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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

Meet Debut Novelist – Frances Vick

It may not be that I am always in a position to read and review a particular book, due either to time specific work schedules, or as in this instance, simply that the genre of writing is not one which I am comfortable reading and thus wouldn’t feel happy in reviewing or commenting on with sufficient authority, to highlight the full potential of either the story, or its author.

However, it is always a privilege and pleasure to meet, showcase and feature new talent, so this time I would like to say a warm Fiction Books welcome to debut novelist, Frances Vick.

The music scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s, is unfortunately and I hate to admit this, about 15 years too late for me, however for those of you who were, and still are, followers of the whole indie band culture, then I am certain that Chinaski will be right up your street.

The book has so far received nothing but 5 star ratings and reviews, on both sides of the Atlantic.

I’ll leave Frances tell you all about herself and Chinaski …

Image Of Author Frances VickI am the only child of parents who worked at a top security psychiatric hospital, and I grew up receiving disquieting notes and presents from the inmates – wonky lolly stick houses and the like. My favourite was a Home Sweet Home embroidered wall hanging from a serial arsonist.

I was expelled from school, and spent the next few years on the dole, augmenting my income by providing security and crewing for gigs, and being a medical experiment guinea pig.

I wanted to write since I was a child, but I was one of those people that never had the confidence to finish anything, or often even begin anything. I have notebooks going back for years with half thought out scenarios, overheard conversations, little ideas, but nothing solid. So, once I got off the dole, I did lots of other things- I taught teenagers in Japan, I was a life model and cook in Italy, I worked in a LGTB theatre in New York, and with young offenders and homeless refugees in London. And a lot of people told me their stories. So, recasting all that into some sort of narrative, perhaps those years of not writing, but experiencing, listening and noting down were the years of preparation I needed.

Keep your confidence up. Read. Mostly though, you have to sit down each day for a few hours and write whether you feel like it or not – don’t wait for inspiration. Writing is a job. Do your research. All that research will give your novel an edge, because you know what you’re writing about, it will be authentic. Expect disappointment – your manuscript WILL be rejected – you’ll have to develop a thick skin. But if you stick with it and write with honesty, energy and originality, you’ll succeed.

I wrote Chinaski over a year or so, in the scraps of time I had to myself when my eldest child was at nursery and my youngest was napping. I did a lot of research on the music industry, analogue recording techniques, touring schedules and the like. I got in touch with bands of that era, read as many music magazines for the time as possible, to get the overwrought journalistic style right. Cillian Press, a newly created independent publisher, picked it up for publication last year, and I couldn’t be happier!

I’m very interested in people on the margins, and people who have the courage to create and succeed from a place of apparent powerlessness. Perhaps the most apparently powerless, have the capacity to aim high and succeed, because they have nothing to lose. But with stardom comes, ironically, less power, less autonomy, less freedom.

All of those ideas are in Chinaski. Thanks for stopping by, it was good to meet you and I hope that you enjoy the book.

CHINASKI the band who almost made it

Carl Howell is dead, passing like a wave through the lives of his friends. A brilliant singer, a loved son, a hated rival, a meal ticket, a soulmate, Carl means different things to different people – how can they continue without him? Chinaski takes a look at the music industry, the fans and the vampires, and asks, what can we really know about our icons?
Set in the late 80s/early 90s, during the last gasp of youth subculture, before rave culture came along and made people like each other, before brit pop made indie music mainstream, Chinaski charts the rise of an indie band destined for fame. A realistic account of the seamier side of the music industry told from the point of view of the girlfriend, the band member and the music journalist.

Image Of Author Frances Vick

I’m finishing a second novel now. Imagine the exact opposite of Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda’, but for adults.

Catch up with all my latest news at my website – https://francesvick.co.uk/
Like me on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/FrancesVickAuthor
And follow me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/franvicksays

Thanks for stopping by Frances, I would like to wish you every success with Chinaski and I can’t wait to discover what the new book is all about, it sounds intriguing!


Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • What an interesting premise for a book! It’s one I feel sure I would enjoy as I’ve always been a music fan, listening to a broad variety of genres.

