"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." Sir Richard Steele

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Interview with Author Nick Quantrill

It is a pleasure and privilege to introduce my guest today, Nick Quantrill. I became acquainted with Nick on Facebook and we have conversed back and forth on occasion. I read his book 'Broken Dreams' a while back and reviewed it at that time. If you are interested, the review can still be found in my blog listings. So without further ado, lets get to Nick's interview.

Bio: Nick Quantrill was born and raised in Hull, an isolated industrial port in East Yorkshire. Never realising he could be a writer, Nick spent most of his twenties shouting and bawling his way around Sunday League football pitches before studying for a degree in Social Policy. Approaching now or never time, Nick started writing crime stories set in and around his home city. The result is 'Broken Dreams,' a novel which focuses on Hull's past and future through the lens of the city's lost fishing industry. 'Broken Dreams' is published by Caffeine Nights.

1) Tell us a little bit about your book 'Broken Dreams' and how it came about.

   The main idea behind 'Broken Dreams' was to explore the consequences of death of the fishing        industry in my home city of Hull and how it resonates in the present day. I wrote the bulk of the book in 2008, which was the year the city commemorated the 40th anniversary of the 'Triple Trawler Tragedy', which saw three boats lost within the space of three weeks. I read a lot about it at the time and realised that, in general terms, it could give me the background I needed for a story.

2) Did you have any difficulty getting 'Broken Dreams' published?

   I was very lucky. Prior to 'Broken Dreams' I was posting short stories and other bits and pieces onto a page on MySpace. Through that I started to meet other writers and publishers. I got a feel for what the publishers were looking for, so I was able to match my submission to the ones I thought would be interested. Caffeine Nights were on my targeted short-list.

3) I know you have started a new adventure. Can you tell us a little about it?

   I'm very close to finishing 'The Late Greats', which is the second Joe Geraghty novel. All being well it'll appear this autumn. The story sees Joe looking for a missing musician. His band is about to reform for a lucrative tour, so time is of the essence. It's a story about friendship, loyalty and what really constitutes success in life.

4) Do you have any WIP at the moment? If so, can you tell us about it?

   I've made a tentative start on Geraghty 3. Most of my time over the last few months has been spent editing 'The Late Greats', so I'm only three chapters in. All I can say at the moment is that it's a book which sees Joe's circumstances changed quite radically.

5) Is there any particular author you have used as a model for your writing? If so, who and why?

   I wouldn't say there was one particular author I really look to when writing. I read widely across the crime genre, so I try and take what I like from different authors and apply it to my writing. I admire Ian Rankin's sense of place, George Pelecanos's ability to analyze society and Lee Child's ability to make you turn a page. If I can get anywhere close to that, I'd be delighted.

6) How long have you been writing? Tell us about some of your earlier projects.

   I've been writing seriously since 2006. Before that I wrote reviews and articles for local websites and fanzines. I started writing fiction with short stories and built up from there, learning as I went along. I wrote a novel before 'Broken Dreams', and that was very much a learning experience and stepping stone. 

7) Who is your favorite author and why?

   From crime, George Pelecanos. I love the way he mapped Washington, DC with his writing and the way you can see clear improvement in his craft. He can write about seemingly small and almost insignificant crimes; but make them universal and resonate on a much wider scale. Away from crime, John Steinbeck. He writes with such compassion and clarity. You very much know what he wants to say, but he doesn't preach.

8) What is the most recent book you have read? Do you tend toward a specific genre when you read? 

   I'm reading 'The Dead Tracks' by a relatively new British author, Tim Weaver. He was a name I was given at a book signing. The lead character, David Raker, who is a missing persons' investigator, is superbly drawn. Probably three out of four books I read are crime. Outside of that, I like commercial fiction, stuff like Roddy Doyle and Irvine Welsh and I throw in the odd sports book.

9) What do you do for relaxation and enjoyment?

   I work full time, so most of my time outside of that is taken up with writing or reading. Sport is my relaxation, I suppose. I follow my local teams, Hull City (football) and Hull Kingston Rovers(rugby league). Hull Kingston Rovers have appointed me their writer in residence for 2011, so that's a massive privilege, and I'm working with them to create a set of rugby league themed short-stories for the match day programmes. I love music, too, so I try and get out and about to gigs. Other than that, sleep!

10) How can we contact you? (FB, twitter, blog, etc.)

   I'm easily contactable through my website at www.hullcrimefiction and Facebook www.facebook.com/hullcrimefiction .

I would just like to thank Nick for stopping by for this interview and giving us the opportunity to get to know him better.


  1. Nice meeting you Nick Quantrill, love your passion for fishing and can't wait to learn more about your book!

  2. Nick; nice to 'meet' you, and hear about your book-writing endeavours. Sounds as though you have your hands full, working full time, writing for your local sports team and writing your own novels too! It's a wonder you manage to find any time to sleep!
    Eva; great interview as always!

  3. Nick, Your book BROKEN DREAMS sounds quite interesting and it's going onto my TBR list! Nice meeting another author from across the pond.

    The interview was interesting...Thank you Eva.

  4. Thank you all for stopping by my blog and thanks you for the kind words.

  5. Great stuff, Nick. Enjoying Broken Dreams at the moment and really looking forward to The Late Greats. The premise sounds brilliant - a northern PI and a missing musician - what could possibly go wrong! :)

  6. Thank you this was interesting. I may have to check out this book.

  7. Thanks for stopping by Lisa. It was a great book. I am looking forward to the next one.