An Interview with Iain Hood

20 September 2022

Iain Hood was born in Glasgow and grew up in the seaside town of Ayr. He attended the University of Glasgow and Jordanhill College, and later worked in education in Glasgow and the west country. He attended the University of Manchester after moving to Cambridge, where he continues to live with his wife and daughter. His first novel, This Good Book, was published by Renard in 2021, and his second novel, Every Trick in the Book was published in September 2022.

We caught up with Iain as part of the blog tour for Every Trick in the Book.

What inspired you to write Every Trick in the Book?
No comment.

Are there any main themes or points you want the reader to take away from your book?
No comment. I’m making no statements until my lawyer’s present.

Which other writers do you most admire and why? Are there any books which have changed your life?
No comment.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
Shouldn’t you be allowing me one phone call, yeah? Has my brief been called?

If you could offer a budding writer one piece of advice, what would it be?
I invoke my privilege to avoid self-incrimination. You people.

What drew you to your genre?
No comment.

What’s the strangest job (besides writing) that you’ve ever had?
What are you getting at?

Where do you write?
Where are you going with this?

What’s the best place to read?
I wasn’t even there. This is a stitch-up. I want my brief!

You’re hosting a literary dinner party. Which famous writer (from any point of history) do you invite?
What are you angling at? Why would this matter? No comment. No comment. No comment.

What’s the background music at your dinner party?
Oi! Keep your hands off me. Stop twisting the cuffs!

Any outlandish hobbies?
All right, all right! I confess! I wrote it. I wrote Every Trick in the Book! Are you happy now? And yeah, I was playing at it. Literary allusions, temporal sleights of hand, skewed mise-en-scène! I used…satire. I knew that no copper talks at length and in detail about Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band! But I couldn’t help myself. I admit it. The whole thing was just so ripe for… I couldn’t help it. It just got…out of control so quickly. Suddenly I found myself researching the Sugababes and focaccia recipes. I knew it was wrong, but it felt so right. Righteous, even. I’m not sorry. I won’t say it. You can’t make me, copper!

What’s next?
I suppose I’m going down, yeah? I’m not sorry. I’ll be back at it as soon as I’m out! I fought the law AND I WON!

‘There’s only control, control of ourselves and others. And you have to decide what part you play in that control.’

Cast your eye over the comfortable north London home of a family of high ideals, radical politics and compassionate feelings. Julia, Paul and their two daughters, Olivia and Sophie, look to a better society, one they can effect through ORGAN:EYES, the campaigning group they fundraise for and march with, supporting various good causes.

But is it all too good to be true? When the surface has been scratched and Paul’s identity comes under the scrutiny of the press, a journey into the heart of the family begins. Who are these characters really? Are any of them the ‘real’ them at all? Every Trick in the Book is a genre-deconstructing novel that explodes the police procedural and undercover-cop story with nouveau romanish glee. Hood overturns the stone of our surveillance society to show what really lies beneath.

200pp paperback
ISBN: 9781913724924