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The Offender's Nemesis

Cool Water

Malayan Swing

An Unlikely Fooligan

God's Lonely Men

 
 
 

 

Offender's Nemesis  
   
 

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I come from the West London area, out in the suburbs towards the end of the tube line. It was, and is no place of great imagination and activity but is on the underground and that gave easy access to getting into the centre of London, which was something I started to do at an early age. We went to see groups play down at the Marquee Club, when it was down Wardour Street. We were about fifteen years old I suppose and it started a desire to wanting to be in a group, a liking for Soho and to get away from all the mainstream accepted stuff that fills a lot of people’s lives and minds.

Leaving school before I was fifteen I worked on building sites and at seventeen bought myself a drum kit. The early signs of punk music were showing themselves at the end of nineteen seventy five and a few friends and myself got a group together. Hardly being able to play wasn’t an obstruction to us because it was about having the feel and attitude; being lovers of the New York Dolls and hearing the Ramones we were on our way; being one of the first of the punk groups we were called The Lurkers.

After the Lurkers I drifted into building labouring and then took an Access course that gave me the necessary qualification to go to university; so, at the age of thirty I went off to university and felt like an oddball when there, but I am sure that isn’t an uncommon experience.


Pete Haynes

Whilst at the university my friend told people in the theatre group that I had written a couple of plays; now it’s a bit strange because I never went to the theatre and didn’t mix with arty and theatrical people; in fact when I wrote it was the black and white television screen from my childhood that was in my mind that showed those plays that I remembered for being dark and confined and a place to vent feelings and emotions.

The theatre company liked one of my plays and took it to Edinburgh where it was performed on the fringe for three weeks and luckily got good reviews.

After university I trained to be a lecturer for people with special needs, but didn’t work in that area but rather went back to casual work as a builder’s labourer.

I wrote another play and then my first novel, Malayan Swing before writing a few more novels. A few years ago I concentrated on writing just novels as I felt I could have a greater space to explore what was on my mind; although I wrote a play, Seventeen, whilst working in a victim’s group in West Belfast in 2005 and a short play, Looking Good, in 2006 which was performed at the Bush Theatre.

The books I feel made an impression on me were Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. I liked the style that isn’t pretentious, being descriptive and having sympathy with its characters. I especially liked the style of American writers who explore the large picture through the experience of the small person; it seemed to me that in the English style, except for the notable few, emotions and specific worth are not afforded to people not coming from a professional background.

My work does seem to focus on the experience of the ‘outsider;’ a theme, I suppose, that was common in the work of The Lurkers.

Listen to my recent Radio Ulster Interview on my book 'Cool Water'

Listen to my Interview with Johnny Brown of Resonance Radio

Listen to my interview with BBC Radio 5 presenter Dotun Adebayo

 

© Pete Haynes 2007 - 2016