“MANCHESTER: Cain Bell thought he had closure over the hit and run death of his daughter. Ted Blake had confessed he was the behind the wheel just before he died.
Twenty years on and Cain’s world is thrown upside down when his fiancé claims the driver was lying. Before she says more, a savage attack leaves her in a coma fighting for her life.
To find out why Cain must uncover why four friends swore blind to never tell the truth about his daughter’s death.
Now, he must persuade Manchester’s most terrifying gangster to reveal the secrets that kept hidden for two decades.
And Billy McGinty is in no mood to break his own wall of silence.
Unless Cain can persuade him to talk, even if it means putting his own life on the line.”
Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to be taking part in the All Down the Line blog blitz. All Down the Line is a gripping crime thriller set in Manchester from the pen of Andrew Field, and will be published by Boomslang Books on Monday 7th December 2020.
I’m putting Andrew Field under the spotlight today and asking some (hopefully!) tricky questions…
Q: First of all, can you please tell us about All Down The Line?
All Down The Line is an interrupted love story set in Manchester. A bereaved father must convince Manchester’s nastiest and most ruthless gangster to spill the beans about the death of his daughter and an attack on his fiancée that has left her fighting for her life? If he succeeds, his dilemma is to decide what his revenge looks like?
Q: What three words would you use to describe your novel?
Mancunian, intimidating, stark …
Q: Where do you find inspiration for your books?
I think good crime fiction always needs a moral dilemma. If you were Jak why wouldn’t you help China in Without Rules? If you were Cain in All Down The Line what would revenge look like once you knew the truth behind the crimes?
Q: Do you have any rules for writing you would like to share with us?
Screenwriting lecturer Robert McKee once told me that if he wanted to learn to play golf, he’d find a golf coach with the exact same build, height and weight and ask him to teach him to copy his swing. Great advice — until you decide you want to be the next James Ellroy. The self-confessed demon dog of American crime fiction and author of the brilliant American Tabloid, bragged about how, as a young man, he broke into the houses of girls he admired so he could sniff their knickers. Great for generating column inches, but a conversation killer when you’re introduced to the in-laws!
Q: What characteristics/personality traits do you and your lead character in All Down The Line have in common?
When I was much younger everything was black and white. Nuance and context interrupted my worldview. As you get older, you realise it is never white hat versus black hat.
Q: If your All Down The Line was made into a movie, which famous actor/s would play the lead characters?
As All Down The Line is set in Manchester, they would have to be Mancunians or Salfordians. No cultural appropriation allowed in my books. Christopher Eccleston is a born natural for Cain Bell. Bernard Hill (Yosser in Boys in the Black Stuff ) or Ben Kingsley would fight it out to play Bob Ord. Lesley Sharp, Anna Friel or Maxine Peake would box each other in the ring for the role of Violet McGinty. My money would be on Anna. Suranne Jones would be equally brilliant as April Sands. Nigel Pivaro would be a threatening Two Smiles. Ryan and Summer would have to be young unknowns. And Nick would be Nick!
Q: Who is your writing hero?
Elmore Leonard for the sheer skill of his apparently effortless writing … and he appeared to be a good egg!
Q: Which book do you wish you had written?
At thirty it would have been James Ellroy’s American Tabloid. Now it is Jonathan Ames’ You Were Never Really Here (as long as film rights were attached) or Cormac’s No Country For Old Men.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering taking the plunge and attempting to write their first novel?
Write it for the right reasons and enjoy yourself. Treat the process like a job with a finish date clearly identified. Only day dream about getting rich quick if you enjoy dreaming about making lots of money and being adored and taking your personal assistant to court for credit card theft.
Q: If you could have a dinner party and invite three other writers (living or dead), who would you invite?
Elmore Leonard, James Cain and Jim Thompson …
Q: What’s the one question you wish I had asked and what’s the answer?
How should Covid 19 influence authors producing contemporary crime fiction today?
The answer is it’s impossible to ignore and certainly makes crime a lot harder to commit in lock down and with social distancing restrictions.
I got around it in All Down The Line by clear the novel takes place in 2017. Before Covid, I’d have not mentioned the year. I am drafting a novella called American Conscience and Covid is central to the way characters interact.
Thank you so much for joining me today, Andrew.
All Down the Line by Andrew Field was published in the UK on 7th December 2020 and is available in paperback and digital formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads |
Andrew Field has spent most of his working life as a PR consultant raising the profiles of others. Now the roles are reversed as he steps into the spotlight with All Down The Line (published in 2020).
He handled Boddingtons Bitter during its “Cream of Manchester” heyday, developing innovative sports and cultural partnerships with TV and media platforms. Clients have also included a convicted armed bank robber and another who did eighteen months prison time for blackmail, although he didn’t know about their colourful backstories at the time. “I’d quizzed them more about their experiences. After all, hard-boiled grimness all adds to the mix, even if it is anecdotal.”
“Authors are by definition are relatively introverted. They work in isolation and inhabit imaginary world of their own creation. They can spend years staring at a computer screen bringing their characters to life. Then they have to become a different person to promote their work and market themselves.”
“Fiction is a great way to write about how you feel personally about this great thing we do called living. We disguise it by calling it crime fiction, but behind the genre there is a world view being expressed. In my eyes, the memorable books, films and music, good or bad, are the ones you’re still thinking about 24 or 48 hours after you finished reading, watching or listening.”
What can readers expect from Andrew’s work? “If you’re into noir from the likes of James Lee Burke, James Cain, James Ellroy, Dennis Lehane, Elmore Leonard, Ted Lewis, Ed McBain and Jim Thompson, you’ll see where I am coming from.”
Andrew lives, works and plays in Northumberland, England, Europe, with his wife Catherine. A novella, Wicked Games was published in 2014. Without Rules in 2018 by Boomslang. All Down The Line will be published in December 2020.