No one said writing a novel was easy, far less typesetting it, The original format of Dcadmcru was
. . . . . . . . . . serialised and marketed in a way that would designing it, marketing It, publishing It and selling It on the street appeal .0 a new generation 0,» readers _
all by yourself. But that's exactly what author Q did with his first particularly clubbers. a market which was
book Deadmeat. Wordszﬁm Byers largely ignored at the time. Chapters were
sides . like a record, the first part came With a
black cover. the second with a white cover. the
third on a tape and the fourth on video. because
THE STORY BEHIND Dear/meat. detailing Q sensed that clubbers would rather watch or the lengths to which its author Q went to listen to something than read after a night out.
get it published. is a classic ln order to sell the finished copies. Q
contemporary tale of a young repainted his car. transforming it into a moving
person whose life path has billboard. and took to the street. selling his
been dramatically books to anyone who would listen. He also
altered by the wider- started to do readings of his work in clubs.
reaching social ‘1 said to myself. “I‘m not gonna go to the implications of club publishers. I’m not gonna go to the culture. bookshops. I‘m gonna go to the clubs”.‘ he
The first draft of explains. ‘Because that‘s where the kids are the novel was laid and that‘s where people are who identify with down by Q — who what I‘m saying. Also. just like a white label refuses to give either record. if it‘s gonna work. it's gonna work in his age or his real name the nightclubs. Then it‘s gonna be picked up. — in l99l. Its content. ‘The beauty of it was record company style (the text is psychology,‘ he continues. ‘Go back to how hip interspersed with song hop came about and how house came about. lyrics). characters. Before all that. the music industry said if you setting (inner—city want to be in the business. you have to be in a London) and language rock band. But then sampling came along and (a mixture of London people could make their own music. The same slang. poetry. rap terms thing happened when desktop publishing came and Jamaican patois) along. You could get a package. write a book were unprecedented. The yourself. lay it out yourself. use Quark XPress. inspiration was clearly drawn take the disc to a printer. print. do all the design from street level rather than yourself. then take it out and sell it yourself. . . from any pretentious literary that‘s what I did.‘ aspirations. The book's dominant Q reckons. by pushing his work around the flavour was one of youthful clubs back in the early 90s. he set the template rebellion. due in part to the for how to market books like records. and that prevailing spirit of acid house publishers have only now caught onto his and the consequential club idea. ‘When I started doing this. there weren‘t culture it spawned. no books around targeted at young people. nothing that they could identify with. Everything was Jeffrey Archer. Ruth Rendell and all that. There was nothing. There was no black book section in W. H. Smith‘s. Now you go to a bookshop and there‘s tonnes of it. all targeted at young people.‘
Six years on from those first issues of Deadmcar. Q has written what he refers to as a ‘remixed‘. one-volume version of the book which has been picked up and officially published. ‘ln many respects I‘m not meant
to be here now.‘ he says. ‘lf things had gone according to the way history usually goes. you pioneer an idea. people rip you off. then they make out that it‘s their idea. Then you‘re dead and gone. if you're not strong enough. You‘re not meant to come back. you‘re deadmeat.‘
; Deadmeat by Q is out now, published by Sceptre, priced £6.
2—15May 1997 mausrs