Jake Woodhouse is the Sunday Times bestselling author of ‘After the Silence’, ‘Into the Night’, ‘Before the Dawn’ and ‘The Copycat’ is the fourth book in the ‘Amsterdam Quartet with Inspector Jaap Rykel’series
- To readers of the blog who may not be familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing
I got into writing after waking up from an emergency operation to find a nurse checking the clipboard hanging at the bottom to the bed. She said, with a name like that you should be writing thrillers. Which was really weird because the truth is I’d always wanted to but for some reason, fear probably, I’d done many things (musician, winemaker, entrepreneur) but never written a word.
- Can you tell us a bit about your new book, ‘The Copycat’
‘The Copycat’ deals with two issues which are becoming hot topics and are often seen as being two sides of the same coin, mental health and drugs. However, in researching it, my opinions changed drastically and the novel is a reflection of this much more nuanced and less clear cut view.
- What made you decide Crime?
Crime is universal really, most good stories whether they’re put in the crime genre or not have some element of crime or disturbance against the natural order. That’s what all fiction is really about anyway.
- Who’s your favourite villain or hero?
Tough one, I’d say Johnny Utah in the original ‘Point Break’. He was a member of the establishment who goes through a personal transformation which puts him in contact with a world he never knew existed, and one he ultimately will sacrifice everything in his old life for.
- If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
T.C. Boyle, James Ellroy and Thomas Pynchon. Though I suspect it would be less of a book club and more of an all out wild ride.
- If you could rewrite any book, what would it be and why?
I’ve never been asked this. I’m not really sure what book I’d want to rewrite, sounds like an arduous task which would inevitably offend the original author.
- What do you find to be the hardest part of the writing process?
Everything which isn’t the writing!
- What’s your favourite opening line from a book?
The opening of Don Winslow’s ‘Savages’ (you’ll have to look it up). “Can’t get better than that”. Also T.C. Boyle’s opening to ‘Drop City’
“The morning was a fish in a net, glistening and wriggling at the dead black border of her consciousness, but she’d never caught a fish in a net or on a hook either, so she couldn’t really say if or how or why.”
Out of context it makes very little, if any, sense. But in the context of who the character is and what’s she doing it’s a brilliant evocation of her state of mind and serves as a perfect setup for the novel to come.
- If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
Probably the Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer, hands down the most original, startling, weird and ultimately satisfying pieces of fiction ever to be committed to paper.
- What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
There’s an oft-quoted but of advice which is something along the lines of, write what you know. This is terrible advice. Write about what you don’t know, and learn something in process.
- When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
My dogs (though really at my feet is better, they tend to get in the way on my desk).
- And finally, do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website.
I do but they’re top secret so the old I-could-tell-you-but-I’d-have-to-kill-you thing would sadly apply.
For more information about Jake Woodhouse go to his website
You can buy ‘The Copycat’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.