Jo, tell us what Inish Carraig is about. What sets it apart from other sci-fi books?
Inish Carraig is a sci-fi with a hint of thriller. The main character is John, a teenager from Belfast, ably supported by Henry, a policeman who becomes embroiled in his life.
Set after an alien invasion, John is set up for an accusation of xenocide, and sent to Inish Carraig, a futuristic prison. There, he finds out who set him up and why – and realises Earth, and all he loves, is in danger. He has to unveil the conspiracy – he just has to get out of prison, first.
What makes it special is partly it’s setting – a changed Belfast after the invasion – and that it’s told on the micro level. It’s very much a story about the people and not the grand setting.
Did you have the book planned out before you wrote it? Did anything unexpected happen while writing it?
I never plan. I’d love to be able to, but it just doesn’t work for me.
I didn’t expect the human antagonist to turn out the way he was – he’s much creepier than anticipated. As ever, I found out I write dark stuff more than I mean to.
Did you find anything challenging about writing your book?
Using Belfast as a setting was challenging. I know the city well, but obviously there is a difficult history, as well as sensitivities. I really wanted not to write about the Troubles, but reflect the Belfast I know – hard, but with humour and kind people – but, of course, history shaped the city. So, that balancing act is always difficult.
Do you have a specific writing style or process that you prefer?
I write very, very close third – in the character’s minds and thoughts. This makes wider world building tricky – the reader knows what my character knows and nothing more – but gives a nice immediacy,
Who designed your cover? It’s very eye-catching and dramatic.
As well as Inish Carraig, I am trad published for my Inheritance Trilogy, and my publisher for that (Tickety Boo Press) kindly offered to help me with the cover.
They took the brief I gave – of the iconic cranes over Belfast combined with a post-invasion landscape – and brought it about more than I ever hoped for.
Are you working on anything else?
Always! I have book two of my trilogy, Sunset Over Abendau, coming out in March 2016, and then book three to work on. As well as that, I have another standalone planned for 2016, this one a fantasy, again based in Nothern Ireland.
I also have a number of shorts commisioned to write, and am working on a new YA sci fi novel.
What book are you reading now?
I’m reading Mother Of Eden by Chris Beckett and enjoying it very much. I like his use of character voice and his building of a society.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers?
I have a blog on jozebwrites.blogspot.co.uk, with lots of guest blogs and an upcoming blog hop.
Wow, Jo, it sounds like Inish Carraig is quite intense! I’m sure anyone who likes sci-fi will love it. Thank you for stopping by!
If you haven’t read Jo’s book, you can purchase Inish Carraig through this retailer: