Raine, Jerry 1955-
RAINE, Jerry 1955-
PERSONAL: Born July 5, 1955, in Leeds, Yorkshire, England; son of Peter (a company director) and Margaret (Ward) Raine. Ethnicity: "White." Education: Attended schools in Surrey, England. Hobbies and other interests: Singing and playing guitar, writing songs, jogging.
ADDRESSES: Home—7 Quarry Cottages, London Rd., Seven Oaks, Kent TN13 2JB, England. Office—Murder One Bookshop, 71-73 Charing Cross Rd., London WC2 H0AA, England. Agent—Pam Smith, 6 Womersley Rd., London N6, England.
CAREER: Murder One Bookshop, London, England, assistant manager, 1988—. Also worked as farmhand and caravan fitter in Australia, gardener, fork-lift driver, factory worker, liquor salesperson, and builder.
AWARDS, HONORS: Fiction prize, Mail on Sunday, 1986.
Smalltime (crime novel), Dufour (Chester Springs, PA), 1996.
Frankie Bosser Comes Home (crime novel), Gollancz (London, England), 1999.
Small Change (crime novel), Do-Not Press (London, England), 2001.
SIDELIGHTS: Jerry Raine once told CA: "My first interest in writing was actually songwriting. When I left school at the age of sixteen, I went to Australia by myself for two years. While working on a farm in the bush I taught myself the guitar and started to write songs. I then started performing a year later in the bars of Sydney. Wanting to further my music career, I returned to England but ended up in a creative writing class. It seemed I had a talent for writing prose, so at the age of twenty-five, I decided to concentrate on that instead of singing, and I didn't perform live again until the age of forty!
"It took a long time for my writing to take off. I wrote a lot of short stories and tried writing novels, but nothing really worked. Then in 1986 I was violently mugged. I decided this would be a good idea for a novel about a man seeking revenge against his mugger. I was heavily into crime novels by this time, my favorites being Elmore Leonard and Charles Willeford, so I wrote Smalltime as a crime novel, using the Leonard style of third-person, multiple viewpoint. I found myself an agent, but Smalltime was turned down by eight publishers, and I got very disillusioned with the whole publishing process. I withdrew it from the market, parted company with my agent, and put the novel in a drawer for six years.
"I gave up writing prose for awhile, and at the age of thirty-eight got back into my music. Suddenly I started to write some great songs! Thinking the world should hear them, I started performing in London clubs a few years later.
"Meanwhile, a new young publisher called the Do-Not Press heard about Smalltime and accepted it straight away. By this time I didn't much care if it was published, but I updated the setting anyway. I thought it would sink without trace when it was published at the end of 1996. Much to my surprise, the book got some good reviews in England and some even better ones in America. My girlfriend said 'You'd better write another one,' so I wrote Frankie Bosser Comes Home in about two months. This is a faster moving crime novel, less intense than Smalltime, with more humor. It was a lot of fun to write." Bob Cornwell commented on the Tangled Web UK Web site, "The observant prose is straightforward, with a nice eye for the casual amorality of life lived on the lower rungs."
In Small Change, Raine brings back the protagonist, Chris, from Smalltime, and he again sets in motion random events resulting in violence and chaos. Bill Ott observed that Small Change "blends the sensibility of 1930s proletarian fiction with the noir mood of a contemporary crime novel."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 15, 2002, Bill Ott, review of Small Change, p. 1580.
Tangled Web UK,http://www.twbooks.co.uk/ (February 5, 2003), Bob Cornwell, review of Frankie Bosser Comes Home.*