We continue the Scriggler Author Spotlight series with a quick interview with Kevin Crump — the author of The Quay (Shots and Yachts), "a humorous tale of our age that gently exposes some of the shallower values we live by"
5 Sentences about you
For many years, I was one of those people that often used to say ‘I’ve always thought about writing a book.’ But didn’t. Then after years working as a professional nerd in IT project management and writing for business I decided to give my creative side a dusting off. So, I then spent six months doing nothing but writing ‘The Quay’, living on dust and enthusiasm and rarely showering. I have two cats; one’s quite fat.
5 Sentences about the book
Above all, I wanted ‘The Quay’ to be funny, and thank the lord those that have read it have got in touch to tell me it is. Secondly, I wanted to pay homage to my hometown and give an affectionate nod to the many colourful characters I am blessed to call my friends in real life. If you know the Dorset coast, you’ll enjoy revisiting some of the sights and memories you’re familiar with and if it’s your first visit, you’ll go away loving it. When people ask me what kind of book it is, I find it hard to sum up as it has elements of various genres so I’d probably call it a ‘comromventure’. I’m fairly sure that’s a real word.
5 Sentences about one of the books’ characters
The character I enjoyed writing the most was Bruno the Chef as he’s the most improbable guy in the cast and early on I decided I’d have some fun with him. He’s a combination of impeccable gentleman, culinary genius and potential assassin. And my female readers tell me he’s well hot – whatever that means. He develops into a key player in Book 1 and I have grand designs for him in Book 2. Maybe a spin-off tale of his own too – I do love that guy.
Why do you think people should read it?
Because it will put a smile on their face. And mine.
Who is your ideal reader?
Anyone who favours entertainment over grammatical and political correctness, likes comromventures and wants to read characters they really care about.
Other authors you admire — especially contemporary. Anyone stands out in particular?
Goodness – so much good stuff out there. Right now, I’m sharing my time between Stephen Donaldson (re-reading the entire Thomas Covenant series), Stephen Fry and Paul Bassett Davies.
How are you approaching the promotion of the book so far?
Scriggler (obviously), Facebook and Twitter. Mostly guilting my contacts into buying it (“If you wrote a book I’d buy yours.” etc.) Also, offering up walk-on parts in future chapters or books. I’ve given away/posted a few free chapters too which seems to garner interest and some useful review feedback.
Cover design and editing — who did you use and how was the experience?
I actually did the cover myself; paid for a few stock images then spent a while manipulating and embellishing those whilst re-learning PaintShop Pro. It was the cheap and cheerful approach as my budget was tiny. I have mixed feelings about the outcome. Most days I like it; others – not so much.
Do you have a newsletter, what do you normally include there?
Not a newsletter as such but I do post progress updates and samples on my blog:
Favourite author/publication on Scriggler
I couldn’t single one piece out but unexpectedly I’m getting more and more into poetry which has never been “my thing” before.
Print or eBook?
‘The Quay’ is currently only available as an eBook but I would love to see it in print. eBook format is fabulous as it allows you to truly self-publish at next to no cost but many potential readers still want to feel the paper, and only the paper. Like the budget, my time window was limited too so the eBook offered me the swiftest route to market.
If anyone is interested in doing a review — how should they approach you?
What advice would you give to those who might be thinking of getting their first novel out there?
Do it, do it, do it. Silence those “But what if it’s no good?” thoughts and get/continue writing. Trust me – it’s a liberating experience and the sense of achievement is awesome. And don’t sweat the small stuff in the first draft – you can waste many an hour agonising over sentence structure and word choice, only to rip out the whole chapter in a later review cycle. Enjoy the freedom and the flow before it’s time to knuckle down and edit. Live it, and love it.
Kevin's profile on Scriggler: https://scriggler.com/Profile/kevin_crump
The Quay on Amazon: