Short, Sharp Interview: R P Lester

RP Lester

PDB: What’s going on now?

Making progress on a second novel and wrapping up a story for an anthology due out after New Year’s. It’ll include stories from Craig T. McNeely, Greg Barth, Warren Moore, Bill Baber, and myself. Execution of the project will take place under the sobriquet Snake-Face Hitler and the British Schoolgirls. Yeah, it’s all rooted in the teachings of the Lord.

PDB: How did you research this book?

Life. Innis E. Coxman is my beloved alter-ego. While I bill the book as a work of fiction, some of the stories are rooted in an event somewhere in my history or that of a past associate. Others happened exactly as written. Research was an amalgam of creativity, memories, and grain alcohol.

PDB: Which of your publications are you most proud of?

The one that’s published.

PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme?

Can’t nail one down. Impossible to do. I’ll just say that I’ve always loved books, films, and music that lean toward the darker side of our world; art that caters to the masses has never held an attraction for me. Per television? That has become an abysmal medium. I don’t watch it. I couldn’t offer a fair assessment except to say it fuckin’ blows.

rp lester 2PDB: Is location important to your writing?

At the risk of sounding like a pretentious douche, yes, I do feel that location has a profound effect on the end result. Save for some preferred music in the background, a quiet environment is crucial to one’s creativity, at least to mine.

PDB: How often do you check your Amazon rankings?

Precious damn little. I don’t, actually. I quit when I discovered that How to Talk to Your Cat About Gun Safety is an actual book on this planet and that its sales are probably higher than mine. (Don’t believe me? Look it up. I swear to God it exists.)

PDB: What’s next?

Reading, writing, repeat. I’m trying to build a brand here. My someday-move to The Netherlands isn’t going to pay for itself …

Bio: Born in Louisiana. Raised in Louisiana. Proud to say I’ve left Louisiana. Went through a lot of strife and cocaine and now I’m better. They say. It doesn’t matter. Please buy my shit. Namaste.

Short, Sharp Interview: Jake Needham

jake 3d

PDB: What’s going on now?

I just published THE DEAD AMERICAN, the third title in my Inspector Tay series, so a lot of my time right now is going into marketing rather than into writing another book. That’s not what I really want to do with my life, but there you are. It’s the price we writers pay these days for the privilege of being part of this brave new world of publishing…

PDB: How did you research this book?

I didn’t have to. Inspector Tay is a CID cop in Singapore and I’ve lived and worked in Singapore and hung out with cops and intelligence officers there since way back in the early eighties. I know the place already about as well as any white guy can.

PDB: Which of your publications are you most proud of?

Oh, man, there’s no way you’re going to get me to answer that one. Both my Inspector Tay series and my Jack Shepherd series have passionate fans, and I’m not about to piss any of them off by picking a book from the other series. How about me just saying something like this: ‘Whichever one my wife is most proud of…’

PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme?

I stopped writing screenplays when I realized I really didn’t like movies very much; I never listen to anything except classical music and opera; and I only watch news and sports on television.

I do read books, of course. A whole lot of books, both fiction and nonfiction. My favourite is generally the one I’m just about to start.

PDB: Is location important to your writing?

All of my crime novels are set in contemporary Asian cities – places like Bangkok, Singapore, and Hong Kong – and I always strive to make those cities real to readers. I want them to become characters in my books.

The Singapore Straits Times wrote in a review a few years ago that, “Jake Needham is Asia’s most stylish and atmospheric writer of crime fiction.” The Bangkok Post wrote in another review, “In his power to bring the street-level flavor of contemporary Asian cities to life, Jake Needham is Michael Connelly with steamed rice.”

Every writer wants reviewers to like his books, of course, but I’m always particularly proud when reviewers say my settings feel real to them. If major Asian newspapers think my books get their cities right, I figure I’m doing okay.

PDB: How often do you check your Amazon rankings?

Almost never. If I’m doing some kind of promotion on Amazon, I may glance at the rankings to see how the promotion is going, but other than that…well, never. Seriously.

PDB: What’s next?

I’m working on a stand-alone novel called DEVIL MAKES THREE that will be out in summer 2015. This is the first book I’ve written in nearly fifteen years that’s not part of either the Inspector Tay series or the Jack Shepherd series so I’m really enjoying it. I’m proud that both of my two series have built up pretty significant fan bases over the years, but keeping two series going at the same time is hard work. Suddenly doing this stand-alone I almost feel like I’m on holiday.

jakeBio: JAKE NEEDHAM is an American screen and television writer who began writing crime novels when he realized he didn’t really like movies and television very much. Mr. Needham has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand for over twenty-five years. He is a lawyer by education and has held a number of significant positions in both the public and private sectors where he took part in a lengthy list of international operations he has absolutely no intention of telling you about. He, his wife, and their two sons now divide their time between homes in Thailand and the United States.

