There’s less than a week to go until we publish Khurrum Rahman’s explosive new prequel to the Jay Qasim series as part of the Reading Agency’s Quick Reads initiative! If you haven’t entered the world of Jay Qasim just yet, check out Khurrum’s list of influences below.
Films, books and music that influenced the Jay Qasim series:
Beverley Hills Cops
“Do you wanna hear my side of the story?”
I’ve always been attracted to heroes that don’t look particularly heroic. How many times have we seen a square jawed hero walk into a bar and take on a group of bad guys and then leave, unscathed, with the beautiful girl? Not our Jay, and not Beverley Hills Cops, Axel Foley. On the surface they don’t look solid, trustworthy. You couldn’t depend on them to carry out a menial chore, such as taking out the bins on a Tuesday, let alone step toe-to-to with gangters, thugs and terrorists. But scratch at that surface and there’s something there, something more. A street knowledge that can only be learnt from their environment, and a quick mouth
The Horse With My Name by Colin Bateman
“International man of inaction”
The Horse With My Name is part of a series of books fea-turing Dan Starkey. Hapless, hopeless, clueless, frus-tratingly so, but by far my favourite fictional character. I would go as far to say that Starkey was the spark that ig-nited me to create Jay. In many ways the two characters are worlds apart, but what they each carry is a moral compass that they could do without, one that drags them away from their precious comfort zone and drops them, from a great height, into an unfamiliar territory.
Me Against The World
“Could somebody help me? I’m out here all by myself”
Tupac Shakur was, and twenty-five years after his violent death, remains a captivating subject. It was never quite clear who he really was, the reality and his public persona overlapping often to create a blurred existence. Me Against The World sums up this contradiction perfectly. Poignant lyrics championing his people before taking a breath and undoing his work by spitting venomous lyrics towards the very same people. In many respects Jay is caught up between the armour that he presents to the world; cocky, irreverent, disinterested but under that armour is a desperate need to make a difference.
The Breakfast Club
“I hate having to go along with everything my friends say.”
The Jay Qasim series has often been billed as a Spy Thriller, but I’ve always felt that, at the heart it’s very much a coming of age story. Now, I really shouldn’t be comparing my work to possibly one of the greatest coming of age stories ever told, but The Breakfast Club has had a huge influence on my stories. Much like the students of Shermer High School, Jay finds himself in an environment with people that he would never normally associate with, those that he doesn’t agree with but understands that they share the same struggle and ultimately the same objective but have a very different view on achieving it.
The Motive is available to pre-order now.