In The Spotlight - Kieran Gould-Dowen

Having recently enjoyed his fantastic debut novel Real Heroes Cry, I asked Kieran if he would kindly answer some questions for me about the book and what he has coming up in the future.   

Kieran can be found on Twitter @KieranDowen or on his website

I am enjoying Real Heroes Cry, Heroes are very much in vogue just now especially with Marvel enjoying huge successes with The Avengers, Thor etc, has any of these heroes of old inspired you in your writing.

Yes definitely. The essay Dom writes at the start when he actually names heroes and villains from Marvel and DC was the whole starting concept of the book. I am a massive fan of Marvel but also recognise the convention they have of labelling their characters good or bad. I wanted to break away and make everything a shade of grey rather than black and white. You may have noticed loads of small references throughout to other superhero stories, almost ironically.

I loved your world building in the book, especially when Dom conjures up buildings complete with everything you need inside, did you plan what his world would be like before hand or did you come up with it as the story progressed.

There were certain parts I thought up before I started like Purgatory but the bungalow in the woods is actually based on an actual house. The location is all real and where I grew up so I was able to walk each step in my head. By my old house there was a hill I liked to sit in with woods at the top. One time with friends we climbed all the way through them for over an hour, further then ever before, and we found this abandoned bungalow fenced off. It always stayed in my mind and gave me somewhere to create. 

Is writing something you have done from an early age.

It isn't actually. I used to play with a box of plastic figures every day for hours making stories but I didn't write. My writing actually started in University whilst I was training as an actor. I got down on myself thinking I would never get anywhere in life so thought perhaps I should try other avenues similar to acting too while I can still experiment and play. I wrote a play in 6 days, produced it, and my writing just took off from there really.

In the world of social media how do you find keeping on top of things, as a blogger going between several social media sites requires a lot of concentration!

I'm actually really new to Twitter. I'm more of a Facebook addict. My friend recommended I use it to help promote my work though and he was definitely right. It's hard to keep up though. I want to help other writers whilst promoting my own work, and reply to everyone straight away but it starts to stock up when you leave it for a while.

Do you have more books planned following on from this one.

I'm currently fifteen chapters into the sequel which has a VERY different feel to it. The series is planned as a trilogy actually and I knew stuff about the third before I even started the first. It meant I could put loads of small hints and links in that won't get explained until the third or things you won't pick up on but you would on a reread after finishing the whole series. I have other ideas too but I won't start those until Real Heroes is finished.

When you start writing do you have a plan as to what you are going to do that day, or do you let it come to you, I know some writers have certain rituals that they do and some just go with whatever!
Well with Real Heroes Cry I planned out every chapter before I sat down and then would add spontaneous ideas as they came during writing. I then just sat down and wrote a chapter at a time, sometimes in halves if they were longer. With the second I have a structure and ideas but it's not specific per chapter. I'm being much more free with it.

If you had to pick your favourite character from the book who would it be?
For me I think it's Bryce. Even though he was originally meant to be a secondary character to the main three of Dom, Zara and Elliot, he ended up becoming so interesting that he's sort of the fourth main character. I've even thought of giving him a spin off. Zara is a fave too, and seems to be from readers as well.

Are any of the characters personalities based on people you know (don't need names!!)

Actually pretty much all of them. I am constantly inspired by everything around me and I've made so many interesting friends and acquaintances over the years. Some of them even have the actual name of the person, some are different just for fun. Dom was originally based on me and Zara was based on my girlfriend. However I stopped writing once I reached chapter fourteen for two years and when I came back I wasn't like him at all. I found Bryce was more like me. At one point Bryce says to Dom that he is turning more into him everyday. That was a little in joke with myself about how I used to be Dom and now I'm Bryce.

I see you also do screen writing, do you have anything in the pipeline
Screen wise not at this very moment. I have two TV shows on my laptop that are ready to go but it's much harder to get your work to go anywhere regards TV than it is books. I actually spoke to a contact earlier today who I wrote a movie script for last year and we have a few plans. You will have to wait and see though.

Following the adaptation of many books to huge blockbuster movies, how would you feel about this happening to you and how you would feel about other people taking control of your "baby", also if it was made in to a film who would you like to play the main characters and who to direct!

You would not believe how many times I think about this. Originally I wanted to write this story as a film but I knew it wouldn't get into a big enough studio to make it look high quality. I'm hoping one day it gets turned into films for sure. I would obviously like to be on board with the writing, especially as script writing is where I come from but I'd be honoured either way if it got taken on. In my head Bryce was a younger Paul Bettany, however I would LOVE for Joseph Morgan to play him. It's hard to imagine actors for the others roles as they are based on people I know and most of those are actually actors too. Not sure on director, I shall have a ponder.

Finally some quick questions

Last Book: Wool
Last TV Show: Vampire Diaries
Last Song Bought: James Arthur's Album
Last Film: 10 Things I Hate About You

Thanks again to Kieran for answering my nosey questions, Real Heroes Cry is available now on Amazon.

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