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Tuesday 26 November 2019

ℚ Children of Fire: Ainscough [1] - Paul CW Beatty

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about his latest release Children of Fire (, The Book Guild, 241 pages), a Victorian Murder Mystery.

"The author manages to pull off incredibly detailed historical information in Children of Fire [...]  He has woven an intricate story with truths and shady shenanigans in such a way that not once do you question why one piece of information has been included.  [...] it's historical fiction without a doubt, but it could have been a who-done-it in any era. The plot keeps you guessing right to the end and not once did I consider the tone too heavy or highbrow for my usually less serious entertainment needs.

Honestly, if you're looking for something different to read, then go ahead. Children of fire is a delight"
~ Karen, Amazon reviewer

|| Synopsis || Trailer || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Paul Beatty; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for Children of Fire?

"I have been interested in crime stories since watching all the old Perry Mason’s in black and white on Sunday TV. So writing crimes was natural in that sense. But I didn’t want to get involved in the details of CSI or other modern police procedurals simply because as a professional research scientist I felt I’d get bogged down in unnecessarily detail. So, historically, I went back until I got to a point, which turned out to be the 1840 to 1850 period where forensics was at their infancy.

After that, I wanted the stories set in the Manchester area with the adage write about what you know."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Since I’d ruled out heavy science from the start, I still needed a hero who used observation and logic.

Science doesn’t pass Children of Fire by, the story starts with the establishment of a new local gunpowder mill where several people have been killed in what might be an accident or might be a deliberate act of sabotage. But the deductive approach is always the bread and butter of crime writing as it has always been the centre of my professional life."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Children of Fire - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"That’s a good question with a complicated answer.

Children of Fire was published as a result of my winning a competition for an unpublished novel offered by The Writing Magazine in collaboration with The Book Guild an indie publisher. The publication was governed by a normal Society of Authors approved contract, one aspect of which was responsibility for design of cover.

The Book Guild were very generous in the terms of the contract, but they specified, that the cover was their responsibility - I had input but it was done by their in house artists.

The nature of the cover is interesting in that it appears that figure is emerging from the smoke of a struck match.
It's a cover that is not one I would have thought of but it catches people imagination and ties in with books theme of violent and peaceful commitment to ideals that affect others."
Why should we read Children of Fire and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"My hero is an idealistic Methodist Police Constable, who finds his attraction to young women somewhat at odds with Methodism’s rather straight laced approach to relationships. He joins the police to get out of that contradiction.

He is a poor example of a new Police Constable, but has other talents that include being adept at criminal detection in a force that hasn’t thought about detection.

It was irresistible with possible politically motivated as well the standard criminal activities, and provided setting and a succession of stories."
Can you tell us something quirky about Children of Fire, its story and characters?
"My Protagonist is called Josiah, the Old Testament Child King who was famed for his sense of justice and devotion to the law.

Ainscough is the name of a well-known northwest firm of mobile crane hirers, commonly seen on the regions roads. That quirky enough?"
Who would you recommend Children of Fire to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Well the range of people who like the book is wide. It got an excellent review in the Methodist Recorder, the weekly Newspaper of British Methodism, as well as receiving good word of mouth recommendations.

The book does contain swearing, and issues of a sexual nature, but it's not explicit."
If you could / wished to turn Children of Fire into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I’m tempted to suggest actors for different roles. But I would hope that the landscape of the Goyt Valley and places such as Lyme Hall, the National Trust property that played Pemberly in a famous BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, would double as Hailworth Hall in the film. That would preserve the atmosphere."
What is your writing process?
"I try to write about 1,000 words a day, revising them the following day before starting that day's new 1,000 words. I work directly on a PC using a combination of Word and Scrivener.

I started as a pantzer, someone who writes as they go along by the seat of their pants. But in the case of Circles of Deceit, as well as less so in Children of fire the complexity of plot and the historical research required has expanded and I have started to become much more of a planner."
What is in store next?
"The sequel to Children of Fire, Circles of Deceit is in its final stage of drafting. It has a bigger canvas of the second great Chartist petition and the conflict in the the North West which used to be called the Plug Plot but these days is called the 1842 General Strike.

It is intended that the Ainscough series will run from 1841 to 1851 in a chronology of about one per year but that runs to 10 novels which is a lot."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I’m old enough to have been a toddler in 1953. On the landing of my house in Marple is a stuffed push along donkey, called, not very imaginatively, Donk. There is also a picture of me and Donk at a Coronation Street Party in 1953. "
We'd love to see a picture of that and of Donk!
Thank you for sharing!

Can Josiah solve the puzzle before more people die, or is he out of his depth?

Children of Fire
Available NOW!

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