Trevor Wood and The Man on the Street
Trevor Wood is a crime author.
His debut novel, the crime thriller, The Man on the Street, came out in March and is available in paperback in September.
It started with a splash. Jimmy, a homeless veteran grappling with PTSD, did his best to pretend he hadn’t heard it – the sound of something heavy falling into the Tyne at the height of an argument between two men on the riverbank. Not his fight.
Then he sees the headline: GIRL IN MISSING DAD PLEA. The girl, Carrie, reminds him of someone he lost, and this makes his mind up: it’s time to stop hiding from his past. But telling Carrie, what he heard – or thought he heard – turns out to be just the beginning of the story.
The police don’t believe him, but Carrie is adamant that something awful has happened to her dad and Jimmy agrees to help her, putting himself at risk from enemies old and new.
‘Fresh, original, authentic and gritty – should be an instant classic’ LEE CHILD
‘Intricate, expertly paced with a shocking conclusion … Jimmy is a character you root for from page one … Simply superb’ M. W. CRAVEN, author of THE PUPPET SHOW
Let’s Place Trevor Under the Spotlight!
Tell us a little about yourself and your books, including the genre(s) you write in.
I’m a Newcastle-based crime writer.
My first novel The Man on the Street was published in hardback on March 19, about three days before they closed all the bookshops! It’s a crime thriller, set in my home city, about a homeless veteran suffering from PTSD who sees a murder but no one believes him.
I’ve lived in the city for nearly 30 years and consider myself an adopted Geordie, though I still can’t speak the language.
I’m a successful playwright and have also worked as a journalist and spin-doctor for the City Council.
Prior to that I served in the Royal Navy for 16 years joining, presciently, as a Writer. I was on the inaugural MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at UEA, where the novel was developed.
What project are you working on now?
I’ve just finished editing the sequel to my debut, One Way Street which is in the hands of the copy editor now. Like TMOTS it’s being given a soft launch on e-book and audio in October before being published in hardback in March 2021.
Before starting book 3 in the series I’m working on a short story for an anthology which is being published to raise money for the homeless.
How do you choose the genre(s) you write in?
I’ve always been a crime reader above all else so it was a natural fit for me. I blame Enid Blyton, who was without doubt the gateway drug to crime fiction for people of a certain age.
Is there any particular author or book that’s influenced you, either growing up or as an adult?
If Enid Blyton was my starter drug I moved on to the harder stuff on a barge holiday on the Norfolk Broads, where it rained all the time. There was a collection of Agatha Christie books which I devoured. After that I was hooked.
When I was writing The Man on the Street I read a lot of David Peace and James Ellroy as I wanted to absorb some of their darkness, as my natural style is too light for the book I wanted to write.
Is anything in your books based on real life experiences?
Yes, in a way, though only partially my own.
My protagonist is a homeless veteran with PTSD. I was in the Royal Navy for 16 years so the veteran bit was comfortable for me.
One of my sources for information was a book called The Veterans Survival Guide which was written by a an ex-soldier called Jimmy Johnson, who did two tours of Northern Ireland and ended up with terrible PTSD. As a result he committed two murders and is still in prison.
How do you come up with your titles?
I’m heavily influenced by music though none of my choices have made it onto a cover yet.
My working title for The Man on the Street was ‘When a Fire Starts to Burn’ a song by Disclosure and for a while I quite liked ‘Chasing Pavements’ as well. I also suggested ‘Dead Boys,’ a Sam Fender song for book 2.
Publishers tend to have their own views on titles! Though to be fair, The Man on the Street, was ultimately my suggestion.
If I don’t have a song connection I brainstorm titles whilst jogging.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I do a mean karaoke version of Prince’s ‘When Doves Cry’. And I did play for the triumphant England Crime Writers football team against our Scottish counterparts at Bloody Scotland last year, in a 3-0 away win.
You’re hosting a literary dinner party, which four authors would you invite (alive or dead)?
Harriet Tyce and Kate Simants from my MA. We were supposed to sharing a flat at Harrogate this year, which obviously didn’t happen, so we’ve got a lot to catch up on.
I’d add the brilliant Dominic Nolan to the mix as I love his books and he’s a very funny guy. And let’s aim high and invite Linwood Barclay along.
What are five words that describe your writing process?
Unplanned. Optimistic. Unpredictable. Relentless. Thorough.
Which would you rather do: Never write another story or never read another book?
Never write another story.
I’m not one of those writers who feel that they ‘have’ to write. I love it but there are other things I can do which makes me just as happy.
However, as a reader, I always have a book on the go and can’t imagine not being able to do it again.
What is the funniest typo or error you’ve ever written?
My copy editor thankfully pointed out that one of my characters announced her pregnancy two years before she gave birth.
How do you come up with names for your characters?
Recently I’ve taken to wandering around cemeteries and jotting names down!
In TMOTS, my main character is called Jimmy, which was partially a nod to Jimmy Johnson, who I mentioned above and to a well-known, but sadly deceased, homeless guy who used to ride around on the Metro in Newcastle.
However, I think some names might be sub-conscious – I named his wife Bev and it was only very late on that I realised they are the names of my sister-in-law and her husband.
Who is the most supportive person in your life when it comes to your writing?
I’ve been writing full time for around 20 years now, first as a playwright and more recently as a crime writer and my wife Pam has supported me in every sense for that whole period. I genuinely couldn’t have done it without her.
What is your most favourite word and why?
I’ve always liked ‘unctuous.’ It sounds exactly like the thing it’s describing.
What is your least favourite word and why?
I don’t like ‘nice.’ It’s just so lukewarm and unconvincing and kind of apathetic. I much prefer stronger opinions.
You can find Trevor in the following places:
Facebook: Trevor Wood Facebook
Twitter: Trevor Wood Twitter