Wow, this book has been a long time coming!
Back in... 2014, I think? I was chatting with friends about all the big-budget genre mashups of classic properties. From Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, it seemed for a while that Hollywood had gone crazy for genre mashups.
As a big fan of practically every adaptation of Charles Dickens's timeless classic, A Christmas Carol (especially the one with Alistair Sim, and Blackadder's mixed up version), I wondered what old Ebenezer Scrooge would be doing if he was alive today
Immediately I snagged on the concept of Scrooge as a hitman, a hired assassin. His gruff attitude, his lack of sympathy for other human beings, his love of money and darkness... it just all seemed to scream at me to write this book right now, dammit!
So I started writing, in the summer of 2014, in the hope of putting the book out in installments the way Dickens had done many of his books. I put the first two chapters on Wattpad and waited...
"America is a gun." - Brian Bilston
Nothing happened on Wattpad for a couple of days and I got worried someone would snap up the concept and release it before I could (as happens with every high-concept book I write), so I pulled it down from the site and never mentioned it again.
Between then and now I wrote four or five other books, all the while this little story gnawing at me, about a boy whose parents are murdered on Christmas Eve growing up to become the most feared assassin in America. The story of how an innocent became a monster and, when he saw the end draw near, he craved redemption.
But the original version had problems. For one, it was written closer to Dickens's style and that just wouldn't do for a thriller.
So early this year I came back to attack it at a different angle: my thought John Wick meets Charles Dickens. I'd had a lot of cool ideas prior to watching the Keanu Reeves flick (making the "three ghosts" into a computer virus that would wipe out debt and reset the economy, making Scrooge and Marley and all the rest just codenames, setting the main story on Black Friday instead of Christmas because it's the epitome of society's avarice, and a few others I don't want to spoil), but the idea of the mysterious "Bleak House Syndicate" I'll admit was a moment of inspiration directly from watching John Wick.
I had a great time writing it and I hope it shows. If it sounds interesting, you can grab a copy at Amazon for just 99 cents for a limited time (paperback $8.99). And if you read it, please let me know what you think on Amazon or Twitter!
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