Rohan grew up in South London, spent a couple of years in L.A. and then a decade in New York, where he ran around excitably, saying a few well-chosen words in a handful of feature films and TV shows (see here), modelling in a few places and drinking deep in many more places. He’s now living back in East London, as an Imagination Thief. He aims to push imagination and language towards their extremes, in order to explore and illuminate the beauty, horror and mirth of this predicament called life, where we seem to have been dropped without sufficient consultation ahead of time.
Rohan’s novel The Imagination Thief was published by EC1 Digital and the Firsty Group in 2013, as an ebook that includes film and audio and photographic content in conjunction with the novel’s text. It was then published by EC1 Digital as a paperback in 2014. See here for interviews and some nice reviews in The Guardian and elsewhere.
Four novellas by Rohan, entitled The Platinum Raven, The Host in the Attic, Apricot Eyes and Hallucination in Hong Kong, were published by EC1 Digital in 2014, as four separate ebooks and also collected into one paperback entitled The Platinum Raven and other novellas. See here for reviews and interviews relating to these novellas.
All five are literary fiction, with elements of magical realism and a dusting of horror.
Links to the major retailers, for purchase of The Imagination Thief and the four novellas in ebook and paperback formats, are on his website. Further tales are in the pipeline.
Rohan's Ascribe titles are:
The Imagination Thief
4.8 stars on Amazon
4.4 stars on Goodreads
"One of those genre-defying blends of literary fiction and other genres – in this case fantasy / thriller... Quine... blends form and content superbly... This offers the perfect blend of immersion and voyeurism”
Dan Holloway writing in The Guardian
"It feels like something that will win major awards... I look forward to gritting my teeth and applauding loudly at next year's Booker.”
Meg Davis, Ki Agency
The Imagination Thief is about a web of secrets, triggered by the stealing and copying of people’s imaginations and memories. It’s about the magic that can be conjured up by images of people, in imagination or on film; the split between beauty and happiness in the world; and the allure of various kinds of power. It celebrates some of the most extreme possibilities of human imagination, personality and language, exploring the darkest and brightest flavours of beauty living in our minds.
Alone in his skyscraper office one night, Jaymi undergoes a transformation that will change his life: he acquires the power to see into others’ minds, and then to control and project their thoughts.
Realising the power of this gift, he hypnotises a media mogul into agreeing to broadcast an electrifying extravaganza of sound and vision emanating from Jaymi, the like of which has never been witnessed before, that will captivate millions. However, one of the mogul’s underlings has more subversive plans for milking Jaymi’s talent, involving the theft of others’ imaginations and intimate memories for commercial gain.
The broadcasting of his visions plunges Jaymi and his best friend Alaia on a journey into the underbelly of Asbury Park – a seaside town once full of life but now half-forgotten. The town’s entire oceanfront is now almost a ghost town: ruled by gangsters and drug dealers, headed by Lucan, it is populated by lost souls and the beautiful who have fallen on hard times. Blackmailed into thieving the most private and primal memories and experiences from these people’s imaginations, Jaymi discovers a web of secrets and provocations simmering beneath the surface of the town, about to explode.
When a waxwork of Lucan’s decapitated head is anonymously planted in his own bar, fear bubbles up, as everyone becomes a suspect in this unforgivable challenge to Lucan’s dominance. Then when another provocative waxwork appears – a naked full-body modelling of Lucan’s beautiful but tortured lover, Angel – Jaymi knows he must use his own gift to discover the perpetrator before Lucan does.
Delving into and celebrating the most beautiful and extreme possibilities of human imagination, personality and love, The Imagination Thief is mainstream literary fiction, with elements of magical realism and a dusting of horror. It explores the universal human predicaments of power, beauty, happiness, hopelessness, good and evil.
The Platinum Raven and other novellas
5 stars on Amazon
5 stars on Goodreads
“Rohan Quine is one of the most brilliant and original writers around... he is the consummate master of sentencecraft. His prose is a warming sea on which to float and luxuriate. But that is only half of the picture. He has a remarkable insight into the human psyche, and he demonstrates it by lacquering layer on layer of subtle observation and nuance. Allow yourself to slip from the slick surface of the water and you will soon find yourself tangled in a very deep and disturbing world, but the dangers that lurk beneath the surface are so enticing, so intoxicating it is impossible to resist their call.”
“I have been reading Hallucinations with great pleasure... [Rohan Quine is] indeed a star.”
"Quite an extraordinary work, distinguished both by its originality and the strength of its voice."
Anne Hawkins, John Hawkins and Associates literary agency, writing about the U.S. paperback release of these novellas, Hallucinations"
The Platinum Raven is a triple convulsion whereby our heroine Raven escalates herself into the Chocolate Raven and then the Platinum Raven, from London to Dubai to the tower in the hills in the desert – then back down again, forever changed. The daydreams of the downtrodden Raven propel her into a fantasy life as a more glamorous version of herself: a party girl living in the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. This latter’s imagination then spawns a yet more empowered and intense version of herself, as empress of a sequence of events whose fusion of extraordinary beauty, violence and sensuality is bewitching…
The Host in the Attic constitutes a hologram of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, digitised and reframed in cinematic style, set in London’s Docklands in a few years’ time. High-flyer Jaymi discovers a secret novel online called The Imagination Thief, written by a woman named Alaia; and they meet and fall in love. In his attic he hides the prototype of a new worldwide Web-browsing hologram, for whose appearance he was the model. While this hologram deteriorates into ever more terrifying corruption, Jaymi’s appearance remains forever sweet and youthful, despite his escalating evil … until the inevitable reckoning unfolds.
In Apricot Eyes, a cat-and-mouse pursuit through the New York City night involves a preacher, a psychic and a dominatrix, broadcast live on air – until a horror is unearthed, bringing two of them together and the third to a sticky end. Beneath a waterfront waste ground in the Bronx, a monstrous population is being fattened up, by the preacher, for malign purposes. Jaymi and Scorpio are on his tracks, however, in a blast of fun that trumpets boldness over caution, tolerance over bigotry and voltage over comfort, celebrating the mystery and dangers furled just behind the surface of the everyday.
In Hallucination in Hong Kong, sliding from joy to nightmare and back, a plane-flight frames a journey into Jaymi’s and Angel’s polarised identities and perceptions, where past and present merge in an obsessive fantasy of love, death, horror and apocalyptic beauty. At take-off, warmed by the presence of his friend Angel beside him, Jaymi starts to doze, and enters a fog of horror in seeming to remember that their destination lies in their past, not ahead … forcing him to explore those hellish possible events lying beneath the surface of our present and future, always ready to break through into reality.