Blog Hop!

Okay so there I was, walking along, and a big van drives up beside me and out jumps like fourteen armed guys all packing heat. I’m all like, whoah…what’s the beef, dudes? And they were all like, what’s with the dreadful pseudo-surfer talk, you trying to sound cool or something? And I’m like, what? So they open up the van and they’re, like, shoving me in and shit?

I blame Obama.

So we get to this warehouse and they’ve locked up like loads of other indie authors in cages and they shove me into one too. I’m like, dudes, don’t you realise the impact on the world of taking away this many indie authors from society? The Starbucks that will go undrunk? The relentless tweets plugging books that will go untweeted? It’ll be anarchy, guys!

I had to take a shit in a corner of a cage, man. Haven’t done that since college.

Later some guy comes along and gives me shit for like keeping up this Cali-speak act and suggests that I switch to like a postmodernist take on James Joyce.

Shouts and screams around me. I want to scream but can’t and then I look and there’s a woman and she’s holding a Kindle and using it to wipe her arse no Andrex in the cages you see and I shout that the Kindle Fire is probably more absorbent. She laughs and I cry and we share the look like we maybe could have said more but dragged out now in a room and now they’re saying sick sick sick of bad Joyce pastiche and can I answer THE FUCKING QUESTIONS and I say questions and they-

1) What is the working title of your next book?


It’s a blog hop. Answer the questions and pass it on.

They’re chatty now, delighted my bad Joyce impersonation has ended, because they had shares in a company that makes commas. I eye the window and go over the question in my mind, planning my escape route and idly wondering if this is now some sort of hard-boiled Chandleresque spy adventure. Who knows? Who knows anything in this crazy world? So I sit back and I accept the cigar thoughtfully, playing ball for now.

The working title is Completely Folk’d, and I’m 100% sure that’s going to end up being the final title too. It’s the third book in the Folk’d trilogy all about the magical misadventures of a young scamp named Danny Morrigan. Whether it ends up being the final book set in the Morriganverse is entirely another matter…

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

I pause, eyeing my captors. What’s their game here, I wonder? Who are they collecting this information for? If you consider that Lionel Blair was a TV legend for his charades ability on many seasons of the daytime TV staple Give Us A Clue, and yet Tony Blair was the UK Prime Minister during the war in Iraq…well, I think the conclusions speak for themselves.

I decide to play along with their questions. If I can just reach my lucky shamrock lighter hidden in my trouser pocket…

The idea for the whole trilogy can be placed back to one bus journey coming home from work in a callcentre. My girlfriend and young son were home waiting for me coming in and I thought – what if they were gone, but gone in the Marie Celeste type of gone where cups of tea were still warm and crib mobiles were still playing? What would I do? How would I even begin to cope with that? Out of that one scene came the pivotal moment in Folk’d where Danny Morrigan does indeed come home to find that has happened.

Of course, a missing persons story is fine, but I’ve always loved how sci-fi and fantasy can – in the best traditions of The Twilight Zone – act as a metaphor for bigger issues that have nothing to do with sci-fi or fantasy. So Danny needed some issues that could be overlaid with the sudden vanishing of his family; the obvious choice was that it was the enacting of a subconscious wish to get rid of them as he had never meant to be a young father in the first place. The subconscious wish angle made me think of genies and bottles, but I wanted to set my story firmly in Ireland and genies are an Arabian tradition (and besides have been thoroughly discredited, thank you Robin fucking Williams) so I decided to make the wish-fulfilment a “gift” from the land of faeries.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Now we were getting somewhere. They wanted to pin me down, to define me. I’d seen the ones they’d broken, the other indie authors I’d glimpsed. They came to those cages with a pocketful of dreams and a fervent wish that they’d had the foresight to amputate their own noses, and by the time they left this room – this very room I was in – they were shambling, shuffling messes. Released back into society to spread their insidious poison, all traces of writing talent blasted away. A burnt-out shell, a talentless hack, doomed to failure.

