On the run-up to Noir@TheBar Newcastle on the 21st of February, hosted by Vic Watson and assisted by Jacky Collins. I am sharing some special features with the authors who are reading at this fabulous crime fiction event. It’s a free event and is held at the Town Wall, Pink Lane, Newcastle at 7pm.
Pete Rosovsky originally set it up Noir@TheBar 10 years ago in Philadelphia.
The pen name Nicky Black is a combination of two writers – Nicky Doherty (who’s answering these questions) and Julie Blackie. Julie is a scriptwriter and Nicky has created two novels based on Julie’s TV and film scripts. Both are stories set on the fictional estate of Valley Park in Newcastle upon Tyne, and the criminal world that inhabits it.
She self-published The Prodigal in 2015 and Tommy Collins will be published this summer (God willing!)
What book truly inspired your life and why?
Goodness, I can’t think of any one book that’s inspired my life I’m afraid. Having thought about this question, I realise I read for entertainment and enjoyment rather than personal inspiration. Any book that makes me feel real emotion is a winner for me. I suppose I’m inspired as a writer by other great writers, but I’m personally more inspired by real people than books.
How did you pick who you dedicated your book too?
This wasn’t difficult. I once had four brothers, but now have only two. My oldest brother, Alan, passed away while I was writing The Prodigal, so I dedicated the book to both of them. Such a big loss to our family.
Did you do a lot of research for your book?
I didn’t need to do a huge amount for The Prodigal, but the one I’m writing now has needed a lot of research. I’ve enjoyed it, though, as it’s set in the second Summer of Love, 1989 when the rave scene was at its height. I’m a child of the 80s so it was no chore researching clothes, hairstyles, music etc. I’ve watched just about every documentary ever made about raves and ecstasy as well as talking to people who were there. I’ve never been to a rave in my life.
What was your favourite read of 2017?
The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman.
If you had to take three books on a desert island what would they be?
Oh my, only three? At least it’s not just one! Okay, I’d take the Woman Who Walked into Doors by Roddy Doyle. It’s my favourite book of all time, but it’s quite short, so I’d take a big old tome as well, probably The Goldfinch by Donna Tart. I’d take something funny too for when I need cheering up (which you would on a desert island, let’s face it) – Notes from a Small Island or Down Under by Bill Bryson.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?
Once I’d finished a decent draft of The Prodigal, I spent 2013 looking for an agent who could open the door to publishers. The rejections came thick and fast, and I lost all confidence in the book. So I didn’t look at it for a good six months, maybe longer, until I discovered that some authors were having success self-publishing (I’d never heard of such a thing). I read up on it and decided to send the manuscript for a professional edit. The feedback was not only helpful, but incredibly positive, so I rewrote it a couple of times and self-published it in the summer of 2015. I’ll be doing the same with the next one.
Can you share with us a photo that tells a story?
This is the view from my sister’s living room. In 2016 I decided to leave London and move back up north. I left a very well-paid job as a director of a small company, finally plucked up the courage to get out of an unhappy relationship, upped sticks and moved in with my sister in Scotland for a few months until I recovered from the stress and decided what to do with myself. It also gave me the opportunity to start book 2 (I’d already started it at the beginning of that year but lost my hard drive with the manuscript on it… nightmare!). It was the best place for me to be at that time – my sister is the easiest person in the world to live with, and her husband (and she) is a fabulous cook. I gained a lot of weight and chilled the hell out. I’m forever grateful to her for her kindness. Mind you, I did a lot of housework, haha. I earned my keep. After my dad died in December, I lived with my mum for a few months to sort out all the probate before settling back in Newcastle in April 2017. I’m working again now for a hospice charity writing their funding applications.
What would you like your readers to know before starting your book?
It has a fair amount of swearing in it… But it’s all in the right context, so that’s ok 😊
Do you have any questions that you would like to ask your readers?
Yes. I know I enjoy books that bring something a bit different and fresh. Is there anything you’re bored of reading right now? Any types of characters, plot lines, themes? Just so I know what to avoid in book three 😊
Thank you, Kelly and all the bloggers who have supported me and countless other authors these past few years. In the words of the mighty Fleetwood Mac – Big Love ❤
He’s back. But at what cost?
Exiled from his beloved Newcastle sixteen years ago, Detective Lee Jamieson is returning home in search of the teenage daughter he’s never met.The last thing he expects is to fall in love with the wife of the notorious villain, Micky Kelly.
Lee’s new job takes him to Valley Park, an urban sink estate riddled with crime and drugs: the place he grew up, and home to the Kelly family. As he becomes more and more entwined in the lives of the Kellys, things get personal and he knows he has everything to lose.
Will love save the day? Or will the criminals prevail?
The Prodigal is a story of star-crossed lovers, whose worlds collide on a Council Estate where organised crime is rife, and violence, drugs and fear are the accepted currency. It is new “Geordie crime fiction at its best.”