What do you do when you are an ex-soap star down on your luck and running out of money?
For Daniel Maple, a chance meeting in a nightclub presents him with an offer he finds hard to refuse…
But crime makes you pay.
And someone, somewhere, wants you punished.
MY INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
- When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
I always loved making up stories, which is part of creating theatre. I used to love it at school when the teacher asked us to write a story. I always had a fascination with words and how they can create emotion within us. A lot of this fascination was satisfied for many years by my work as an actor, interpreting other people’s scripts and stories and sometimes being involved in the creation of them, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve written more and the computer age has made that much easier. The only thing that stopped my schoolboy stories being brilliant was that my hand would get tired writing and I would rush to finish them. A natural impatience that I still have
- What inspired you to write this book?
I’d been commissioned to write to non-fiction books about various aspects of the acting world and having been well guided by a good editor at my publishers, I found the process really enjoyable. The thought that I wanted to write a piece of fiction still lingered in my mind and became harder and harder to ignore. I wanted to write the sort of book that I like to read. Something that kept me up at night turning the pages. I was heading off to France for a writer’s retreat at the wonderful Chez Castillon (https://www.chez-castillon.com) and the exercises we did during the writing course just helped the story fall into place. The incident that sparks it all off is true. It happened to me as a young actor, but it’s just that I made a different decision to the central character in the book
- If you could sell this book in one sentence what would it be?
If one act of criminal behaviour could solve all your problems, would you do it?
- What are you up to next?
I had a germ of an idea for my next book, and I was due to head off to France once more on a writer’s retreat to get it started at the end of March. Lockdown stopped all that, and I thought that perhaps I just had to start writing. So, I’ve been busy on my second book which I’m hoping will be out next year. Acting work has been pretty few and far between with only the odd voice-over done from home, but I do work on big events as a director, so that side of my work has kept me busy. I’ve also been doing an online course in criminal psychology which I’ve enjoyed enormously, and I hope will result in some more bizarre twists in future stories.
- Who is your biggest inspiration?
Without doubt my partner Richard. We met nearly 24 years ago when I was appearing in pantomime and he was on the stage crew having just left university. He is my best friend, my greatest critic, and my biggest inspiration. It’s so important to me in my life that I have somebody I can be proud of and to have watched him create a brilliant career in a world so different from mine has been fantastic. He’s a very logical clear thinker and sometimes I can run an idea past him in casual conversation and he’ll be able to add to it, or to spot the chink in the wall. He makes me challenge myself. I’ve been acting for just over 40 years and every time I leave the house, I doubt my ability to do a good job. That makes me work harder. It stops complacency. I’m hoping that quality is also useful in my writing. If I can’t surprise myself, how can I expect to surprise the reader?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Clayton is an actor best known for his appearances as Ian Chapman in five series of the awardwinning Channel 4 comedy Peep Show and as Graham in two series of the BAFTA winning comedy Him and Her. Other credits include Coronation Street, Hollyoaks and Holby City as well as This is Alan Partridge, Doctor Who, The Crown, Vera, Wolf. He is a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
His previous books are So You Want To Be A Corporate Actor? and The Working Actor and he is a regular columnist in The Stage.
He is a proud patron of Grimm and Co, the children’s literacy charity, based in his home town of Rotherham.
Social Media Links –
Twitter – Claytoncast
Instagram – Claytoncastgram
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