Introducing Fahrenheit Press‘ brand new imprint 69Crime – Two books printed Tête-bêche (head to tail) style in one beautiful edition.
Introducing Fahrenheit Press‘ brand new imprint 69Crime – Two books printed Tête-bêche (head to tail) style in one beautiful edition.
Edited by Paul D. Brazill and Luca Veste. Introduction by Maxim Jakubowski.
The Line Up:
1. Two Fingers of Noir by Alan Griffiths
2. Eat Shit by Tony Black
3. Baby Face And Irn Bru by Allan Guthrie
4. Pretty Hot T’Ing by Adrian Magson
5. Black Betty by Sheila Quigley
6. Payback: With Interest by Matt Hilton
7. Looking for Jamie by Iain Rowan
8. Stones in Me Pocket by Nigel Bird
9. The Catch and The Fall by Luke Block
10. A Long Time Coming by Paul Grzegorzek
11. Loose Ends by Gary Dobbs
12. Graduation Day by Malcolm Holt
13. Cry Baby by Victoria Watson
14. The Savage World of Men by Richard Godwin
15. Hard Boiled Poem (a mystery) by Alan Savage
16. A Dirty Job by Sue Harding
17. Stay Free by Nick Quantrill
18. The Best Days of My Life by Steven Porter
19. Hanging Stanley by Jason Michel
20. The Wrong Place to Die by Nick Triplow
21. Coffin Boy by Nick Mott
22. Meat Is Murder by Colin Graham
23. Adult Education by Graham Smith
24. A Public Service by Col Bury
25. Hero by Pete Sortwell
26. Snapshots by Paul D Brazill
27. Smoked by Luca Veste
28. Geraldine by Andy Rivers
29. A Minimum of Reason by Nick Boldock
30. Dope on a Rope by Darren Sant
31. A Speck of Dust by David Barber
32. Hard Times by Ian Ayris
33. Never Ending by McDroll
34. Imagining by Ben Cheetham
35. Escalator by Jim Hilton
36. Faces by Frank Duffy
37. A Day In The Death Of Stafford Plank by Stuart Ayris
38. The Plebitarian by Danny Hogan
39. King Edward by Gerard Brennan
40. This Is Glasgow by Steven Miscandlon
41. Brit Grit by Charlie Wade
42. Five Bags Of Billy by Charlie Williams
43. It Could Be You by Julie Morrigan
44. No Shortcuts by Howard Linskey
45. The Great Pretender by Ray Banks
45 British writers, 45 short stories. All coming together to produce an anthology, benefiting two charities…
“The BRIT GRIT mob is coming to kick down your door with hobnailed boots. Kitchen-sink noir; petty-thief-louts; lives of quiet desperation; sharp, blood-stained slices of life; booze-sodden brawls from the bottom of the barrel and comedy that’s as black as it’s bitter—this is TRUE BRIT GRIT!”
America may well be the official home of pulp and noir but the United Kingdom, long perceived as the land of tame Dame Agatha style cozies and stuck-up, Latin quoting police detectives, also has a grubby underbelly which has produced plenty of gritty crime writing. And there is a new wave of Brit Grit writers leaving their bloodstained footprints across this septic isle, too.
The godfathers of the new Brit Grit could well be Ted Lewis, Derek Raymond and Mark Timlin with Jake Arnott, J J Connolly, Ian Rankin and Val McDermid as part of the next wave.
But in the last few years, more and more BRIT GRIT writers have been creeping out of the woodwork, through the cracks in the pavement, out of the dark and dingy alleyways.
Scottish crime writer Tony Black, for example, is the author of four novels featuring punch drunk, booze addled Gus Dury, an ex journalist turned reluctant Private Investigator whose shoulder has more chips than Harry Ramsden. The books see Gus sniff around the back streets of Edinburgh and follow the rancid trail of crime and corruption right to to the top. They’re gruelling, intense and exciting journeys – not without moments of humour and tenderness. You may feel as if you’d like to give Gus a smack every few pages but the pit bull proves himself again and again.
Gus Dury may be in the gutter but he’s still looking at the stars, albeit through the bottom of a bottle of whisky. And it’s down to Black’s great writing that when you you finish one of his novels you feel battered and bruised but can’t wait for the next round.
Otto Penzler famously said that noir is about losers and not private investigators. Mr Penzler has probably never read any Tony Black – or fellow Scot Ray Banks, then. Banks’ Cal Inness quartet is the real deal. Inness is true loser. He’s a screw up. A lush. A mess. A man so far in denial he’s in the Suez. In each brilliant tale he bangs his head against as many brick walls as he can. And he feels the pain. And so do we. The quartet is as bitter and dark as an Irish coffee and leads to a shocking yet inevitable conclusion.
