Spark Out. Nick Rippington.
Spark Out Paperback
1982: Thatcher, the Falklands War and a criminal on the rise.
Hard man Big Mo rules family and friends with a rod of iron. From his base in a rundown area of London, he is driven by a desire to emerge from the shadow of his career criminal father and lift his family out of the poverty trap.
When a warehouse raid turns up more than he bargains for, Mo finds himself in possession of the weapons he needs to transform himself from petty criminal to big-time armed robber.
Planning the ultimate raid, Mo seems to have everything under control until Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher orders British troops – including his younger brother Clive – to war in the Falklands.
As Mo fights the police and his own vicious temper, Clive faces a battle for survival in the desolate south Atlantic. Eventually their two worlds will collide, threatening Mo and all he holds dear.
The second book in the Boxer Boys series, a prequel to Crossing The Whitewash, Spark Out has won three Chill With A Book awards, including cover of the year for 2017. Readers described it as "compelling" and "a great read". Will suit lovers of Martina Cole, Mark Billingham, Stuart MacBride and Ian Rankin
A Word from the Author: Nick Rippington
NICK RIPPINGTON is one of the victims of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal you never hear about.
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 in 2011.
On holiday at the time, Nick was never allowed back into the building, investigators sealed off the area with crime scene tape and seized his computer, which contained all the secrets to his Fantasy Football selections.
Handed the contents of his desk in a black bin bag in a murky car park, deep throat style, Nick was at a crossroads – married just two years earlier and with a wife and 9-month-old baby to support.
Options were limited but self-publishing was booming. Having hit on an idea for a UK gangland thriller taking place against the backdrop of the Rugby World Cup, in 2015 he produced Crossing The Whitewash.
The book was praised by many, received an honourable mention in the genre category of the Writers’ Digest self-published eBook awards and hit 50 reviews on Goodreads and more than 30 with Amazon on both sides of the pond.
The second novel in the Boxer Boys series, a prequel called Spark Out, was released in paperback in July 2017. The book received an award for best cover of 2017 with the Chill With A Book website, along with a readers award, before receiving an IndieBRAG medallion from a prestigious website covering Independent writers and publishers throughout the world.
The third book in the Boxer Boys series Dying Seconds, a sequel to Crossing, was released on December 14, 2018 and hit the no1 spot for Contemporary Urban Fiction during a free download campaign on Amazon.
Married to Liz, Nick is now a full-time back bench designer on Daily Star sport and has two children – Jemma, 37, and Olivia, 8. A Bristolian at heart, he lives near Ilford, Essex. In the past he has worked for Mirror titles the Sunday Mirror, Wales on Sunday and Media Wales in Cardiff as an executive editor.
SALES AND REVIEWS:
Since 2015 Crossing The Whitewash has sold around 1,500 copies worldwide at a rough estimate. It has attracted 40 reviews on Amazon on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com combined. It was never entered for the Kindle Unlimited programme with Amazon so there were no free marketing spells. It’s highest ranking was around 15th in the Contemporary Urban fiction category.
Spark Out was released with Kindle Unlimited and during a five-day free marketing campaign went to No.1 of the FREE category in Amazon’s Contemporary Urban Fiction section, with over 1,000 downloads in that period. It has 25 reviews on both sides of the Atlantic, all 12 in the states are five-star reviews. It has nine reviews on Goodreads. Combining freebies and sales I would say Spark Out has ‘sold’ over 2,000 copies.
Dying Seconds was released this week in paperback but is not out until December 14 on Kindle so it is too early to say. It was also take advantage of the KDP unlimited scheme.
I believe my books most closely resemble crime writers in the fashion of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Ian Rankin although, unlike them, they are not police procedurals but focus on the criminals, accomplices, families and so on. They come from the Boxers Estate, the name given to a group of Hi rise tower blocks in Barking, east London. But the story takes them out of London regularly.
Others have likened my books to the work of Martina Cole and Linda Le Plante and one kind reviewer said there were similarities with Michael Connolly’s Harry Bosch books. I tend to think my stories are a bit more literary than just gang related tales, however. I think the characters are key, both good and bad, and many people have commented on how well developed they are.
A bit of a departure from the normal follow up, the second book Spark Out goes back to 1982 and focuses on the father figures, at a time when Margaret Thatcher is in power and the Falklands War takes place. It received recognition from both the IndieBRAG and Chill with a book websites. The citations from them are attached to the email with which this biog was sent.
For Crossing The Whitewash: “"Evocative, original, unfailingly precise and often humorous" – Writers Digest eBook judges
For Spark Out: “Down and Dirty, visceral, occasionally violent but engaging and strangely compelling. The writer has a great street voice” – IndieBRAG judges s