1. Sum up your novel in three words.
Scary, weird, catty.
2. Where did the initial idea come from?
The trilogy grew out of my love for monsters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and daydreaming about a supernatural world hidden behind the boring and everyday. I grew up in and around Cambridge and thought it was the perfect spooky setting for a demon invasion.
3. How was the title chosen?
Ruins is one of those words that looks a bit odd if you stare at it for too long, but it perfectly summed up the mood of the book. I wanted something ominous and portentous. I also love single word titles.
4. What’s your writing routine?
The only routine thing about it is that it’s not routine at all! I try to write 1k a day, which I do in an hour-long writing sprint. As a freelance journalist, my schedule’s pretty unpredictable, so I cram book writing in anywhere I can.
5. Which book do you wish you’d written?
The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. I read an ARC (it’s out in August) and the idea’s so clever. It’s about a group of ordinary kids who contend with real-life problems while the Chosen Ones fight the supernatural forces in their town. It’s similar to that Buffy episode, ‘The Zeppo’, which focussed on Xander while Buffy was busy averting the apocalypse.
6. What’s your favourite word in the English language?
7. Who’s your favourite fictional character?
Yikes, tough one! Wolverine’s pretty awesome. He counts, right?
8. What was your favourite book as a child?
I was a Roald Dahl fanboy, so anything by him. Probably The Witches, which both horrified and hypnotised me. I used to watch the film with Anjelica Huston on a loop, too. I loved it when she took her wig off.
9. What book are you recommending to everyone at the moment?
On Writing by Stephen King, which somehow manages to be an autobiography AND an excellent guide to writing fiction. It taught me to give adverbs a very short shrift.
10. What do books and reading mean to you?
Reading is always an escape. I love getting on the train to work, shutting out all the noisy kids and gobby gossips, and getting absorbed into the world of the book I’m reading. I can tell it’s a good book when I consider missing my stop so I can carry on reading!
Ruins by Joshua Winning is out now from Peridot Press for £6.99.