You can learn more about Jake Needham at his official website: JakeNeedham.com.

A Couple Of Great Reviews For Guns Of Brixton

gobCRIME FICTION LOVER says :

‘populated by a rogue’s gallery of scoundrels and swindlers with names like Half-Pint Harry and Anarchy Al, and their dirty deeds are done dirt cheap. The musical name dropping proves infectious thanks to the skill of the author, and the book is big fun to read.’

DETECTIVES BEYOND BORDERS says :

‘a comic romp, a kind of high-spirited musical without music, albeit one full of violence, the threat thereof,  and all sorts of unpleasant bodily effluvia, whether the result of gun blasts or not.’

Guns Of Brixton (published in by Caffeine Nights Publishing) is out NOW as a paperback and as an eBook.  You can get it from from loads of places including Barnes & Noble, Caffeine Nights PublishingWHSMITH, Waterstones,Foyles Amazon and Amazon UK. 

Recommended Read: The Big Ugly by Jake Hinkson

the big uglyThe Big Ugly by Jake Hinkson tells the story of an ex-con fresh out of the slammer and is like a master class in 21st century hardboiled crime fiction. Classic  and fresh at the same time. Great stuff.

Here’s the blurb: ‘Ellie Bennett is an ex-corrections officer who has just served a year inside Eastgate Penitentiary for assaulting a prisoner. She’s only been out for a day when she accepts a strange job offer from the head of a Christian political advocacy group. He wants her to track down a missing ex-con named Alexis. Although no one knows where Alexis has gone, it seems like everyone in Arkansas is looking for her—from a rich televangelist running for Congress to the governor’s dirty tricks man. When Bennett finds the troubled young woman, she has to decide whether to hand her over to the highest bidder or help her escape from the most powerful men in the state.’

Short, Sharp Interview: T. Maxim Simmler

gritfictionPDB: What’s going on now?

TMS: I’m giving a story for Near To The Knuckle’s ROGUE anthology a polish, and then I have three weeks to finish “Noon at Midnight”, a short crime novella supposed to be out in February.

PDB: How did you research this book?

TMS: “Noon at Midnight” is loosely based on Thomas Middleton’s “Revenger’s Tragedy”. So I reread the play twice, watched the adaptation with Christopher Eccleston and some articles on the piece. Then I binned all notes and started writing.

PDB: Which of your publications are you most proud of?

TMS: Noon will be the first longer piece. If I had to select one of my short stories, it’s a tie between “Suicide Chump” in Thuglit #12 and “Darker with the Day” in James Ward Kirk’s “Bones III”.

PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme?

TMS: Film is easy. My Top Ten may be in constant change, but at the top of it has always been The Wild Bunch. Book? That’s a mean question. I’ll go with the novel I’ve read every year since I discovered it at fourteen – Elias Canetti’s “Auto da Fe”. I’ll choose “Der Leiermann”, the last song from Schubert’s Winterreise, as song. A nice, utterly depressing song about the futility of art at the end of a song cycle about a guy who sets out to wander through the country in winter till he dies. TV’s easy, too. I’m a hardcore Doctor Who addict since childhood. Stuck with it through the worst times (Colin fucking Baker), while I quit other shows after two bad episodes.

PDB: Is location important to your writing?

TMS: Nope. It’s all a rather heightened affair – the dialogue, the emotions, the violence. I’m trying to take the grand, operatic themes, like loyalty and betrayal, love and revenge, and let them play out between third rate criminals, or happen to your next door losers. Realism is not what I’m after, and I might just as well cast fairies and werewolves. So everything takes place in unnamed northern towns in an alternate reality. Also: I pretty much suck at location writing, and if I cannot avoid it, I labour for hours over a couple of sentences.

PDB: How often do you check your Amazon rankings?

TMS: Right now everything’s in anthologies, magazines and e-zines. I hope I can avoid checking the rankings by telling me I’d rather have 100 readers who are really into the noirish crime stuff, than 10000 readers and 70% of them complaining about the number of “fucks”. Being pretty good at lying to myself, this might work out.

roguePDB: What’s next?

