Today on Meet the Author we have a double act – you can tell these two would be fun to hang out with!
Heide Goody and Iain Grant
Comedy Fantasy (and other genres, but always comedy)
Tell us a bit about yourself:
We have been co-authoring novels since 2011. Our longest series, Clovenhoof, stars Satan, made redundant from Hell and sent to live in Birmingham.
What inspired you to start writing?
We’ve both been writing for many years, but writing together is something we can pinpoint.
We were both members of Birmingham Writers’ Group, and at one particular meeting we had a workshop where we discussed collaborative writing. At the end of the workshop, there was a question: who would like to write with someone else? The two of us were the only ones who had our hands up out of the whole group, and then it still took a couple of weeks before we decided to give it a go!
How many books have you written and published?
We’ve now written more than 15 novels, and quite a few shorter works together.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
I think we both retain a massive fondness for Clovenhoof. It’s the name of both the character and the first book. Jeremy Clovenhoof, and his supporting cast are now characters that we know so well, we can put him in any situation and immediately know what would happen.
How do you choose the names of your characters?
We’ve used lots of different methods. We wrote a book called A Spell in the Country, which is a cosy mystery featuring a “school for witches”. We asked members of a Facebook book group called TBC if anybody would like to donate their name to be a witch character, and the response was awesome! We selected names from a huge list, making sure that the names were quite different from each other, so that it’s easier for the reader to remember who’s who.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
We have a character called Rod in our Oddjobs series (which is a work-based comedy with monsters, something like Men in Black meets The Office). Rod is ex-SAS: an all-action hero who loves gadgets that will help him in combat or in a survival situation. He would definitely be the person to have with you if the island was at all inhospitable!
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
When we started writing together, we imagines a Venn diagram that showed our common interests, and favourite authors. We quickly realised that Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman were authors that we both admire greatly. You can imagine how excited we are to see the upcoming adaptation of Good Omens!
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
Heide: I remember writing Rupert Bear fan fiction at an early age.
Iain: I remember writing at the age of 9, possibly inspired by my childhood love of The Fall Guy (starring Lee Majors), a ‘novel’ about a bounty hunter called Scruncho. I don’t recall why he was called Scruncho.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
Heide: I have worked for many years in IT.
Iain: I left the IT profession many years ago (it was too much strain on my knees) and have spent most of my adult life as a teacher.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
Heide: I would very much like to see our world as it was a thousand years ago. I’d be interested to know how well I could converse with people of that time as well. I’d still need coffee though obviously, so a short visit only 😀
Iain: I have this recurring daydream of how, if I travelled back to medieval or Dark Ages England, how I would use my knowledge of all things modern to make a living and, ultimately, make myself king. Usually, these daydreams end in the realisation that I don’t really know much about anything and would never be king and that’s probably why I’m a writer now.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Heide: I’d love to chat to David Bowie about his creative process, just simply because he reinvented himself so vividly and so well on numerous occasions throughout his career.
What are your favourite things to do?
Heide: I am very fond of making things. I love to combine this with book publicity if I can. When we launched Snowflake, which is a novel about a woman who can bring things to life (including her ideal man) with a magical pendant, I made a remote controlled trilobite, because she accidentally re-animates some fossils.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
Heide: The first time that I met someone in real life who had heard of and read the books that we’ve written was really strange. Good strange!
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Heide: Join a writers group sooner!
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
Heide: With the way things are in the world at the moment I think perhaps The Handmaid’s Tale
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
A Heart in the Right Place is a horror comedy.
Here is the description:
“All Nick wants to do is take his dying father for a perfect father-son weekend in the Scottish Highlands. It’s not much to ask, is it? A log cabin, a roaring fire, a bottle of fine whisky and two days to paper over the cracks in their relationship.
However, Nick didn’t plan on making the trip with a dead neighbour in the back of his car. Or the neighbour’s dog. He really didn’t plan on being pursued by a psychotic female assassin intent on collecting body parts. And he really, really didn’t plan on encountering a platoon of heavily armed mercenaries, or some very hungry boars, or a werewolf.
A Heart in the Right Place – a horror comedy about setting out with the very best intentions and then messing everything up.”
Thanks so much to both Heide and Iain for taking part. I feel like it must be so hard for two people to write one book!! How does one person not just take over? What happens when there are differing views on which way the story should head?! So many questions!!
If you have any questions/comments for Heide or Iain, you know what to do!
Enjoy your day and thanks for reading!