New Talent November on Crime Fiction Lover is our effort to get some lesser known crime authors out there. Last week, a review of the excellent Broken Dreams was featured here, adding to the rave reviews Nick Quantrill has been garnering with his debut novel. I had the chance to speak to Nick about the ride so far.
It’s been a good few months since Broken Dreams was released, how have you found the reaction to it?
It’s been fantastic. Because it’s so deeply rooted in my home city of Hull, I knew it would resonate on a local level. Hull’s an unfashionable seaport in northern England and if we’re noticed, it’s because we’re at the bottom of pretty much any social measurement league table. Of course, it’s unfair and simplistic, but I was worried about how the book would travel. Thankfully, it’s been embraced and I’ve heard from readers in all parts of the world. People really seem to have warmed to Joe Geraghty as a character.
What has been the most memorable thing to happen since the book was released?
There’s been so many. As I’m a big sports fan, being appointed the rugby league team Hull Kingston Rovers’ first ever Writer in Residence this year was a special moment. I was commissioned to write a set of special Joe Geraghty short stories for the matchday programmes. So far as I know, it was a first in the world of sport and it was an interesting experience writing for a different audience. As well as that, I was given the chance to go into the community with the club to deliver writing workshops in schools. It’s been a real insight into the positive power of literature.
Describe you writing process. Do you outline or just write and write?
I outline. I can’t even write a short story without doing a bit of planning. I’m the kind of writer who needs an idea first. Usually, it’s little more than one sentence, but from there I start to bulk it up and create the characters and find the interesting corners of the story. I tend to write a couple of chapters and then revise and plan again. It takes me a while to get to the end, but hopefully I’ve got a fairly decent draft when I reach that stage.
How was it making the move from short stories to full length novels?
My aim has always been to write novels. I knew, though, that writing 75,000 words is something you need to prepare for. After short stories, I moved on to a couple of novellas and started to learn the nuts and bolts of the job. I wrote the obligatory unpublished novel and took a lot of lessons from it. By the time I came to write Broken Dreams, I knew I was ready to give it a serious go. It took me a while to get it right, but there was never any danger of it grinding to a halt.
Broken Dreams is the first in a series of books, what’s in store in the next one, and when is it coming out?
The second Joe Geraghty novel, The Late Greats, is due out March 2012. Geraghty is employed to babysit a reformed Hull band on the brink of a lucrative comeback tour. When frontman Greg Tasker goes missing, Geraghty finds himself embroiled in a dark web of secrets. Although it has music as its backdrop, the novel is really about family, friendship and asks what really constitutes success.
You can hear more from Nick in the video below, or visit his website here. Order his current book Broken Dreams below the video.