And there’s more: There’s Alan Guthrie who gave us the best novel of 2009 with SLAMMER; Nick Quantrill ‘Broken Dreams’ which looks at a Northern English town that has had it’s fair shair of kickings but still isn’t out for the count; Bad Penny Blues is Cathi Unsworth’s ambitious look at the many facets of London in the late fifties and early sixies; Comic genius Charlie William’s and his nightclub bouncer hero Royston Blake help you see life in a way that Paulo Coelho never will!
And there’s even more …
There’s Howard Linskey, Martin Stanley, Jack Strange, Paul Heatley, Martina Cole, Ben Cheetham, Christopher Black, Martyn Waites,Allen Miles, Danny Hogan, Chris Leek, Gary Dobbs, Gareth Spark, Sheila Quigley, Ian Ayris, UV Ray, Danny King, Col Bury, Mark Billingham, Andrew Bell, Alan Griffiths (whose blog is aptly called BRIT GRIT), Julie Lewthwaite, Steve Mosby, Darren Sant, McDroll, Richard Godwin, Colin Graham, Neil White, Andy Rivers . . . and more! There’s even comic BRIT GRIT from Donna Moore and Christopher Brookmyre, BRIT GRIT thrillers from Matt Hilton and surrealist BRIT GRIT from Jason Michel!
And now, of course, we have True Brit Grit- A Charity Anthology edited by Luca Veste and me, with an introduction from Brit Grit mastermind Maxim Jakubowski. True Brit Grit is a hard-hitting, gritty, crime anthology from 45 British writers. All coming together to produce an anthology, benefiting two charities. The eBook is only 99c/99p!
“The BRIT GRIT mob is coming to kick down your door with hobnailed boots.
Kitchen-sink noir; petty-thief-louts; lives of quiet desperation; sharp,
blood-stained slices of life; booze-sodden brawls from the bottom of the barrel
and comedy that’s as black as it’s bitter–this is BRIT GRIT!”
(This is adapted from a piece that first appeared in the program for the 2010 Noircon and was later republished at Pulp Metal Magazine)
This was a regular feature in the New Musical Express back in the ‘80s and I thought I’d revive it.
The Beatles – “Penny Lane”
The Undertones – “Teenage Kicks”
Buddy Holly – “That’ll Be The Day”
Only Fools and Horses
John Steinbeck – “The Grapes of Wrath”
Cathi Unsworth – “Weirdo”
Mark Lewisohn – “All These Years: Tune In”
Back To The Future 2
The East Coast of Yorkshire
Bio: 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.
Nick Quantrill’s debut novel Broken Dreams is a cracking book. A big shot local businessman asks PI Joe Geraghty to investigate an employee’s absenteeism and the Private Investigator is soon following a muddy and bloodstained trail through the battle scarred northern city of Hull. Geraghty, like his hometown, has taken many a good kicking and is trying to get back on his feet. Broken Dreams is realistic and romantic. It takes you by the lapels and drags you along on a gritty, gripping journey.
The Late Greats.
In The Late Greats, Joe Geraghty is hired by an overbearing musical ‘entrepreneur’, Kent Major, to babysit his possible cash cow – the band New Holland. Once upon a time, New Holland were the bee’s knees, the cat’s whiskers. Imagine, if you will, Hull’s version of Oasis, surfing the crest of the Britpop wave and then, in the blink of an eye,stagnating and self- destructing. But now they’re back together having, apparently, forgotten their creative and personal differences and are about to embark on a lucrative comeback tour. So, with his eyes on the prize, Kent Major hires Geraghty to keep an eye on the boys, so that all runs smoothly. But, of course, it doesn’t and all quickly goes pear shaped when the singer , Greg Tasker, disappears. And, inevitably,Geraghty is despatched to find him.
The Late Greats is a fast paced, page-turner, the weight of which rests heavily on Geraghty’s broad shoulders. Geraghty, unlike many of crime fiction’s messed up PIs, is an Everyman – a decent and likeable bloke just trying to get on with his life after the death of his wife. Trying to adapt to change. Something many of the characters in The Late Greats are trying to avoid.
In Quantrill’s Broken Dreams, Joe Geraghty’s investigations allowed him to to dig into the city’s past and address its changes- both good and bad. In this follow up novel, however, Geraghty is forced to look at how people change. How some people grow up,and not always for the better, and others never do. The Late Greats, is a splendid, character driven piece of social realist storytelling which cements Nick Quantrill’s position as a crime writer with something to say
The Crooked Beat.
P I Joe Geraghty steps up to help out his brother who is in dire financial straits.However,Joe is soon under the radar of Hull’s underworld and subsequently digs up some of the city’s dark secrets. This is the third of Nick Quantrill’s Joe Geraghty novels and the best yet with perfect pacing and a great sense of place and history.
All three books are now available from Fahrenheit Press.
Formed by Nathan O’Hagan and Wayne Leeming, Obliterati Press has quickly become a must-read for people who like their words at the grittier end of the scale. It’s also a publisher with strong connections to Hull and the East Riding. Nathan joined Nick Quantrill for a chat to explain all…
Nick – Love what you lads do, but are you mad? You’re both writers, both have young families and jobs etc – why start a small press up?
