A Quickie With

A Quickie with Chris McGeorge

Chris McGeorge is a graduate of MA Creative Writing (Crime/Thriller) from City University London where he wrote debut thriller Guess Who as his thesis. He told stories from an early age, writing and drawing comics and then scripts and finally novels. He loves Golden Age crime and gets incredibly excited about anything a little out of the ordinary. In his spare time, he is an actor with Durham Dramatic Society.

He lives in Durham with his hamster, Agatha Christie.

Tell me about your latest book and why we should read it?

Now You See Me is based in the small town of Marsden, Huddersfield where you can find the deepest, highest and longest canal tunnel in England, Standedge. In 2019, six students go inside the tunnel on a narrowboat and only one comes out the other side. The police are baffled when the bodies can’t be found and look to blame the only survivor, Matthew McConnell. We join Robin Ferringham, a writer, as he gets a strange phonecall from McConnell who wants help to clear his name.

With Now You See Me, I really wanted to look at the locked room mystery in a different way and when I learned of Standedge canal tunnel, my imagination was just swept away with the possibilities.

I think one of the major draws is that this time, I have written a story that’s in a very real place. I tried to make the location description as real as possible. Marsden is real, Standedge is real. You can go there, you can go through it on a canal boat just like the Six do. I’d definitely recommend looking up some images, and even venturing there yourselves. It’s a fantastically eerie place.

If someone was to write your life story what would the title be?

Did You Try Turning it Off and On Again?

What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?

I actually haven’t had many odd questions yet, but I’m still fairly early into my career so I’m sure that will change! The question that I never thought of (but is obvious in hindsight) was that everyone asked if I had done an escape room. Guess Who, my debut, was very much inspired by an escape room but I hadn’t taken part in one when I was writing it. In fact, my first escape room was a month ago! And it won’t be my last.

If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?

That’s so difficult! I’m in love with Haruki Murakami’s books – the weirdness but also the humanity, so I think maybe him. Saying that, I’d very much let him take the lead!

Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!)

I like hiding references in my books. Now You See Me has lots of references from movies, television and video games. I like paying homage to my inspirations, and I think it’s a cool Easter Egg hunt!

I also use characters from my unpublished works (basically just being a reference for me!). Rhona Michel from Guess Who, and Robert Frost and Benny Masterson from Now You See Me are all characters from my very first novel!

Finally please recommend 3 books that you have recently read and tell me why you’ve chosen those.

I’ve just read The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley. I think anyone who’s read my books would know that was right up my street and it totally was – I loved it.

My girlfriend has actually got me into The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosselini which I loved. It feels like a very important book and I was kicking myself that I hadn’t read it before.

And I’m currently reading No One Home by Tim Weaver, a thriller about a neighbourhood that disappears overnight. If you’re not onboard from that description, nothing I say will change your mind!

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