Updated: May 22
At Hobeck we have a formal submissions process which can be found on our website. When the front door is open, we ask that hopeful crime and thriller writers email us with a covering letter, a synopsis and the first three chapters. We read everything that is sent to us, we reply to say either we want to see more or we reply with suggestions, or we reply to say that, regrettably, this project isn’t for us. However, not every author we sign finds us this way. Sometimes, a project comes at us through a different route – through the backdoor.
This is how our new signing, Olly Jarvis, came to Hobeck. Our paths first crossed almost a year ago. When we launched our flagship author Robert Daws, back in the summer of 2020, I was looking online for crime fiction podcasters and I came across The Crime Hub website. At that point, I exchanged a couple of emails with the founder, Olly Jarvis. In his reply to me, Olly indicated to me as an aside that he was working on a thriller. I replied wishing him well, suggesting that should he be looking for a publisher in the future, we’d love to take a look.
At that point, Hobeck didn’t really have an established ‘style’. We were publishers of thrillers, crime, mystery and suspense but with just one author thus far, we were still unsure where we were going. As it turns out, the ‘style’ that our list developed, and the calibre of the authors who came to us, has naturally emerged from Robert Daws’s style. This wasn’t intentional but it has happened that way. We have a lot to thank our first author Mr Daws for.
Fast forward eleven months or so and my path again crossed with Olly’s. A lot had happened in that time, domestically (we’d moved house and offices), work-wise (eleven books published), and globally (need I mention the word ‘pandemic’?). We also now had our style somewhat more established. Olly remembered our previous exchange and mentioned that his thriller was now finished and he was looking for a publisher. ‘Send it over!’ I exclaimed. Adrian and I both feel quite strongly that we are always open to read someone’s work, irrespective of whether we are looking to sign or not. Sometimes the chance happenings can be the most fruitful.
Olly’s manuscript arrived at a time when I was particularly busy and unable immediately to stop to read. So I gave it to Adrian to read. I knew that the premise of Olly’s book was one that would appeal to him as a reader – a speculative international conspiracy thriller – it had his name on it (not literally of course). As a fan of Resurrection Day by Brendan DuBois who, incidentally, we recently featured on the Hobcast Bookshow, Adrian is a fan of such global ‘what if’ concepts.
Often Adrian finds it hard to focus on reading. He reads in fits and starts. If a book doesn’t engage him, forget it. He’ll move on quite quickly (in fact he’s a great submissions judge for that reason – much better than me). That is how his brain works. This didn’t happen with Olly’s submission. He started reading it. He kept reading it. He devoured it. I hardly saw him for two days. Whenever I sought him out, he was sat on our pink reading chair lost in the story. That was all I needed.
I knew then that we were on to something with Olly. We knew we had found another Hobeck gem. Lucky for us, Olly felt that we were a good home for his book too. We never take that for granted. We may fall in love with a book but the author has to fall in love with us too.
Adrian and I are constantly pinching ourselves with the calibre of authors we have now. Each new author, now including Olly, adds to the depth of the growing Hobeck ‘style’. For that, we thank them all. Welcome, Olly!
Olly Jarvis is a thriller writer. His novels draw on his experiences as a practising criminal defence barrister. His first book, Death By Dangerous was longlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger in 2016. He subsequently wrote Cut-Throat Defence and Unconvicted, a two book series, published by Canelo.
He wrote and presented a documentary short on location in Sumatra for Radio 4 about tribal law, and a crime drama, Judgement, exploring a barrister’s thought processes when defending in a rape trial.
He is also the founder and presenter on thecrimehub.com. Launched in 2019, the site is about all things crime – both fact and fiction. He hosts interview podcasts with crime writers and people who work in the criminal justice system. He also produces solo voice monologues with leading writers and actors.