Nathan – We probably are a bit. But after first floating the idea almost as a joke between Wayne and myself over a curry and a pint the first time we met (the night before doing a panel with some other Armley Press writers in Leeds), it just mushroomed very quickly into something we felt we had to do. We knew there were plenty of other indie presses out there, and plenty of them were struggling, but we felt that, with what we’d learned from Armley Press’ print-on-demand model, we could attempt it without risking losing much if any money, and we knew that there were plenty of great, unpublished writers out there who deserved to see their work in print, so we felt strongly we had something we could contribute to the market.
Nick – In just over a year, you’ve quickly acquired a reputation for the quality of work you publish, but what makes a book right for Obliterati Press?
Nathan – We never know until we see it! Although I think we’ve got a bit of a reputation for publishing edgy, gritty fiction (and that’s definitely something we love), the books we’ve put out and have coming up are pretty diverse in style. Like any publishers, and if I may indulge myself and sound a bit wankery for a second, we’re looking for that distinctive ‘voice’. That can be hard to quantify until you see it, and can come in any style or genre.
Nick – It’s great to see a book from Hull’s finest, Russ Litten, on the list. How did that come about?
Nathan – I’ve been a big fan of Russ’ work for some time, and the guys at Armley Press knew him a bit and sent him a copy of my first novel, The World Is (Not) A Cold Dead Place, and he said some very nice things about it, and we just got friendly on social media. I went up to Hull for a Head In a Book night for my second novel, which Russ hosted and noticed on Twitter he had a short story collection that he wasn’t sure what to do with, whether to self-publish or find a publisher for it. I dropped a very heavy hint that we’d love to put it out, and to our surprise he let us, which me and Wayne were delighted about. It’s an amazing collection, and he’s an amazing writer, as you know.
Nick – And speaking of Hull, the platform you offer to short story writers, encouraging new and established ones to submit, seems to be a smash in Hull. Is there something in the water in here, as the number of our writers you’ve published is pretty incredible…
Nathan – Hull certainly has a rich scene going on, and did so long before it was named City Of Culture, and it’s certainly been a mine of quality work for us. More than half of our short stories are either from Hull writers or have some sort of connection to it. I suppose most towns and cities have their own thriving literary scenes, but Hull does seem to have an especially prolific one. Maybe it’s the sea air?
Nick – I’m sure it’s a lot of fun running the press, but how about the technical challenges? Has editing books and designing covers been the biggest learning curve?
Nathan – The whole thing has been one vast learning curve. It’s been even more fulfilling than we anticipated, but even more hard work. Luckily for me, Wayne is a great editor, and really enjoys that side of it, so he handles that pretty much entirely, before then getting further input from the author and myself. He also has a great eye for formatting. So, for me, that isn’t all that challenging, though it creates a big workload for Wayne. Luckily he sort of thrives on that. We’ve been lucky with some covers, designer friends of ours or the authors have contributed great work gratis, though Wayne, myself and Dave Olner came up with the idea for the cover for our second book, The Baggage Carousel, and Wayne put the actual art work together.
Nick – What’s the dream submission you want to find in your inbox?
Nathan – Just something that grabs your attention, the kind of sample you don’t want to stop reading, and when you do, you’re desperate to get your hands on the full manuscript. They don’t have to be perfect, we can work with books that are in a mess in one way or another, we don’t mind putting the hard work in with the author. What’s more important is, as I said, the voice.
Nick – What’s coming up for Obliterati Press next?
Nathan – Our next book is Sunset Trip by Ben Vendetta. He’s a former music journo from Cleveland. He’s written two previous novels which centre around various music scenes, the eighties British indie scene in his debut Wivenhoe Park, Britpop in the follow up Heartworm, and Sunset Trip is set around the L.A. psyche-rock scene of the late 90’s/early 00’s. Me and Ben got friendly via Twitter over a shared love of Whipping Boy and other bands, and liked each other’s work. When I knew he had another novel in the works, I approached him about publishing it. We’re having a launch party at Rough Trade in London on October 18th. Then, sometime early next year we’ll be publishing The Weighing Of The Heart. It’s the debut novel from Guardian journalist Paul Tudor Owen. When you ask about dream submissions, this is a perfect example, the kind of book that, when you’re reading it, you just can’t believe how lucky you are that it has found its way to you. It’s unlike anything else we’ve published so far, and it’s really a quite phenomenal piece of work. I can’t wait for people to read it. After that, we’ll be looking towards opening another submissions window, and hopefully finding some more talented debut or emerging authors. We’re very proud of what we’ve done and the work we’ve put out so far, but we want to keep growing and diversifying.
Get your novels and short stories into the lads…
Twitter – @ObliteratiPress
Facebook – /ObliteratiPress
This interview first appeared at ‘View From The Allotment End‘, the North Ferriby United fanzine.