This book has been a long time in the making but it’s finally on pre-order.
So I usually write psychological thrillers, right? Well, at the beginning of lockdown I decided to write a book I have always wanted to write. Something a bit more joyful, but edged with working class reality and shot through with music from the late 70s punk era. And featuring women old enough remember buying jeans in the underground market in Manchester and the birdcage at the Cat’s Whiskers.
Here it is. Teenage Kicks. It’s my love letter to my beloved Manchester, the city I dreamed about every night when I lived in a paradise holiday haven for years (particularly the Arndale). Out 8th March on International Women’s Day to honour the strong women who as they get older become invisible yet stronger. You can pre-order it now.
Set in the Northern Quarter of Manchester around the iconic Castle pub, Teenage Kicks spans the Manchester punk scene in 1978 to today as Kaye Macey and her friend Janet search for Kaye’s lead-singer sister, Stella, but find much, much more.
Kaye and Janet have seen it all. They’ve partied with the best of them and fallen in and out of love with unsuitable men. But one thing is missing. Stella. Kaye’s sister left in the late seventies, and their mother, Imelda, forbade Kaye to look for her. But now Imelda has gone.
The women search across the city for each member of the punk band Stella sang with. They toast dead pop stars, travel in a camper van called Mavis channeling Debby Harry and Kate Bush, and search for lasting love. But both of them know this could be their Last Hurrah and want to go out with a bang. Will they find Stella? Will they find love? Will they find out who was really at the Sex Pistols gig at the Manchester Free Trade Hall in 1976?
Teenage Kicks is Jax Ward’s love letter to Manchester.
I really hope you love this book. I loved writing it, although some of it was bittersweet when my mum was dying, then through lockdown. But, in the end, Janet and Kaye will have their day – thanks to Spellbound Books for publishing Teenage Kicks and bringing them to life.