Under the Spotlight – Alex Caan interrogates Liz Barnsley
I met Liz at a party. (Not surprising as she’s ALWAYS at a party.) And it took me about two seconds to decide we were going to be friends. It’s all that book energy you see, we can feel it. So when it came to the blog tour I could imagine Liz rolling her eyes and thinking ANOTHER writer wants to talk about THEIR book…so I thought, I will instead use my creative powers (which are ace and helped me write the brilliant Cut to the Bone) and I will interview Liz…That’s right, the spotlight has turned. The hunter has become the hunted, and the reviewer has become the…erm…reviewed? Or something…so anyway, I give you the Cut to the Bone blog tour…featuring Liz Loves Books!
So Liz I’ve been stalking, erm following your Twitter, and there are two writers you seem to love/ be a big fan of. Now I’m going to make you choose. You’re on a plane with Neil White and Paul Hardisty (all of you reading the amazing Cut to the Bone obviously) when the engines fail and it’s about to crash. There are only two parachutes. Who survives? (You decide!)
Aaargh. Dammit Alex! Oh dear. Well I love Neil obviously as a huge fan of his novels for well, ever. We definitely need more of THAT top crime fiction. I’m thinking maybe I should die for the cause and let them both live. Because Paul, he’s extraordinarily attractive, erm a really good writer (both in fact) – could I deprive the world? And they seem to both be REALLY nice guys. Polite and stuff. BUT WAIT. Dammit. If I sacrifice myself I’ll miss all the rest of the books forever. Unless heaven is a thing and a thing with books. Not sure I’m risking that. YOU JUST NEVER KNOW. Ok in that case sorry Neil you’ll have to crash and burn. If I’m about to be stuck in the middle of nowhere having been in a plane crash I don’t think I’ll need a lawyer. Paul has the survival skills. I’ll go with that. Plus we can hold a nice memorial when we get back to civilisation where we can all go and cry over Neil and stuff and everyone in the world will buy his books. Shame he won’t be around to enjoy it…
Unless Paul’s survival skills are Bear Grylls like and he eats you when you run out of food…just saying…(Neil #TeamZaffre White I got your back)
You’ve been described as one of the most influential people in book-world. Which writer would you like to influence and what would you make them do? (It’s ok I’m already writing the sequel to Cut to the Bone you don’t have to say that…)
Well firstly I think whoever described me as such to you was having you on a bit – was it BEFORE we became friends? Were you befriending me in a secret evil plan to have me hypnotise people into reading Cut to the Bone but then you discovered I’m actually just pretty normal (if often gin fuelled) and had to put up with me anyway? Because you know I haven’t read it yet right? I KNOW. But we are buddies so I can get away with it. I am going to read it. I mean I read the prologue and that was really brilliant. Anyway I digress. I’d like to influence John Connolly who writes my favourite series in the history of anything ever and make him write another Louis and Angel spin off novel. I want one. **stamps foot like a child** Also if I hadn’t randomly killed Neil White off earlier in this interview I’d like more Jack and Laura stories. Even a short one. Does that stamping of the foot thing ever actually work?
Yes people just remember that the prologue is brilliant…it’s all I’m going to get for now…sob…Lol don’t worry someone described you as that when I said we were already friends…darn it I should have done it the other way round I could have been an evil genius crime writer then…oh well…love John Connolly though! Stamp away but you just left him on that plane…
Desert Island Discs. Forget the discs, music is pants. Which five books would you take with you? (Cut to the Bone along with the Bible and Complete Works of Shakespeare is already there…) Actually you’ll never do this. So instead, pick five writers you would take with you and why. (P.S. I can do amazing things with a coconut!)
HA! Well erm not sure. OH well Steph Broadribb (also known as crime thriller girl) obviously would HAVE to come. Why? Well because she just would. I really don’t like going places without her and if I’m grumpy we are all grumpy. So we’d need Helen Giltrow too because when its the 3 of us what could POSSIBLY go wrong? Yeah don’t answer that you two if you are reading this. Stephen King so he can write us stories. I can’t go without new King stories are you mad??? Lee Child probably to keep Steph happy (we get even MORE grumpy when she is grumpy) then I’m just bringing Paul Hardisty along because heck I saved him from that blinking plane least he can do is come along to the Desert Island and make sure no bears attack. Or something. You obviously would be already there reading Shakespeare and awaiting company.
