Today I chat to Nick Quantrill, author of crime series The Geraghty Novels, organiser of the highly successful Hull Noir Crime Writing festival, and expert school-run time juggler. He explains why he stick to traditional publishing for now, why he loves crime fiction, his favourite authors and he had a few tips for budding writers. Over to Nick!
- What’s your name and where do you come from?
I’m Nick Quantrill and I was born, live and work in Hull, East Yorkshire. We used to be the UK Crap Town of the Year and then we became the UK City of Culture, so who knows where the journey will take us next?
- Do you write fact or fiction and in what genre?
I write crime fiction which is predominantly set in Hull. I’ve always been a big reader of crime fiction, so it always felt obvious what I was going to do when I decided to write. Crime fiction for me is the best tool for examining contemporary society and for getting under the skin of my home city.
- Are you traditionally or self-published and which route do you consider best?
I’m traditionally published and that’s my preference. It’s inspiring to see so many writers making a success of marketing themselves and building a readership as they choose to go it alone, but equally that takes skills to develop properly. Maybe one day I’ll want to rise to that challenge.
- What’s your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Days purely for writing aren’t as easy to come by as I’d maybe hope. I work part-time and also co- organise the Hull Noir crime writing festival, which means plenty of meetings. I aim to write 1,500 words a day, though, and that’s largely structured around the school day and evenings.
- What advice would you give to budding writers?
There’s no shortcut to being published. You’ve got to sit down and do the work. It’s a commitment and it’s not easy, but if you define success as writing and finishing the story you want to tell, you’re winning.
- Who/what are YOUR favourite authors/books?
So many! I tend to think more in terms of authors than individual titles, but I love the big-hitters; Ian Rankin, Michael Connelly and Mark Billingham. I really admire their efforts to keep producing brilliant work when they could choose to coast. Of the new breed of crime writers, I’m a big fan of Eva Dolan and Joseph Knox. If I was recommending a hidden gem, I’d point readers towards Cathi Unsworth.
- Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I’m increasingly obsessed with being a planner. I think there’s a happy medium of outlining and planning, but leaving enough room to be creative throughout the process, and I’m trying to find it. Weirdly, I use spreadsheets to help map things out and write scenes individually before collating. I suspect every writer has a unique process.
- What helps you focus?
The rhythms of the school day! I have to drop off and collect my daughter, but the advantage of that is a very definite structure. I genuinely love writing, though, so I look forward to sitting down and
- How long did it take you to write your book/books?
I’ve generally been pretty consistent so far in taking a year or so to write a book.
- Where can we find your books?
My publisher, Fahrenheit Press, sells directly via their website, but of course you can get them online. If you live in the Humber region, you can find signed copies in various independent bookshops.
Thanks to Nick! For more about Nick and his work or to buy his books look up www.nickquantrill.co.uk or via his publishers Fahrenheit Press
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