Okay, apart from EL James.

I couldn’t find the damn lighter. The ropes were too tight; my hand couldn’t move enough. When I informed my captors of this, they loosened the ropes slightly and apologised, offering to relocate the lighter to a more easily accessible pocket. I refused. How dare they try to make my thrilling escape easy for me? They apologised again and as a gesture kicked me square in the nuts.

That’s better.

I guess if I had to pick one it would be “urban fantasy” but that’s a very unsatisfactory definition. It’s set in Belfast so that makes it urban and yes it includes fantasy elements, but when you browse along the racks of urban fantasy available out there you tend to find they fall into one big template; a protagonist (usually dark-haired, usually female) who discovers they are part of a larger supernatural world and must deal with their forbidden desires for a dark {{insert supernatural creature}} here whilst having lots of raunchy, Mills-And-Boon for Generation Y fun.

Folk’d is nothing like that. Folk’d is written by a man from a man’s perspective, and doesn’t exist as an author-surrogate excuse for lots of sexy adventures. It isn’t paranormal romance. It’s a tale at its heart that is concerned with very so-called mundane topic of responsibility and happens to put a supernatural sheen over that, a glammer so I can explore what would happen if our world changed overnight.

Later, and especially in book 3, other themes start coming in…there’s a metaphor for some pretty (in)famous events that have shaped the destiny of that crazy little island called Ireland, if you know where to look for it.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I point out that authors rarely get a say in casting decisions.

They respond that it’s a hypothetical question. Then they give me a shot of sodium penethol – known to you and me on the street as truth serum. Little do they know my stern constitution will provide me with a natural immunity to…

Oh wow. I have an erection. Neat.

For Danny, our irreverent herotagonist, I’d go with someone like a guy who impressed me in the otherwise-disappointing Belfast set series Pulling Moves that was shown a few years ago: Ciarán McMenamin. You can see his IMDB page here.

I think he’s now, unfortunately, a wee bit too old to pull off being someone in their early 20s but definitely someone with that look.

Whoever was picked, it would be ESSENTIAL – ESSENTIAL!!!!!! – that whoever would be picked to play Danny is a BELFAST NATIVE. How many sodding times have we watched something set in or based around Northern Ireland and groaned the minute the accent started spilling from somebody’s mouth, mangled to shit?

For Ellie I’d go with someone like Evanna Lynch – Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter movies. She’s not a Belfast native, true, but hopefully being Irish she could pull off the accent. To be honest there seems to be a shortage of young Belfast actresses I can think of – shameful!

For Tony Morrigan, Danny’s Dad, I’d have to go with Daniel Day-Lewis. No way in a million billion years would he go for such a relatively small role, but just to have him around radiating class from every pore would elevate any movie.

For Dother, I’d have Michael Fassbender in a heartbeat. That creepy android he played in Prometheus was the sole redeeming feature of that steaming turdpile of a movie, and seeing him suited and booted as a corporate CEO revealed to be something a lot more sinister would be a kick.

For the Morrigan, I’d go with Jaimie Alexander – she played Lady Sif in Marvel’s Thor movie. With hair extensions and her hair dyed flaming red, I think she’d rock the War Goddess look just as much as she did the Asgardian look (the two are practically cousins anyway).

Finally for Carman…well. Spoilers. Can’t say.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

My book is never going to be good enough.

My book is my escape hatch from the civil service and quite possibly the only way my civil service career isn’t going to end with a standoff with armed police.

Please buy my book and I’ll quite possibly come round your house and do things for you or to you whatever you prefer.

Growing tired of this, they administer the antidote to the sodium penethol. As I feared, it makes me lose my happy trousers. Luckily, the pressure applied by the turgidity of my member has dislodged my lucky shamrock lighter, straight into my outstretched fingers.