TMS: A horror novella, The Shakes, hopefully out in spring, and then a spaghetti western. The project I’m most excited about, however, is called WARD 12, an on-going anthology I’ll be co-editing. It’s Masters Of Horror for crime, noir and crime-noir-horror-tinted novelettes, with a fresh story by some of the best folks writing in the field, out every month as an e-book, and collected in a big, shiny tome after a year. If it’s a bit of a success, I’ll hand the keys to the building over after that, and it’ll move to the female ward. Or maybe an aeroplane toilet drops on my head.

Bio: T. Maxim Simmler writes crime, horror and assorted weird stuff. Say hello on the most swear word riddled page in the history of social media: https://www.facebook.com/TMaximSimmler

Short, Sharp Interview: Tom Pitts

hustle_tom_pitts (1)PDB: Can you pitch your latest book in 25 words or less?

HUSTLE: Two drug-addicted gay hustlers scheme to extort an elderly client, but the old man turns out to be a criminal defense attorney who is already being blackmailed by someone much more sinister. How’s that?

PDB: Which music, books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?

Still riding high off my Benjamin Whitmer bender. I read Cry Father and Pike back to back and it left me wishing there was at least one more. I hear he’s working hard at granting my wish (at least that’s the way I like to look at it. Get crackin’, Benjamin!)

Television is tough for me, between work and writing, it’s tough to fit much in. Sad to see Boardwalk go, though. I loved that show.

PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?

You have to be. If you can’t let go and live in the magic of being swept up by a story, how are you going to create that magic yourself? When I was asked this question before, I said it’d be like saying a musician can’t be a fan of music. To love what you do, writing, you have to be a fan of reading, and that takes a certain level of objectivity to reach the willing suspension of disbelief we all crave.

PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?

Of course, who wouldn’t? That’s where the big money is at. And the fame. Just about any author who’s considered a household name has had a movie adapted from their work. It’s the sad truth of the writing game. Even famous names like Bukowski, when someone says, who’s that? I say, you know that movie Barfly? And they say, Oh, that guy. When Trouble in the Heartland came out I bragged to folks it included a story by Dennis Lehane. Who? You know, Mystic River? Oh, that guy. The reality, though, is screenwriting is also the same trough everyone else is trying to feed. And I mean everybody. Walk down the street in Hollywood and ask a random person if you can read his screenplay. Dollars to doughnuts he’ll run to his car and fetch you a copy. It’s like a million hobos all chasing the same nickel. And the reality of switching, form-wise, is tough. It’s a much more rigid set of rules than one experiences in fiction. The fonts, the spacing, the attributed dialogue and sparse directions. Cramming all that stuff into 120 pages—making sure the car chase happens here (What? No car chase? Sorry, you’ll have to work one in. Stick it right after the love scene you had no intention of adding.)

PDB: How much research goes into each book?

It depends. The honest answer is probably not enough. If I’m writing from the perspective of the street thug, not much at all. I’ve already spent a decade doing gonzo research on that! But regarding police procedure and legal proceedings, quite a bit more. Luckily, I have a lawyer and an ex-cop in the family to make that a little easier. Mostly it’s the little things, the make of the car, the type of gun, the overpriced binoculars someone is using. That kind of stuff can be sourced from Google, but it’s important to get the details right, because, if they’re on, maybe no one notices, but if there off, it’s a sour note for all to hear. It’s like the backbeat being out of syncopation in a song.

PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?

As a small press guy, it’s invaluable. For a small press author—and most of the big presses too—the onus of promotion is on the writer. That means you must have a social media presence. And any agent will tell you it’s something that presses will look at when they consider signing new talent. That said, I think the golden age of Facebook is passing. I can tell by the number of hits to the Flash Fiction Offensive (we advertise primarily on FB) and I’ve spoken to other online magazine editors who feel the same way. It’s not over, but I think perhaps it’s jumped the shark. The trick with the juggernaut of social media is to adapt and evolve with it. It’s changing and will continue to change. Although I may not be on the edge of change, there’s a lot to be said for a willingness to move with the times.

Tom Pitts Noir@theBar (2)PDB: What’s on the cards for 2015?

I’ve got a novella called Knuckleball that’s been picked up by One Eye Press, it’ll be out on March 24th 2015, I believe. I’m looking forward to seeing it come out. It was the first novella I’d written and it’s definitely different from the other work I have out there. It’s about a Hispanic boy in San Francisco’s Mission District that uses baseball as an escape from the abuse he suffers. When he witnesses the murder of a beloved police officer, his life changes forever.

