Ask the Author: Linwood Barclay

“At long last, I'm getting up to speed on Goodreads, not just to answer your questions about what I might be working on, but to tell you about some of the great books I've read recently. ” Linwood Barclay

Answered Questions (117)

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Linwood Barclay Hi! Thanks for your very kind note and please pass on my best wishes to your mother, Charru. Sorry for the late reply. I have been out of the country, and now that I'm back, I'm packing, as we are moving to a new house. My favourite author, ever, would have to be Ross Macdonald, whose novels I discovered about 1970. He made a huge impression on me. Also around that time a very famous Canadian author named Margaret Laurence took an interest in me and was very encouraging. There are many authors today that I love and I hate to single out one. Okay, maybe Stephen King. All the best!
Linwood Barclay Parting Shot just might be my last Promise Falls book. The first one since, A Noise Downstairs, is set elsewhere, as it next year's, Elevator Pitch. But who knows? There are some efforts underway to turn PF into a TV series. If that happened, and if the series were a hit, maybe.... Thanks for the kind words.
Linwood Barclay If you've not read Parting Shot, that is a kind of fourth book to the Promise Falls trilogy. Not linked in plot, but the events of the trilogy are referenced. I think that may be my last PF book. The latest, A Noise Downstairs, is a complete standalone, as will next year's, Elevator Pitch. Thanks for the kind words.
Linwood Barclay If you live anywhere near Toronto, you can come see the premiere of Never Saw it Coming, a movie based on that novel, on Friday. I also wrote the screenplay for it. It stars, among others, Eric Roberts. The Accident has been made into six-part series in France and is available on iTunes in many markets (French subtitles). And we are currently working on a series based on my Promise Falls trilogy. Thanks for the kind words!
Linwood Barclay My latest novel, A Noise Downstairs, has hints of the supernatural, but I can't say much more about it without spoiling it. I like to stick to down-to-earth stories. I think there are a lot of authors writing in that genre who do a much better job than I could, so I'm going to stay in my lane.
Linwood Barclay I was going to call it The Typewriter, but my editors overruled me. A third of the audience won't know what it is, and it's not "thrillerish" enough. So I gave them A Noise Downstairs as an option. A note, the movie is in Picton not Belleville. Hope to see you there!
Linwood Barclay Parting Shot is very much a standalone novel. But because it is set in Promise Falls, and comes a year after the events of the trilogy (which were HUGE) I felt it wouldn't be realistic to think everyone had forgotten about what happened. It couldn't be ignored. But I tried to write Parting Shot without any spoilers for those who'd not read the trilogy. Hope that helps.
Linwood Barclay With Tap I had the original idea of how one hitchhiker turned into another. That was the starting point. But before I start writing, I need to know what set of circumstances brought us to that point. Once I know the underpinnings, and have a good idea where I will end up, I start writing. But what's funny is, with that book, I ended up doing a massive rewrite and changed all those underpinnings. (That book nearly killed me.) But the opening chapter never changed.
Linwood Barclay That's a tough one. There are so many factors. I was a newspaper columnist before I started doing books, so some people knew me already. I had a great agent, who had lots of great advice. There was an element of luck, when a TV book club in England picked one of my novels and turned it into a hit. So, everyone's path is different. But the one thing you can do is, write a good book. Good luck.
Linwood Barclay Hey, Stephen King has a character reading the latest Linwood Barclay in Bazaar of Bad Dreams, so I don't see why you shouldn't do it. I'd be delighted. Good luck with the book!
Linwood Barclay No short answer to that question, but I will try. I have a very good agent, who offers great advice on the books themselves. The books, I hope, are not half bad. But there is also a lot of luck, I think. Had the Richard and Judy TV Book Club in England not picked No Time for Goodbye 10 years ago, I might not be where I am now. That book went supernova, but why it and not some other book? That's the mystery. But back to my agent: I did four novels that went nowhere. She insisted I shift gears, write a different type of book. I came up with No Time. So, she played a huge part.
Linwood Barclay Chase and Escape are classified as "middle grade," which is roughly 8 to 13. Although my next door neighbour, Jan, is in his mid-70s, and he can't wait for part two.
Linwood Barclay I'm so pleased you found Last Resort. it's out of print, but available as an ebook, and perhaps that is how you discovered it. I've no plans to write a sequel. All the best stuff is there. It's the kind of story you only get to tell once, I think. My novel Lone Wolf is much inspired by my time at Green Acres, as is my thriller for kids, Chase. All the best, Linwood.
Linwood Barclay Thanks for the kind words! Contracts are wonderful inspiration! You fail to deliver your book and you have to pay back some money. But to be serious, I most often find inspiration in every day events, and how they might go horribly wrong. I think I'm basically an anxious person, so I tap into that anxiety when I am looking for plot ideas.

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