Today, we reveal the cover for Rats, by JW Hicks.
In one world she is Bitch Singer – fighting a dictator, guerilla style.
In another, she is Dorrie Hart, housewife and mother – carer to a speech-impaired child.
Which world is real, which life is true? And why does she wake each morning crying for a lost lover – a lover she is determined to find.
As huge fans of Jane's work, we're chuffed to bits to have her aboard.
Here she talks how Rats came about:
How long have you been working on this book?
It seems like forever, but probably about fourteen years on and off. Enrolled in a Creative Writing class run by Cardiff University I began writing futuristic stories. I’ve always been keen on science fiction; buying my first Penguin paperback for half a crown sometime in the late 50s - one of John Wyndham’s.
A year into the course I decided to write a novel. It grew out of a dystopian short about a girl surviving on her wits in a ruined world. After several tortuous drafts, Rats was voted top of the Best Seller Chart on You Write On, an online review site, receiving a professional critique from Melissa Weathergill an independent editor and reviewer for books and film. This led to another drastic rewrite.
In 2011 I submitted the first paragraph of Rats to the Words with Jam Comp Corner, and won a £500 General Report from Cornerstones Literary Consultancy. This inspired yet another rewrite, out of which emerged the Rats of today.
How would you describe it in terms of genre?
Speculative fiction. A wild adventure tale, suitable for young adults, or a an invigorating general read.
What triggered the impetus to write it?
I wanted to write something I’d enjoy reading. And also something that would call to readers who’d never ventured into SF/Fantasy territory.
As in all Triskele books, location plays an important role. Tell about the setting of Rats.
Like me, Rats is based in Wales. The scenery of Rats is my scenery; I can see Twm Barlum from my bedroom window. Its castles were my children’s playground and its Wilderness a just a down-hill, pot-holed slope away from my home.
Rats will be released in October.