Gutter Books will also be pushing ahead with some more releases, stay tuned to find out more about that. And of course, The Flash Fiction Offensive is still putting out the best in flash, twice a week.

Bio: Tom Pitts received his education on the streets of San Francisco. He remains there, working, writing, and trying to survive. His novel, HUSTLE, and his novella, Piggyback, are available from Snubnose Press. He is also acquisitions editor at Gutter Books and co-editor at the Out of the Gutter’s Flash Fiction Offensive. Find links to more of his work at: TomPittsAuthor.com

Short, Sharp Interview: Aidan Thorn

gritfictionPDB: What’s going on now?

Now? Now I’ve just signed a contract with GritFiction Ltd (Better known to most of you as Darren Sant and Craig Douglas the brains behind Near to the Knuckle) to publish my second short story collection, Urban Decay. And, I could not be happier about it! We’ve been discussing it for about a week and it’s been really hard keeping it under wraps but now the news is out I want to shout it from the rooftops. I’ll be the first author, other than the men themselves, have anything published by this new venture and so it’s a great honour (and a little bit daunting) that they picked me. And, when I say they picked me they really did… I always send my work to Darren when, he’s a safe pair of eyes and a writer I have so much time for so it’s good to get his opinion on what I’m doing. I sent him Urban Decay for the once over, it went quiet for a while and then out of the blue he emailed me asking if I’d be interested in being their first author – an absolute honour for me. Near to the Knuckle is an important mag for me, it’s been so supportive so being part of this now means the world to me – I don’t want to go on here about it, but I’ll certainly be saying more about it on my site over the coming days.

PDB: How did you research this book?

This book is a collection of short stories, I’ve written a number this year, but I wanted to theme his so have only included stories that I think talk to the title, Urban Decay. I’m not sure researching is the right word for what I do when I write a short, it tends to be that I’m inspired by something or hit by an idea and I have to start writing. That said, I rarely know everything about the subjects I’m writing and so my internet search history over the past year includes, luxury watchmakers (I’m sure Daz and Craig will be buying me one as part of my signing on fee!), boxing glove weights, work related stress symptoms etc…

roguePDB: Which of your publications are you most proud of?

I’ll be most proud of this one when it’s out!

But before that it has to be my story in Gloves Off the first Near to the Knuckle Anthology. I was the first person to have a story confirmed for that particular collection and it’s a great collection of truly talented people, having my name on that list of talent really made me feel like I’d achieved something when I saw the line up.

PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme?

Film – Tough one and it changes regularly with my mood. I love a super-hero movie, Superman is a favourite, I love a good crime story, obviously, and so I’m a big fan of the likes of Goodfellas, Casino, Carlito’s Way,  Get Carter etc… But if I really think about it I think I’d have to say Rocky. I know that the sequels have sort of blackened the name (although I actually really enjoy them) but it’s a great film, well written, there’s grit there’s love and it’s not afraid to give you an ending you weren’t expecting (Spoiler alert for anyone who’s been under a stone for 40 years) because Rocky loses.

Book – The Big Blowdown by George Pelecanos. The greatest writer living today, Pelecanos writes big stories about little lives and this book is a bit of an epic by his standards, just brilliant

Song – Again, difficult to pick just one but let’s go with People Get Ready by Curtis Mayfield… Just too cool.

TV – Dexter, The Sopranos, Ray Donovan, Entourage, Californication are all up there but at the moment I can’t look further than Peaky Blinders, now that’s Brit Grit

PDB: Is location important to your writing?

As a rule, no. I write short stories I don’t have the words to tell you about the locations. I have a little rule (that I occasionally break) unless someone’s head is about to get smashed into a wall or a table I don’t need a description of the wall or the table. That said, I do occasionally use location as a character in a book. I’m writing something at the moment that’s set in Las Vegas and part of setting it in Vegas is because the character of Las Vegas is important to the story.

PDB: How often do you check your Amazon rankings?

Daily, on the hour, every hour for the rest of my life…

PDB: What’s next?

