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Q&A with Daniel Cole

RAGDOLL is one of the year’s most talked-about debut novels, and with good reason. Author Daniel Cole was good enough to answer some questions for us…

You were a paramedic before (while?) writing RAGDOLL. Was there a particular policeperson you encountered who inspired Wolf?

I can’t say that there was. Wolf is just a combination of all my favourite heroes/anti heroes rolled into one, but then grounded by the trivias of everyday life as well. He’s part Captain Mal Reynolds, part Sawyer from Lost. There’s some Martin Riggs from Lethal Weapon in there and a dash of Indy along with countless others and yet, you could still imagine bumping into him at the supermarket.

This is described as the first in a series. Do you have a fixed story arc for the series in mind, or is it open-ended at this point?

At this moment, I’m working towards a three-book story arc. These aren’t the ‘Wolf’ books or the ‘Baxter’ books – they’re the RAGDOLL books, relating to that particular case and that particular team at that particular point in time.

There’s nothing sadder than your favourite series/TV show continuing on and on until you’re sick of it. I like endings – they keep things special. I’m definitely not saying that there wont be more books in the future relating to these characters and a different case, but for now at least, book three is the finish line.

The officers in RAGDOLL are each passionate about their work. Do you think it’s necessary to be personally invested to be a successful investigator?

I don’t think that I’m in any way qualified to express an opinion on that. What I will say is that working on the ambulances was more than just a job. It pretty much took over my whole life while I was doing it – the disorientating shift work not helping matters much. It’s the sort of lifestyle that you can only sustain if you enjoy what you do, and I’d imagine that’s exactly the same for the police.

The publication of RAGDOLL has been a sensation in the publishing world, and for good reason, and the film rights have already been sold. How has your life changed since the book hit the global stage?

I’m honestly just pleased that I get to continue writing, and I’m just concentrating on making books two and three as good as they can possibly be. I’m quite level-headed about it all but certainly don’t take for granted just how lucky I am to be in this position.

RAGDOLL explores the darkest corners of human nature. What do you do to take a break from the darker side of life?

I’m not sure if there might be something wrong with me, but I don’t really consider RAGDOLL to be a particularly dark book. I’m not disputing that it has its moments, but my hope is that when people finish it, their overwhelming emotion is just that they enjoyed it. It’s full of humour and there is genuine warmth in the complicated relationships between the members of the team.

I live at the seaside so when I’m not writing (most of the time!) I tend to be out paddle boarding, surfing, kayaking, at the movies, or out having a drink or two with friends.

RAGDOLL has an intensely strong central character in Wolf, but he’s surrounded by an equally complex and fascinating cast. Do you see a possibility for any of these other characters taking center stage in a future story?

You read my mind. I wrote RAGDOLL with the intention of having a whole cast rather than one main character. That probably came from writing screenplays and being more influenced by TV and movies than by books. While RAGDOLL is undoubtedly Wolf’s story, book two belongs to someone else, and book three someone different again. I get bored very easily, and if the Pirates of the Caribbean film series taught us anything – it’s that sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

What are you reading now? What’s your favorite recent read?

I’m not reading anything at the moment because I’m editing book two. My favourite recent read has been HIMSELF by Jess Kidd. She’s a wonderful writer and the story is full of dark humour, ghosts and murder – it’s brilliant.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Vanilla

Star Trek or Star Wars?

Firefly.

 

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