Today I’m delighted to introduce crime writer, and fellow Hullensian Nick Quantrill. I was lucky enough to meet Nick at the East Riding Festival of Words in Beverley, in October. It would have been remiss of me not to extend an invite to join us to share his Five’s with us.
Nick Quantrill was born and raised in Hull, an isolated industrial city in East Yorkshire. His trilogy of Private Investigator novels featuring Joe Geraghty are published by Fahrenheit Press and he’s hard at work on a fourth. A prolific short story writer, his work has appeared in various volumes of “The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime”. Nick is also the co-founder of the Hull Noir festival.
So over to Nick,
Which 5 pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
The Beatles – “I Should Have Known Better” – I could go on forever about the band – their body of work is just the most interesting, innovate and freshest collection of sounds you’ll ever hear – but I’ll stop there. I can still remember hearing them for the first time as a child in the back of my dad’s car (probably his Ford Capri).
Grandstand – “Theme tune” – Nothing transports me back to my childhood and being an absolute football obsessive like the Grandstand theme music. It takes me back to my gran frying fish and chips before I would walk down to Boothferry Park, home of Hull City, and meet friends for the match. I can also hear it being played over a tinny Tannoy at Oakwell, Barnsley, my first away match and birthday treat as I turned thirteen.
Nirvana – “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – Nirvana were the first band who were ‘mine’, that band as a teenager who magically understand you and what you’re going through (oh, the drama etc). They obviously were only built to shine for a short period, and although I rarely return to their music, they opened the door to all manner of possibilities. It didn’t take long for the music press to suddenly look appealing, a portal to dreaming, and live music.
Lithium Joe – “Appearances” – Growing up in Hull, it wasn’t easy to consider writing as something you could, and potentially make a career from, but it’s easy to pinpoint the moment it changed. The Hull Adelphi is an absolute institution, a small music venue which is also a hotbed of people creating all kinds of art. Music is all about personal taste, and Hull’s Lithium Joe were very much to my taste, but the fact they created their own record label, booked their own tours and generally succeeded on their own terms planted a seed that anything was possible…
Baby Shark – I hope by the time this piece is published, the song will be a distant memory. But I doubt it. I live with it every day…
Highlight 5 things (apart from family and friends) you’d find it hard to live without.
Coffee – anger, frustration, a sense of putting the world to rights…all powerful ways to fuel a novel, but underpinning it all, it’s caffeine.
Books – from cradle to grave, an absolute given.
Football – you need somewhere you can go and shout, let out of the frustrations of trying to write a novel, right? Another from cradle to grave constant.
A good night’s sleep – I know writers are supposed to enjoy burning the midnight oil. I am not that writer.
Chocolate – enough said, surely?
Can you offer 5 pieces of advice you’d give to your younger self?
I’m not sure he’d listen, but the big one (no pun intended…) is try not to be so self-aware about being tall enough to look Lee Child in the eye. You’ll never quite shake it off, not even now, but short of chopping half your legs off, you can’t do anything about it. Try to enjoy the advantage is brings you in a crowd.
It’s maybe a bit trite, but things do generally turn out ok once you figure out that the only person who can bring about change is yourself. It’ll take you six years to get your Open University degree, but it’ll impact on everything for the better.
Be patient. It takes a while to find what you really want to do in life, find your tribe, but it’ll be worth it.
Play football a little longer. You used to love charging around the Hull Sunday League pitches, acting like a dickhead. Your ankles might be knackered, your legs might not so willing, but when it’s gone, it’s gone.
Listen to your parents when they tell you turn down your music. You won’t have to say, ‘pardon?’ quite so much now…
Tell us 5 things that most people don’t know about you.
I enjoy doing the ‘big shop’.
I can’t get along with audio books.
I’m a dreadful car passenger and *will* be sick in yours.
I’d rather die of thirst than drink tea.
I’m so tall, you probably won’t see my rapidly enlarging bald spot.
What are the first 5 things you’d have on your bucket list?
I don’t know…really…writing has given me opportunities beyond what I could have ever imagined. I’ve seen my sporting teams play at Wembley, I’ve traveled a bit, I have my health. I can’t complain. As much as I wouldn’t mind writing a bestseller, it’s amazing to watch my daughter develop dreams of her own and I’m happy watching that.
Thanks so much for taking part Nick. I’m sure where ever you come from, our youthful memories, hopes, thoughts and dreams will have similarities, but I do think there’s something about Hull that can only be understood by some one else from there. I’d agree with most of the things you couldn’t live without, but dare I say it would have to be tea instead coffee for me. I’ll admit to having difficulties with audio books as well – I can’t concentrate when listening to them, it just becomes background noise. Consequently I find them invaluable for sending me to sleep. While I doubt the occasion will probably never arise, I won’t ever offer you a lift. I love your approach to the bucket list, while it’s lovely to read what people would like to do if the opportunity arose, it’s also lovely to see someone who is happy and content with their achievements so far. Enjoy watching your daughter grow and achieve her dreams.
(Click on the cover for a full, non affiliated buying link or click here to buy from Amazon (incomplete listing at time of writing)
When Joe Geraghty’s brother finds himself in financial trouble, it’s only natural that he turns to the Private Investigator for help. But when it relates to a missing consignment of smuggled cigarettes, it’s not so easily sorted. Drawn into the murky world of local and international criminals around the busy port of Hull, Geraghty knows the only way to save his brother is to take on the debt himself. As he attempts to find a way out of the situation, the secrets and conspiracies he uncovers are so deeply buried in the past, he knows he’s facing people willing to do whatever it takes to keep them that way.
“Hull’s most successful band of the 1990s is making a comeback…but not everyone is happy…”Having been convinced by their manager, Kane Major, to put their acrimonious break-up behind them and launch a comeback, New Holland, Hull’s most successful band of the 1990s, is reforming. Allowing one privileged journalist to document the process. Joe Geraghty is employed to act as a liaison between the different camps. What appears to be a straightforward assignment sees him neck deep in trouble when singer, Greg Tasker, disappears leaving behind a trail of people who wanted him out of their lives. Geraghty has to choose sides and the investigation penetrates deeper into the city. As the rich and famous rub shoulders with the poor and vulnerable, the stakes increase.
Joe Geraghty is used to struggling from one case to the next, barely making the rent on his small office in the Old Town of Hull.
Invited by a local businessman to investigate a member of his staff’s absenteeism, it’s the kind of surveillance work that Geraghty and his small team have performed countless times.
The case soon becomes anything but routine when Jennifer Murdoch is found bleeding to death in her bed, Geraghty quickly finds himself trapped in the middle of a police investigation which stretches back to the days when the city had a thriving fishing industry.
As the woman’s tangled private life begins to unravel, the trail leads Geraghty to local gangster-turned-respectable businessman, Frank Salford, a man with a significant stake in the city’s regeneration plans. Still haunted by the death of his wife in a house fire, it seems the people with the answers Geraghty wants are the police and Salford, both of whom want his co-operation for their own ends.
With everything at stake, some would go to any length to get what they want, Geraghty included.
A CITY CAN’T KEEP ITS SECRETS FOREVER.
How far will Anna Stone, a disillusioned police officer on the brink of leaving her job, go to uncover the truth about her sister’s disappearance?
Approached by Luke Carver, an ex-Army drifter she’s previously sent to prison, he claims to have information which will help her. As the trail leads from Hull and the Humber’s desperate and downtrodden to its great and good, an unsolved murder twenty-five years ago places their lives in danger, leaving Stone to decide if she can really trust a man who has his own reasons for helping.
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