Your name: Chris Nickson
Tell us about yourself: Born and raised in Leeds, lived in the US for 30 years, worked as a freelance writer since 1994, largely music journalism and writing quickie unauthorised biographies. Moved back to the UK in 2005, published first novel in 2010. The Richard Nottingham series of six novels in set in Leeds in the 1730s. Gods of Gold starts the Tom Harper series, set in Leeds in the 1890s (Two Bronze Pennies, the sequel, appears next month). The Crooked Spire takes place in Chesterfield in 1360.
Tell us about your latest book: Dark Briggate Blues is English provincial noir. The place is Leeds, the year 1954. Dan Markham is a young enquiry agent whose national service took place in military intelligence. When a woman comes to employ him to discover if her husband is cheating, it sets Dan down a very unexpected and deadly path. Essentially, I wondered what English noir would be like (and the 50s is a very noir period), especially English provincial noir. The real catalyst came with discovering that Leeds had a jazz club at the time, called Studio 20, which features in the book – I already knew I wanted jazz in there.
When did you start writing? I really began writing when I was 11, short stories, poems. Many unpublished novels, some short plays, some stories published, all before journalism took over and kept me ridiculously busy – but the best apprenticeship I could have had.
Where do you write? I write on the dining table in the living room.
Which other authors do you admire? Joanne Harris, John Lawton, Peter Hoeg, some Louis de Bernieres, Michael Ondaatje, Candace Robb, Alan Warner, William McIlvanney, Christian Jungersen…
Book you wished you’d written? In the Skin of a Lion, Flight Behaviour
Greatest fictional criminal: Patrick and Lorcan Ryan in Blue Rondo
What scares you? The darkest places of myself.
Are you ever disturbed by your own imagination? Often
3 crime books you would recommend to EVERYONE:
Do you listen to music when you write? No.
How can fans connect with you? Easiest through my website – chrisnickson.co.uk.