Jun 12, 2012

Carol’s Close Up with Author Nick Quantrill

Carol’s Close Up today with another  our stable mates at Caffeine Nights Publishers. Nick Quantrill’s Joe Geraghty novels are described as ‘Northern gritty realism at it’s best’ – and we both agree. Not many people may know this but Nick won the HarperCollins ‘Crime Tour’ short story competition in 2006.  Nick is also a genuinely nice guy for all those readers of crime who don’t know about him yet! 


Nick Quantrill

Nick Quantrill was born and raised in Hull, an isolated industrial city in East Yorkshire. From a young age, Nick has always had a fascination with crime novels, starting young by annoying the local librarians for Famous Five novels. 

Never realising he could be a writer, Nick spent most of his twenties shouting and bawling his way around the Sunday League football pitches of the city, learning the hard way and meeting an impressive array of characters. With a handful of trophies and permanently damaged ankles to show for his troubles, football was swapped for education, spending the next six years studying of a degree in Social Policy. Approaching now or never time, Nick started writing crime stories set in and around his home city. Instead of just throwing them in a drawer and not letting anyone read them, the stories were made available for free on the Internet, and after winning the HarperCollins ‘Crime Tour’ short story competition in 2006, he started to build a readership. 

Fast forward a couple of years and after much hard work, a few false starts and countless short stories, Nick completed ‘Broken Dreams.’ Focusing on Hull’s past and future; the novel looks at the death of the city’s fishing industry and explores the problem of how the city can build a new future for itself. ‘Broken Dreams’ also introduces us to Nick’s lead character; rugby league player turned Private Investigator, Joe Geraghty, co-owner of a small detective agency. Nick’s stories are both entertaining and thought provoking, and although the settings may be local to him, the ideas and issues resonate on a much wider basis.

When not writing fiction, Nick contributes reviews and essays to a variety of football and music websites. He lives in Hull with his wife, daughter, cat and the constant fear Hull City AFC will let him down.

Hello Nick!

Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me today! Let’s waste no time, I’m dying to hear more about you, your thoughts and  of course your writing.

 When you first started writing your novels how did you pick your protagonist’s name?

 I read that a lot of Irish workers lived in one particular area of Hull, but those houses are long gone now. I thought it was potentially an interesting background to give a character so deeply rooted in the city and maybe something I’d use at some point. One day…

 How do you come up with titles for your books?

 I tend to use song titles. “The Late Greats” by Wilco was a gift for a novel which included a fictional band. The current work in progress, “The Crooked Beat”, is a song by The Clash, but it also fits the theme of the story nicely.

 Do you have a routine for your writing – same place, same time?

 Generally speaking. I spend most of the day looking after my daughter, so I work around that. I use what time I have as productively as possible. I get grandparent help a couple of times a week, so apart from that it’s nights, weekends and school holidays. And it’s always the same place – my chair in the front room.

 What’s keeps you going whilst you’re working?


Ha! Ha! Another one of the Caffeine Nights authors who run on caffeine! :)  What do you love about your life now as a published author and is it all you expected it to be?

I suppose it’s the fact there’s a tangible result at the end of all the hard work. The books will always exist and they show I’ve made a small mark on the world. In many ways being published has exceeded what I expected. It’s hard to describe how satisfying it is to know that people have enjoyed your work. On the other hand, I expected it to be hard work and it often is. But it’s not like having a proper job, is it?

Who do you admire?

I admire people who get up and do something – people who make things happen. People who post on Facebook about what they’ve had for their tea don’t interest me. When you take the time to look, there’s inspiration everywhere.

How do you relax?

Relax? I’m too busy writing! I always have a book on the go, though I don’t read as much as I’d like to. I’m not sure if watching Hull City counts as relaxing…

What do you consider your finest achievements?

My Open University degree in Social Policy. It took me six years to complete, and although it’s been of no real use to me, it gave me the motivation to start writing seriously.

What do you keep in your pockets?

Not much, as my daughter is always helping herself…my mobile (with notepad facility) and receipts I should really file for my Tax Return…

What words or phrases do you most overuse?

I can’t tell you that in case you start looking for them! I have a list which I run checks on to try and stop myself going crazy with them.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

More time.

What is the most important lessons life has taught you?

It’s hardly profound, but it’s certainly true…the more you put in, the more you get out.

Greatest fear?

Not achieving everything I want to and having to go back to a real job…and don’t start me on my fears for my daughter’s future…she’s only just turned one!

Like to be remembered for?

As a writer who tried to capture something about his home city and was proud of it.

Thanks Nick! You’ve given me extra gusto to carry on with my writing now!

And I hear people can catch up with you in person, Thursday 28th June at Hull City Library can’t they? See below for details and for anyone wanting to purchase your books there is a link below too!

For all of those readers who might be concerned, I did ask Nick if it was his house he is stood infront of in the picture he gave me for the blog, and  I am very pleased to tell you that it isn’t. But Nick tells me that it is one of the remaining old-style terrace houses in Hessle Road, Hull.

Have a nice day!


Thursday, June 28, 2012
    Hull Central Library
    The Humber Mouth Literature Festival presents:“Crime Writing and the Humber: The Hardest of Times” is an evening of crime fiction from the region presented by three exciting new writers and hosted by acclaimed Hull playwright Dave Windass.From readings and discussions… drawing on their own work, along with writing from the likes of Charles Dickens and Brit-noir pioneer, Ted Lewis; Humber crime authors David Mark (“The Dark Winter”), Nick Quantrill (“The Late Greats”) and Nick Triplow (“Frank’s Wild Years”) look at Hull as a city on the cusp of change and consider how it might reinvent itself in the future.The readings will make the link between modern crime writing and the work of Charles Dickens by looking at recurring themes such as ‘the outsider’, the function of social realism as well as the application of episodic story structures and cliff-hanger endings to create rhythm and suspense, something which remains a major factor in the popularity of the crime genre today.The evening will include an audience Q&A session and a chance to buy signed copies of the authors’ books.Tickets (£2 inc refreshements) available from Hull Central Library or by telephone (01482 210000).




BD – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Broken-Dreams-Geraghty-Series-ebook/dp/B003ZUY4MM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339420178&sr=8-1


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