    And what a fascinating life the author has lived! Makes mine look downright dull (but that’s not always a bad thing πŸ˜‰ ).

    Thanks so much for bringing us this post, Yvonne. I will definitely place the book on my wish list.

    • Hi Kelly,

      Frances’s story makes my own life seem pretty dull and mundane too, but I don’t and never would have had, the nerve and confidence to do some of the diverse and amazing things she has done and the experiences she has had!

      My youngest niece made the decision that she wanted to give up everything she had here in the UK, in exchange for a 1 year contract working for Disney World, Florida. Now nearly half way through her time, she is having the time of her life and her confidence and maturity has increased in leaps and bounds. She has made more friends than I could ever have imagined and I am certain that the experience will stand her in good stead for the future. How opportunities have improved and how much the world has shrunk, since I was young!

      I too, enjoy a diverse range of music, including some of the indie band scene, athough being born in the late 1950s, means my real era was that of the Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Donnie Osmond and David Cassidy scene, closely followed in my young adulthood by the ‘glam rock’ stars.

      The reviews and ratings for ‘Chinaski’ have pretty much 5 star across the board, so I do hope that you enjoy, should you ever have the opportunity to read the book!

      Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comments, as I am sure, does Frances πŸ™‚

  • Whilst not what you could call a music fan I find the premise of this book fascinating.

    Great author meet. This kind of thing is one of the things I love about blogs. To be able to offer a platform to up and coming authors is amazing.

    • Hi Tracy,

      I must admit that just about the only place I listen to music, is in the car, and that is generally the radio, rather than a compilation of my own choosing. If I am on my own at home, I either simply enjoy the silence, or put the TV on for company, even though I never actually watch it!

      I do have quite eclectic music tastes though, so I don’t really have a favourite genre and I am certain that I would be as happy listening to much of the indie music Frances alludes to, as the classical orchestras or jazz bands, which we both enjoy.

      I am quite happy to use the platform here at Fiction Books to promote an author, without me necessarily feeling the absolute need to read and review a book. However, I have to say that not all authors fully appreciate that you are basically helping them out, and that blogging for the majority of us, is a hobby and a labour of love, not a job which earms us an income!

      Fortunately, those individuals or publishers are very much in the minority and the lovely people like Frances, more than make up for the others. I love the diverse range of authors and titles which land on my desk and wouldn’t have it any other way πŸ™‚

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you have enjoyed your weekend.

  • Hey Yvonne

    Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to talk about Chinaski on Ficton Books! I agree Tracy Terry, blogs like these are invaluable for authors and readers alike. Thanks for your kind comments!


    • Hi Frances,

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment, I really appreciate the thought.

      I hope that even though not so many folks actually commented, that many others did take the time to visit and find out more about ‘Chinaski’, even if they only checked in on Twitter, after you were kind enough to re-tweet.

      I would like to wish you every success for the future with ‘Chinaski’ and any future projects you are currently contemplating. It has been a pleasure to work with you πŸ™‚

  • Chinaski sounds interesting. I do love music and have a special place in my heart for Indie rock especially. Being a teen in the 90’s alot of the music influenced me back then and I still have plenty of my old favs on my playlists.

    I applaud moms who find time to work, good for the author on writing and publishing her book.
    That’s nice of you to feature it Yvonne, even if it’s not something you will be reading. That’s part of the awesomeness of book blogging πŸ™‚

    • Hi Naida,

      I am guessing that the lifestyle and antics of the 90s indie bands, doesn’t differ greatly from those of a generation before, in the 70s. The likes of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, The Who, Genesis and the great Pink Floyd, to name but a few, all lived life very much to the full, as did the bands’ roadies and girlfriends.

      I have quite eclectic tastes in music, although I have to admit to living on the fringes of the rock band culture, although with my brother being four years younger than myself, our house certainly had its own share of this genre of music, especially when the parents were out and his friends came around!

      I love being able to feature new authors in this way, even though I may not necessarily be reading a particular book myself. I know that for an author, a review is the king prize to which they all aspire, however just having someone to help get the message out there, has to be good surely? πŸ™‚

      Thanks for stopping by. I hope that all is well with you.

Written by Yvonne