I was about to say where am I…hurrah! Steph is ace and you two always look like you’re about to do something really naughty but funny! Good choices all around.
You’re having a dinner party. Fine I’ll serve the water. Someone else can do the wine (because I know that person won’t be sitting down all night.) So tell me whose coming (anyone from fiction) and what dish are they bringing you?
OOH from fiction? Cool. I’ll have – hang on you didn’t give me a limit. Are we going to be here all night while I answer this one? I’ll need more wine. Tell you what lets make it 6 for dinner. I like the number 6 it takes no prisoners. So me and 5 fictional characters.
DEFINITELY Manny from Chris Whitaker’s Tall Oaks. He is my favourite one off (although I’m hoping he’s not entirely one off) character in fiction EVER. I would LOVE to see him in action in real life. Elizabeth Bennett because I’d like to see if she really was sassy when in a modern environment – she’s a favourite fictional character of mine. Also apparently could probably help if there is a zombie attack. Then ooh I don’t know. YES I do – John Connolly’s Charlie Parker (he’d definitely bring Louis and Angel with him even though I’ve not officially invited them so that’s a bit of a loophole that allows me to meet all 3) I think that would be quite scary but also very cool. I just hope none of the dark forces these guys attract try to steal the bread rolls.
I’d also like to have Tony Hill from Val McDermid’s books. And Carol Jordan. Would love to see those two interact also perhaps Tony could tell me whether hanging out with you crime types is actually the best thing for me. I’ll have Marnie Rome from Sarah Hilary’s series to make sure everyone stays in line. AND to be on the spot in case there is a murder. We’d better be prepared and she could solve it properly and with intelligence, not missing random really good clues for no good reason whatsoever to keep us wondering – which can happen in these situations…
I don’t really care what they bring. I don’t eat much. Wine though..
Oh yeah sorry…six will do! Brilliant choices I have to say…not sure about that Manny though, that Chris Whitaker already has too many mentions on my blog tour…And please tag Val/Sarah they are writing heroes of mine and I stalk, erm follow them on Twitter too…
Your crime writers gang invite you out for a weekend of wildness. What’s in your emergency supplies kit?
Gin. Bandages. A phone with a lawyer on speed dial. Packets of cheese and onion crisps. 9 books. At least 9. Probably more like 243453. WHAT IF WE GET STRANDED SOMEWHERE. You are coming along to carry all this for me I assume???
Oh yeah sure (quick think of an excuse…erm…erm…ok I have nothing…) I’ll carry it all…(I believe I’ve already carried a bag of books around for you on a couple of occasions though…)
David (of Stasi Child) and Chris (of Tall Oaks) invite you to join a séance. Who will the three of you conjure up?
Well you know? We’d probably have a plan, work out who we would like to contact, make a date to get it done. Then all go off and do other things and not do that thing that we said we were going to do for AGES. And in the meantime we’d do other things but not THAT thing. And we’d sometimes say on Twitter “HEY YOU WHAT ABOUT THAT THING” and then get the reply “you haven’t done that other thing yet”. This could go on for quite a while. I imagine the spirits will be drumming their ghostly fingers waiting for months to find out who it is we want to speak to. Which would be different people for all of us so we’d probably end up summoning a demon that would eat the world. I think this whole séance thing is a bad idea…
Totally agree…séances NEVER end well…so we’re doing one at Bloody Scotland right?
You’ve met so many writers over the years. Who’s the worst? (Name and shame!) (Alex Caan isn’t an option…)
Nooo I would never do such a thing. I WILL say that writers are people and I’ve met all kinds. Mostly they are completely lovely. I’ve made such good friends in the community. Are there writers out there that I haven’t found to be that much fun or to be a bit self important? Yep. Of course. But you’ll just have to keep guessing on that one I’m afraid….although in case you were wondering its not you. Or any of YOU that are likely to be reading this. Human beings eh? Takes all kinds.
I will ask you again when there is lots of gin involved in the equation…although VERY relieved it’s not me…
Have you ever written a brilliant review for someone, met the author and realised they were a right bleep ‘difficult’ individual, and changed your review to reflect them? (Yes I’m going to keep pushing till you name and shame!) (Again not me!!)
