‘Debut Author Spotlight’ is a new feature here at Book Chick City. We will be showcasing a debut author each week from the genres of horror, urban fantasy and paranormal romance. We will give you all the relevant book information as well as an insight into the author.
Tom Pollock is a long-time fan of science fiction and fantasy, and has failed spectacularly to grow out of his obsession with things that don’t, in the strictest sense of the word, exist. He studied Philosophy and Economics at Edinburgh University.
He now lives and works in London helping to build very big ships. The City’s Son is his first novel. (Photo Ⓒ Mia Whitmore Photography)
RELEASE DATE: 9th Aug 2012 | PUBLISHER: Jo Fletcher Books | GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Hidden under the surface of everyday London is a city of monsters and miracles, where wild train spirits stampede over the tracks and glass-skinned dancers with glowing veins light the streets. When a devastating betrayal drives her from her home, graffiti artist Beth Bradley stumbles into the secret city, where she finds Filius Viae, London’s ragged crown prince, just when he needs someone most. An ancient enemy has returned to the darkness under St Paul’s Cathedral, bent on reigniting a centuries-old war, and Beth and Fil find themselves in a desperate race through a bizarre urban wonderland, searching for a way to save the city they both love. The City’s Son is the first book of The Skyscraper Throne: a story about family,friends and monsters, and how you can’t always tell which is which.
Hi Tom, welcome to Book Chick City. What’s THE CITY’S SON about?
The tagline for The City’s Son is about a teenaged graffiti artist gets kicked out of school, she meets a homeless boy who claims to be the prince of London, and together they have to save the city from a maniacal, crane-wielding, demolition god. On the way we have heartbreak, reconciliation, streetlamp spirits, Pavement Priests, and a smidgeon of romance.
Tell us a bit more about the hero/heroine
Beth’s a hoodie-wearing, spray-can toting East London graffita, She enjoys cheesy pop music, action films and trespassing, but she loves her best friend Pen most of all. She’s fiercely loyal, fiercely practical and just plain fierce. But her ferocity makes her rash. She’s also got a bit of charisma, so it’s not just her but also the friends she loves so much that can wind up paying for her mistakes.
How did you research THE CITY’S SON?
Well, 24 years living in London helped a bit! I just sort of rambled around, and tried to take a different perspective on the city. I’d look at the phone lines and imagine them as strands of a giant web, and try to imagine what kind of spider might spin them, that kind of thing.
Is THE CITY’S SON the first in a series or a stand alone?
It’s the first volume of a trilogy: The Skyscraper Throne. I’m working on book 2 The Glass Republic now.
When is your favourite time to write?
Evenings –I’m dreadfully distractible, honestly, I’m like cat with lint. Writing’s got to be the last thing I do in a day if I’m going to concentrate.
Where is your favourite place to write?
I do pretty much all my writing at the Royal Festival Hall. I’ve tried writing at home and all it got me was an empty fridge and an encyclopaedic knowledge of The West Wing (see answer above).
What was the last book you read and enjoyed?
Last book I finished Cat Clarke’s Entangled – It’s a contemporary YA with a killer voice and great humour. I’m reading Nick Harkaway’s Angelmaker now and it’s both wonderfully bonkers and just plain wonderful: Nonagenarian spies, apocalyptic bees and, of course, London. Always London.
Which authors do you admire?
Oh lord, tons. I think Patrick Ness is a brilliant, fearless writer. David Almond too, there’s’ something about the way he writes that’s utterly convincing even with the weirdest premise. And speaking of weird, I’m always in awe of China Miéville.
Describe yourself in five words
The guy eating the chocolate.
The Glass Republic It’s kind of Alice through the Looking Glass meets Uglies: Beauty, bullying and brick-rain. With some LGBT themes and giant glass horses. Pen, Beth’s best friend is the lead character in that one. She’s a Pakistani origin Muslim, and that’s taking a bit more research, but mainly she’s just Pen. It’s important to let every character be themselves rather than a cipher for their demographics.