I’ve got to finish off Urban Decay, or I’ll have Darren and Craig on my back and you don’t want to tussle with them, I’ve read their stuff they scare me! I also have a story I’m working on for another project that I’m really excited to be have been asked to be a part of. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say too much about it, but all I will say is that I’m excited by the names being linked with it and hope I can write something that is up to muster

Bio: Aidan Thorn is from Southampton, England, home of the Spitfire and Matthew Le Tissier but sadly more famous for Craig David and being the place the Titanic left from before sinking. Aidan would like to put Southampton on the map for something more than bad R ‘n’ B and sinking ships. His short fiction has appeared in the Byker Books Radgepacket series, the Near to the Knuckle Anthology: Gloves Off,  Exiles: An Outsider Anthology, The Big Adios Western Digest and Shadows & Light as well as online at Thrillers, Killers ‘n’ Chillers, Thrills, Kills and Chaos, Near to the Knuckle, Pulp Metal Magazine, Shotgun Honey and Spelk Fiction. His first short story collection, Criminal Thoughts is available on Amazon now and his second collection will be published by GritFiction in 2015

http://aidanthornwriter.weebly.com

The Origin Of Guns Of Brixton

GOB paperbackMy latest Brit Grit Alley column over at Out Of The Gutter online is all about how I came to write Guns Of Brixton.

‘Well,you know what they say: ‘When a one armed man chops down a tree in the forest, a butterfly claps’. No, really. The thing is, everything is connected, it really is. And Kevin Bacon is only six friends away from you, even though he isn’t on Facebook.

Anyway, it was a while back. I’d been writing flash fiction for about a year and I had this vague notion of writing something with interconnecting stories. One city. One night. You know the score.

I really liked this idea and I thought – even though everyone told me it was dead hard to do – that I’d give it a go.’

Read the rest here.

My comic crime caper Guns Of Brixton (published in by Caffeine Nights Publishing) is out NOW as a paperback and as an eBook.  You can get it from from loads of places including Barnes & Noble, Caffeine Nights PublishingWHSMITH, Waterstones, Foyles Amazon and Amazon UK. 

Recommended Read: Down Among The Dead by Steve Finbow

steve finbowDown Among The Dead by Steve Finbow is the brilliantly breathless, brutal and lyrical story of a retired IRA gunman facing up to his past. Published by the splendid Number Thirteen Press. 

Here’s the blurb:  Some lies we live. Some truths we allow to die. 

London, 2008. An old man, Michael, sees out his final days sustained by Guinness and talk of the old country. But some memories won’t go quietly to the grave. Some mistakes are not erased by time. And no matter how hard he tries to forget, there’s always someone trying to dig up the skeletons of the past.

Belfast, 1988. The height of the Troubles. Michael is a bagman, a messenger, a go-between, called on to perform one last little job for the IRA. After that, perhaps he can start to patch his life back together. After that, perhaps he can build a future for himself and his family.

Just one last job…

Down Among the Dead is a story of trouble and the Troubles, and a violent collision of past and present in the life of one man.

Short, Sharp Interview: J D Phillips

jd phillipsPDB: What’s going on now?

My latest novel From Ashes just came out a couple weeks ago through WTF Books. It’s easily the darkest scariest thing I’ve done to date.

PDB: How did you research this book?

I have a psych degree and work in mental health so I see and read
about the best and worst in people everyday. The story came about
because I binged on shows like Wicked Attractions and Deadly Women plus shows featuring survivor stories. I guess I researched before I even knew I had a story to tell.

PDB: Which of your publications are you most proud of?

I’m proud of each of them for different reasons. Tainted broke down a
lot of barriers and gave me confidence to keep publishing. I feel like
From Ashes took me and my writing to another level though so I’m also
proud of that. I finished it in three weeks because taking a break
made me anxious.

PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme?

I don’t have just one. Everything depends on the novel I’m working on
at the time. I make book soundtracks and watch shows that in some way
keep me in the right frame of mind. For this one it was the shows I
listed above. I listened to a lot of Mogwai and Dir En Grey otherwise.

My favorite books never change. It’ll always be The Picture of Dorian
Grey by Oscar Wilde with Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House
close behind.

PDB: Is location important to your writing?

Not really. I rarely name specific locations in my stories and I can
write pretty much anywhere if a story is talking to me. I still do
first drafts by hand so it’s easy to keep them with me.

PDB: How often do you check your Amazon rankings?

Never. I will check to see if reviews are posted because I like to
know if my work hit its mark with readers but I don’t look at the
rank.

PDB: What’s next?

I don’t have anything else confirmed for publishing just yet but there
is a follow up to From Ashes I plan to have released.