No I haven’t. Their personality wouldn’t impact on my feelings about a book I’ve already read. If I met a writer PRIOR to reading their book and they were completely horrible? I might not read it then mostly though because I’d be afraid that this experience would colour my emotional responses to that book and therefore I would not be able to give an appropriate review or response. But for that to happen they really would have to be COMPLETELY horrible. Don’t think I’ve ever found that.
Who will play you in the movie of your life? (Brad Pitt said he looks just like me so will do a cameo…)
Well I’d like it to be Helen Mirren . She is insanely talented and also very funny and seems great in real life too. Mind you if they are making a movie of MY life they are seriously scraping the barrel for new things to do. My life is actually VERY boring. Apart from the books. Can I not just have them make a whole load of my favourite books into films instead?
It’s your movie anything can happen…in mine I am Agatha Christie…only male and contemporary…erm…
Liz Loves Books. But what do you love more? (Alex Caan/Cut to the Bone/Your family are not viable answers…)
Apart from the answers I’m not allowed such as family and you which would OBVIOUSLY be my answer otherwise, nothing probably. Well maybe if you tried to take away my coffee there would be blood. And fiery death. Also I’ve got a secret (maybe not so secret) passion for all things Vin Diesel. So leave me my books, my coffee and my Vin Diesel movies and probably you’d be safe.
Vin Diesel? Oh sorry for a moment I thought you meant Van Damme! Ha ha!
NOOOO Not Van Damme.
Actually darn it I’m going to ask…name five books you can’t live without…ok fine five books you’ve read in 2016 you can’t live without…oh alright, five books you’ve read in 2016 you recommend. (Aw thanks but I think people already realise Cut to the Bone is amazeballs so pick something else…)
5 I recommend from 2016?
Girls on Fire Robin Wasserman. The Maker of Swans Paraic O’Donnell. The Constant Soldier William Ryan. Tall Oaks Chris Whitaker Black Night Falling Rod Reynolds.
Those off the top of my head. All are likely to have a place (not sure which place) in my Top Ten of 2016 which will be posted on Dec 1st as usual. And 2016 has been INCREDIBLE for books. Epiphany Jones by Michael Grothaus is possibly the maddest book I’ve read this year and is simply stunning. Then I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid has a lot of us talking at the moment – its one of THOSE books. Yes I snuck a couple of extras in there under the radar. I’m sure Cut to the Bone will be on there as soon as Ive read it and stopped being a TERRIBLE friend.
That’s ok I have put my novel in italics throughout so it will be the only novel people remember…quick use that hypnosis thing…
Which novel would you actually like to live in? (Probably not a crime thriller one…)
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. WHAT a world that would be to live in! Would be like a dream come true. Check it out people! A book for book lovers and a banging banging addictive story. If it WAS a crime thriller then it would have to be one of Ragnar’s Icelandic set novels. Just because. Who WOULDN’T want to live there. Well apart from the random death and destruction. I’ll just hide from that bit.
And Cut to the Bone when you read it…have I mentioned my novel enough yet?
Is there such a thing as mentioning it *too* much? I will read it I promise. No really. Just ask David Young I ALWAYS keep my promises. Eventually. At some point. On that date over there somewhere…
Well that was A LOT of fun thank you Liz for letting me into your mind! And for letting me use friend privileges to ask the questions!
You are welcome. Now gimme my blog back…..
Ok its me again now….so I’ll tell you…
ABOUT THE BOOK!
Ruby is a vlogger, a rising star of YouTube and a heroine to millions of teenage girls. And she’s missing. She’s an adult – nothing to worry about, surely? Until the video’s uploaded. Ruby, in the dirt and pleading for her life.
Who better to head up the investigation than the Met’s rising star, Detective Inspector Kate Riley? She’s leading a shiny new team, high-powered, mostly female and with the best resources money can buy. It’s time for them to prove what they can do. Alongside her, Detective Superintendent Zain Harris – poster boy for multiracial policing and the team’s newest member – has his own unique contribution to make. But can Kate wholly trust him and when he’s around, can she trust herself?
Ruby’s millions of fans are hysterical about what may have happened to her. The press is having a field day and as the investigation hurtles out of control in the glare of publicity, it becomes clear that the world of YouTube vloggers and social media is much, much darker than anyone could have imagined in their worst nightmares.
And the videos keep coming . .
You can purchase CUT TO THE BONE by clickety clicking right HERE
And if you are brave you could follow Alex on Twitter HERE
And follow the tour. This is one fun tour!
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