Think Arnie Dolan was trouble? Now meet the old man…
MAURICE ‘BIG MO’ DOLAN is prone to headaches and there is one main cause: his family. He believes eldest son Chuck, 7, needs toughening up, his wife Beryl is too lenient, his career-criminal father has no respect for him and he is about to lose his younger brother Clive to the army.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, though. With Margaret Thatcher’s government backing initiative and suggesting people get ‘on their bikes’ to find work, Mo believes it is the perfect time for him to expand his business… into armed robbery.
As he plans the ultimate raid to drag him out of the poverty trap, he believes his fortunes are bound to get better… but with the Falklands War just around the corner they are about to become a whole lot worse.
A hard-boiled suspense thriller that’s not for the faint hearted.
A prequel to Crossing The Whitewash, the novel is set in 1982 as Britain comes to terms with a Thatcher government and the prospect of war in the south Atlantic…
About the author:
NICK RIPPINGTON is one of the victims of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal you never hear about. Having proudly taken his dream job as the newspaper’s Welsh Sports Editor, he was made redundant with two days’ notice when Rupert Murdoch closed down Europe’s biggest-selling tabloid six years ago. The dramatic events prompted Nick to write UK gangland thriller Crossing the Whitewash, which was released in August 2015. Spark Out is the second novel in his Boxer Boys series. Married to Liz, Nick has two children – Jemma, 35, and Olivia, 7. A Bristolian at heart, he lives near Ilford, Essex.
So, your book is being published!
How do you spend the night before publication day?
It’s always a bit of a blur to me. As a self-published author with my own imprint, Cabrilon Books, there is no great fanfare it’s just push the button and away to go. Hopefully all the hard work has been done in the weeks and months before with pre-publicity on social media, sending out emails to members of my book club and trying to get people talking about the book before it appears. I’ve probably had a good old grumble during the day waiting for my book to load, then having to reload it having found that I’ve had to do corrections after reading the on-line proof. You wonder sometimes if your book has ever been fully edited. In the past, I think that’s why there are still attempted novels sitting in my spare room, gathering dust (much to the consternation of my wife Liz). I’ll probably have a cool lager at the end of it all and it won’t touch the sides.
What do you do on the day itself?
I’m probably at work unless I have actually organised a launch. I invited everyone to a launch of Crossing the Whitewash at a local pub two years ago, then the batch of books I had ordered didn’t arrive. I’d made the mistake of forgetting to tick the box for delivery from the English factory of the company I published with. The books got lost in transit between here and somewhere on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. It was quite a unique event: A book launch without any books. With this launch, I made sure I had plenty of books in hand.
Who are you with?
Preference would be family or other writers. More likely it will be work colleagues in an office in Central London.
Where do you go?
Well, with still having a day job it may be the case I will have to be in the office.
What do you do?
I probably go on to my Amazon book page every five minutes to see if there is any evidence of people buying books, though I think I’ll be more chilled this time. The last book was my first-ever effort at self-publishing and it was scary. I’ve learned a lot since then.
If this is not your first publication day, how does it differ from previous ones?
This publication day will be marked by the start of a blog tour and the chance to talk to people about my book. That didn’t happen with Crossing the Whitewash. I did a radio interview, a podcast and so I’m excited to be able to do this.
Do you have any rituals?
I don’t really have time for rituals. I will have to do the school run and make the tea, then run my 7-year-old Olivia’s bath, before reading her a story and saying goodnight. By then, hopefully, I’ll be free to talk all things literary with readers.
Does the excitement ever wear off?
Not a bit of it. OK, as it is only my second book I suppose it is difficult for me to predict, but I have also launched my first book in Audio and that was pretty exciting, too. The moment that I love more than anything is getting a batch of your new books delivered to the door. I am like a cat on a hot tin roof all day, hopping around, swearing at the delivery company for keeping me waiting – pretty sure that when I nip out to school they will call and drop a note through my door: Sorry we missed you, you can pick your parcel up from… blah, blah. Noooooo!
When you finally get that box in your hands, though, rip through the seal and open it up… Wow! No… better… feeling. Piles on piles of books. I love the covers, the feel of the paper, the layout, everything. eReaders are fantastic inventions but NOTHING can replace that feeling of having your own physical book in your hands after the hard slog of researching, writing, editing, proofreading, more editing, more proofreading, formatting, loading, re-editing and, finally, pushing that button. Crossing took four years, Spark Out two… Hopefully the next one will take one year and then I’ll be churning them out, providing a nest egg for retirement and getting my girl through university.