Nick Place: creative

The website of Nick Place, an Australian fiction writer and media operative.

Crime fiction

Nick's latest novel: March 2013
Nick’s latest novel: March 2013

Roll With It is Nick’s first adult crime novel, mixing humour and action into a comedic crime farce that finally takes the piss out of Underbelly and other gangsters as celeb fiction and non-fiction.

Written with input from actual Victorian police, and using his own background as a newspaper police rounds reporter, the novel has a certain authenticity to it, as well as going for the jokes. Police who have read drafts say it is the most convincing portrayal of actual cop humour that they’ve read.

Nick started the book 20 years ago, not long after leaving crime reporting, but took more than a decade of writing practice across other novel drafts, short film scripts, short stories, poetry, journalistic features, TV scripts, and other writing, as well as four published kids books, before he felt ready to reapproach Roll With It and finish the novel.

Here it is. At last.

(Originally published by Hardie Grant. March 2013)

27 thoughts on “Crime fiction

  1. Hi Nick – just about finished Roll With It and have been really enjoying it. It’s funny and interesting and I love the Melbourne setting. I lived there for a while so sort of know most of the areas you mention. I guess Melbournians would particularly enjoy these aspects of a very entertaining story. Even though it’s a police/drugs/murder thing, there’s no disturbing blood and guts which makes a nice change from some of the dark Nordic Noir stuff I have been wading through! Thanks for a good read…….. All the best Nicola Simmons

    1. Hiya Nicola,
      Thanks a lot for writing, and for reading Roll With It. I’m really glad you liked it, and got to relive Melbourne. Where are you now?
      I was pretty determined not to be as gory as a lot of the crime fiction going around. I actually hate TV shows or movies where it’s wall to wall splatter. Sometimes, like in The Wire, I think it’s completely legit, but often it’s gratuitous so yeah, I was always aiming to be only vaguely graphic.
      Then again, if I’d set it in Sweden, I’d be a lot richer, right?


  2. Canberra Nick – not nearly so exciting or interesting as Melbourne that’s for sure. Your comment about being a lot richer had you set your book Sweden made me chuckle – possibly it’s true, but I like the Melbourne setting. Finished the book this morning having really enjoyed it. I think you may have left the way open for a sequel? I hope so…….

  3. Just finished Roll With It and I really enjoyed it. Great characters and a good fast-moving plot. Loved Laver/Rocket’s wry sense of humour. Was actually looking at website to see what other crime fiction books Nick Place had written. I do hope there’s another one (or more) on the way …
    Thanks for a good read.

    1. Hi Valerie.
      Thanks so much for writing, and for buying Roll With It.
      I’m midway through a sequel now, so – fingers crossed – it will appear in about 12 months, by the time the publishing process grinds through.
      I’ve been a bit slack with this website so I’ll make an effort to keep it up to date with progress reports for ‘Let it slide’ (my working title for the sequel).
      cheers, and thanks again for making contact,

    1. Steven, somehow I completely missed this comment when you wrote it. Thanks so much, and for mentioning it to Sandy. Things like that can really help us struggling authors. The sequel is written and sitting on desks across Australia, waiting for decisions. Fingers crossed. cheers, Nicko

    1. Thanks, Louise.
      The sequel is coming along … it’s written. Just weaving its way through the publishing process, so hopefully it will emerge sooner rather than later. cheers, and thanks for writing, Nicko

    1. Hi Helena. ME TOO!
      The sequel is actually written, but my agent is hunting for a publisher, because Roll With It‘s publisher has decided not to continue printing fiction. We think we’re getting closer but I apologise because the wait has been unnaturally long.
      The sequel is tentatively called Let It Slide.
      I’ll post as soon as we (hopefully) secure a deal.
      Cheers and thanks for waiting 🙂

  4. Hiya Helena,
    Oh man, it’s a saga.
    Firstly, THANK YOU for following up, and being keen enough to still be waiting. You have no idea how much it means to an author to know people actually like their books.
    Depressingly, not much has changed since my last reply. As far as I know, my agent is still knocking on doors, seeing if anybody wants to republish Roll With It, and publish Let It Slide (the sequel). Pretty crazy, hey?
    I’m not sure what my plan B is, if the agent can’t find a deal. I might have to bite the bullet and explore self publishing, but that’s a scary prospect. I actually read Let It Slide again recently, because I had been away from it for so long now that I could read it fresh, almost like a new reader. I still think it is hopefully a fun, page-turning sequel. So I’m really hoping it somehow finally finds its way onto shelves.
    Please don’t hold your breath but hold the faith!

  5. Thanks Nick. I don’t understand publishers. I found your book better then some of the published authors around! Please keep trying.

      1. Hiya Helena,
        Ah, it’s very humbling that readers like you keep the faith!
        I’m pledging right now to finally nut out self-publishing, so I’m not beholden to publishers who are getting more and more cautious and unadventurous.
        It might take me some time, but ‘Let It Slide’ will see the light of day, and you will get one of the first copies, as a gift! (which is a dumb pledge by me, because you might have been one of the only three sales 🙂
        stay tuned, Nicko

      2. Well Nick I hope you do get back to the sequel. Australian crime writers seem to be in favour at the moment. But sounds like self publishing is the go.
        Good Luck with it Helena

        Sent from my iPhone

  6. Hi Nick, I read Roll with it when it first came out. I was recommending it to a friend yesterday and thought I’d check in about the sequel, (or 2?) Sad it’s so hard to get it published.

    1. Hiya Marie,
      Thanks so much for writing. It’s so beautiful to think that you’d be recommending the book after so long.
      I did write a sequel (title: ‘Let It Slide’) and finished it quite a while ago but it’s been lost in publisher angst, because the original publishers decided to get out of fiction entirely. No other publishers have been willing to take on a sequel as a kind of stand-alone. You’re right: it is so hard to get published! Even with the sequel to a book that did well in the Australian context …
      As the ‘Hmm-too-hard-we’ll-pass’ rejections have built, I’ve been considering self-publishing, and you know what? Your message has really sparked me to looking again into how I can make that happen. People who’ve read the draft of ‘Let It Slide’ really liked it, and it seems dumb to have it just sitting in my bottom drawer when it could be out in the world.
      It might take me some time, but I’m on it!
      Thanks again 🙂

      1. I’ll be the fourth, Nick. I used to teach self-publishing for the ASA and others. My advice at the highest level if you’re nutting it out is to focus on the Kindle. I’m not a fan of Amazon as a company, but for self-publishers, the KDP is where you need to start. If that goes well, worry about other channels then. Good luck!

      2. Hmm, interesting. Thanks a lot for the advice. I think I have a pretty serious edit to do, to get it to decent second draft stage, but then I’ll be tuning into all that, so thanks a lot.

  7. Hi Nick,
    If you are self publishing I will buy a copy. I have been waiting for a sequel to Roll With It for years now. Loved it.
    If it helps, I have a contact in Sydney who might stock your books in his book stores, if distribution is a road block for you.

    1. Hi Kirrily,
      Thanks a lot for writing, and sorry for the slow reply. I’m actually knee deep in a commissioned book from a major publisher, which I think you’ll like, if you liked Roll With It. Poor old Let It Slide, my sequel to RWI, remains in cobwebs until I can get to it. That’s excellent news about your Sydney contact, though … getting a self-published book into genuine distribution seems to be one of the major challenges.
      Sorry again for the long delay. It’s amazingly humbling that people are still aware of RWI and waiting for a sequel after all this time…

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