This morning I have author Paul Clayton here discussing his journey to The Hoax.
Meet Frankie Baxter. She’s trying to make ends meet and keep the boat afloat for her three kids. She’s harassed, sometimes impatient. but she’s a fabulous mum. So imagine her distress when Henry, her youngest child, goes missing …
Henry returns safety accompanied by a stranger, Cora, a fairy godmother who starts to change the Baxter family’s lives in the best of ways.
So why do things suddenly start going wrong? Is Cora fulfilling their dreams• or is she the start of a nightmare?
Funny, terrifying and a real page-turner, The Hoax puts a whole new slant on psychological thrillers.
It’s easy to know how lockdown hampered and curtailed many aspects of our lives, but it takes a much closer look to work out what one has learnt and the benefits of the prolonged imposed stay in our homes.
Though I had work to get on with, I was sure from day one that I wanted to learn something. After browsing the Internet and toying with the idea of something involving carpentry or DIY, male beauty therapies, or at one mad moment, conversational hypnosis, I settled on taking a diploma in criminal psychology.
It was mainly to discipline myself. To have a deadline. To make sure that I completed something within a given timeframe. And yet having to submit multiple choice questionnaires and essays each week started to bleed into the rest of my work.
A novel, which was occupying an increasingly large document in my word processor, began to be coloured by my thinking as a rookie Cracker. Once I would have been keen to have written a whodunnit, plotting out who was where when, and how they could have been there then, and with what implement. Now my mind was occupied by the why. How trustworthy is a person, and how do we know that? Why do we believe some people and not others? One only has to take a quick glance at the Downing Street briefings to see who can command authority and trust, and who is just a master of the bad hairstyle.
I wondered if there were moments in my past where I had sought revenge. How best to do it? My problem would be that I would have to be there to see it exacted. To gain the maximum schadenfreude, as they stepped in the puddle I had made. And yet so many people set up exotic revenge plots of which they may never see the result. How would you deal with that if you were preparing that witness to testify? If you didn’t know who was behind everything.
For so many days, when our main method of communication was social media, I realised it’s so easy to imagine a slight. To read a phrase yet not find the voice in which it was written. To feel unkindness that may not necessarily be present. And as news broadcasts ended each night asking us to ‘be kind’, and we were implored to be patient and forgiving, I began to realise just how special a gift my kindness is. Who do I give it to? Why? Do I target it on those I love? Or do I allow it to be scattered like biblical seed across both stony and fertile ground in the hope that it will grow?
“The Hoax” isn’t a lockdown novel. There was a mention of the virus early on, but it was deleted as I felt I didn’t have enough information at the time to write a story that was essentially about something else in a world coloured and changed by a global pandemic. So, I told the story that had brewed in my mind before March 2020. Undoubtedly as it matured and grew through those daily stints at my word processor during the first lockdown, it has been flavoured by what we all went through.
But ultimately, it’s a story. A story inspired by a snippet in a newspaper and hopefully coloured by my lockdown learning. A story I wanted to know how it ended. I can only hope that the reader will too.
If you like the sound of the book and live in the UK then you’ll be please to hear there is a giveaway, where you could be in with a chance of winning…
Best known to audiences for five series of the BAFTA award-winning Channel 4 sitcom “Peep Show” and for two series of the BAFTA winning comedy “Him and Her” from BBC 3. He has enjoyed stints as regular characters in soaps “Hollyoaks”, “Coronation Street” “Doctors” is well known to viewers from a considerable volume of the television. Most recently appearances in series 2 of “The Crown”, “Black Earth Rising”, “Wolf Hall”, “The Split”, “Holby”, “ This Time with Alan Partridge” “Shakespeare and Hathaway” “Breeders”.
He is currently well known and loved by thousands of sci fi fans for his role as “Mr Colchester – terminator in a cardigan”- the leader of the Torchwood team, in the Big Finish ‘Torchwood’ audio dramas.
He recently filmed “Danny Boy” for the BBC.
He is the author of “So You Want to Be a Corporate Actor?” and “The Working Actor” and is a regular columnist and feature writer for The Stage.
He is patron of the children’s literacy charity Grimm and Co (www.grimmandco.co.uk) based in Yorkshire for whom he has staged young authors live dramas and facilitated six independent films written by 9 – 11 year olds.
His first novel “The Punishment” met with great reviews when it was published in 2019.
“I LOVED this book. It’s funny, dark, sexy and sharp as a knife. A brilliant story with three intricately woven strands that keep you hooked all the way through. Definitely recommend!”.