be a camera hidden in one of them, and if there is, how that might change your life.

10. How long is a piece of rope?

Sixty-eight inches. It used to be bigger, like the chocolate bars and biscuits you remember from childhood, but now it’s smaller. That’s life. Measuring any piece of rope might lead you to doubt me and think it to be either smaller or larger than sixty-eight inches, but it’s an optical illusion. Or measurer error. Sorry.

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~ by danholloway on July 15, 2011.

One Response to “How Long is a Piece of Rope: Iain Rowan”

  1. Thanks for the interview, Dan, much appreciated.

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