Danny Morrigan is about to discover that life has no reset button.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Success! The lighter springs to life, and I position the ropes binding my hands above the fl-




--------There follows a short fire-fighting intermission. Please use this time to get yourself a coffee. Perhaps peruse that Argos catalogue you keep by the PC. Oh, it’s the Spring and Summer one. From 2007. Bollocks. Well, just the coffee then.-------------------

Completely Folk’d, like the rest of the Folk’d trilogy, will be published by the lovely Jo Sayer of Last Passage, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’m back in the van. They’re dropping me back off. They say it’s because I’m mentally disturbed and frankly all they wanted was some answers to some questions and not a hugely long rambling monologue that went nowhere, but I know the truth. Or should I say, they know that I know that I know the truth.
No seriously, should I say that? I don’t know.

The whole trilogy took about a year. I’m revisiting each book though as they’re approaching publication and doing that…oh God, I can hardly bear to say it. That filthy, dirty, disgusting word where you take something and you violate it, repeatedly, over and over again.


There, I said it. Christ I need a bath.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within the genre?

None! How dare you!

None! How dare you!

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

When will these questions end? Sometimes – if I close my eyes real tight – sometimes I can remember my life before these questions; it’s faint, but there are snatches…a game of pool here, a battery-operated dolphin there. I have literally been answering these questions for a hundred thousand millenicenturies. The Earth is a hollow shell, populated only by cockroaches and the cast of The Only Way Is Essex.

Kinda covered this above in my answer to question 2 – oops! I guess just a desire to see a book that felt authentic and seemed to be populated by real people who just happened to have extraordinary things happening to them. And, you know, spider-secretaries. Cos that’s awesome.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

It is now the End of Time itself. The Big Bang has reversed and the universe is rewinding like someone replaying Sharon Stone’s leg-opening scene in Basic Instinct which is just a random example and not plucked from my teenage years in any way he added quickly.

As the very laws of physics break down, the last two sentient beings in the universe are a hyper-evolved computer and Noel Edmonds. Noel tries his best to spin the end of everything into something cheery and fluffy – after all, he convinced 8 million people a week to watch Noel’s House Party – but he can’t quite manage it.

Finally, the hyper-evolved artificial intelligence hits upon a revelation; it can reverse entropy and create existence anew, but it lacks the creative spark that only a small goatee’d man in his mid-fifties can provide. Only Noel’s creative juices will do, but the universe now measures fifty feet across and is getting smaller all the time.

The sum of all of Creation, the very last image of reality itself, is of Noel Edmonds trying to cop off with a HDMI port.

If you like the imagery above, give Folk’d a go.

If you don’t…well, there’s no accounting for taste, is there?


Bio for Carolyn Jess-Cooke

Carolyn Jess-Cooke was born in 1978 in Belfast and now lives in north east England with her family. She has published two novels (THE GUARDIAN ANGEL'S JOURNAL; THE BOY WHO COULD SEE DEMONS) in a total of 22 languages and her poetry collection INROADS (Seren, 2010) received an Eric Gregory Award, the Tyrone Guthrie Prize, a major Arts Council of England Award and a Northern Promise Award.


The Guardian Angel's Journal by Carolyn Jess-Cooke

"An incredible debut novel… This is The Lovely Bones meets It’s a Wonderful Life. Fabulous.” – The Sun

“The new Audrey Niffenegger.” – Company


Twitter: CJessCooke

***new novel!*** The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke



Bio for Sharon Sant

Sharon Sant was born in Dorset but now lives in Stoke-on-Trent. She graduated from Staffordshire University in 2009 with a degree in English and creative writing. She currently works part time as a freelance editor and continues to write her own stories. An avid reader with eclectic tastes across many genres, when not busy trying in vain to be a domestic goddess, she can often be found lurking in local coffee shops with her head in a book. Sometimes she pretends to be clever but really loves nothing more than watching geeky TV and eating Pringles.

Sky Song is her debut young adult novel. The second book of the Sky Song trilogy is due for release March 2013.

Find her on twitter where she's always happy to chat: @sharonsant or catch up on facebook. You can also go to her website:

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