I’d had this idea knocking around my head, something about brothers (or sisters) containing a devastating power within them. Kind of like a doomsday device that is triggered by the death of one or the other of them. Being asked to contribute to the Flinch anthology gave me the chance to explore the idea a little more and, even better than that, get involved in graphic story media for the very first time. I used to call them comics when I was young and they were called ‘Warlord’ and such like.

It was quite a challenge. My novels fall slap bang into the definition of ‘fat fantasy’ and so developing an idea in such a short space was, well, interesting, particularly as the idea was more complex to describe than I’d assumed. Where I went in the end was a snapshot of a whole, if you like. Something that brought with it a chill realisation of ultimate sacrifice to gain victory. Something, I hope, to make people think, ‘could I do that to my brother, even if I knew there was no other way?’ I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process, particularly seeing the rendering of the artwork, bringing my words to life. That’s a real buzz. And I am thirsty for more…

James Barclay & Chris Bolton present Twain – — preview this story