Bio:JD Phillips was first published in the IUPUC literary magazine
Literalines. She started her publishing career by self publishing. Her
novel Tainted placed 1st Runner Up in the Best Fiction Books of
Indiana awards while The Dead Pool scored an honorable mention at the
New York book festival.

Her novella In the Calm was picked up by Angelic Knight press last
year and Tainted was updated and published through WTF Books in early
2014. From Ashes, also through WTF Books, is currently out now.

JD resides in the Midwest where her time is spent scaring people and
caring for her furry children.

For more info: www.jdphillipsauthor.net

Recommended Reads: Revenge Is A Redhead by Phil Beloin Jnr / Of Blondes And Bullets by Micheal Young

revenge is a redhead.Here are two cracking slices of modern pulp fiction from two up-and-coming new pulp publishers.

Phil Beloin Jnr’s Revenge Is A Redhead is a classic slice of low-life noir. The blackly comic tale of a loser whose life spirals out of control. Published by All Due Respect.

Micheal Young’s Of Blonde’s And Bullets is the story of a man in the wrong place at the wrong time . Hard-hitting hardboiled crime fiction. An absolute belter. Published by Number Thirteen Press.

Here are the blurbs:

Revenge Is  A Redhead. Rich Brown is out of cash and luck when he finds stripper Cherry Pop. Like so many before him, Rich falls for the redhead, but all he can afford is a quick peep show.

But soon Rich has bigger problems than lack of love and money when he stumbles into a homeless shelter that’s really a front for a bunch of shady dealings. He crosses paths with Cherry Pop again, and to survive the night, the duo have claw their way out of all kinds of mayhem.

OfBlondesandBulletsSmallOf Blondes And Bullets. No good deed goes unpunished!

Sometimes you don’t think, you don’t plan, you only act. When he pulled the blonde from the icy waters, Henry wasn’t thinking about what would happen next. But when she disappears again he’s going to have a hard time explaining the truth to the men who want to find her. And if he is to protect his family, it’s time for Henry to make some hard choices.

Love, or life?
Fight, or flee?
Blondes, or bullets?

With a touch of David Goodis’s everyman-noir, a dash of Brit Grit, and a whole lot of hardboiled, Of Blondes and Bullets shows just how easy it is for the world you thought you knew to crumble before your eyes.

Trashy, funny, and filled with pure pulp action, Revenge is a Redhead is the ideal to kill time before you die.

Short, Sharp Interview: Alan Jones

blue wkdPDB: What’s going on now?

I’m busy at work and I’m making furniture that’s been promised for a while. And trying to promote ‘Blue Wicked, of course. I’m only writing sporadically at the moment, but will start again in earnest next month.

PDB: How did you research this book?

I re-visited the locations I used in the book with a friend, Ronnie, who’s a resident of Renfrew. I also used my brother-in-law as a sounding post to check out police related facts – he’s a detective, but I’ve been a little flexible with some police procedures. For instance, the numbers of officers involved in a similar investigation in real life would be 3 or 4 times greater but you just can’t write for that many characters. My other brother in law is a defence lawyer, and he checked ou the legal aspects to make sure I didn’t stray to far from reality. Finally, a couple of vets checked that I’d got all the veterinary stuff correct.

PDB: Which of your publications are you most proud of?

It’s natural to feel that your latest work is the best, but I do have a great deal of pride in my first book, The Cabinetmaker, as I had to wrestle more to write it. Once you feel that you can write, it’s much easier to do the second book, and you have the advantage of the feedback from the first one to hone your writing skills

PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme?

I’m indecisive, but I can do top 3’s

Films: Silkwood, The Deer Hunter and Shawshank. Book: Trainspotting (Irvine Welsh) Mila 18 (Leon Uris) Shogun (James Clavell) Song: Teenage kicks (Undertones), To be Someone (The Jam) and Creep (Radiohead). TV program:  Porridge, Only fools and horses, Blackadder

PDB: Is location important to your writing?

Yes, very. I love the scope that Glasgow gives, plus I know it really well. But probably there will be a change of location for the next book, or the one after that.

PDB: How often do you check your Amazon rankings?

I don’t. It’s too depressing.

PDB: What’s next?

I’m working on two books, but I’ll have to decide shortly which one to go with first as it’s doing my head in. Back to that old indecisive thing….

Bio:I’m 53 for a little while more, I have some grown up children and I live in a coastal town in southwest Scotland. I make furniture in my free time, amongst other things, and I write under a pen name to be anonymous, at least for the moment. I wish I’d started writing sooner, but it took a long time for me to believe that I could write.