Short, Sharp Interview: Kevin Berg

indiference

PDB: Can you pitch Indifference in 25 words or less?

An emotional gut-punch that sweeps through the dark lives of a homeless vet and the people who ignore him every day. GraphicViolent meets SexyFun. 

PDB: Which music, books, films, songs or television shows do you wish you had written?

Audition, both the book by Ryu Murakami and the film directed by Takashi Miike. Great stuff, and that takes care of two with one answer. I don’t watch much television (I guess I am THAT guy), but honestly the stereo and television are usually occupied by a cartoon or a song that has something to do with a damn princess anyway. Some arguments are easier to win when they are avoided, especially with a four-year-old. That comes from experience.

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

Indifference would make one hell of a disturbing indie movie, hopefully banned early on and later downloaded illegally, or streamed online somewhere.

PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

People that push the limits to entertain me, and don’t bore me with the average bullshit. After finding that most good reading these days comes from indie authors, the list continues to grow, and this has already been a great year in reading – Ryan Bracha, Mark Wilson, Jason Michel, Shervin Jamali, Lee Goldground, J. David Osborne, Gabino Iglesias, Robert Cowan, and Brendan Gisby. Different styles, different stories, but all badass. And that’s just in the past couple of months. Still nine to go, and then I can start again. Every day or two is a new book, and another chance to find a new favorite author.

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

Okay, this one took some research. I am not the best with jokes, or even the right times to relay the funny one I just heard, but I was lucky enough to run one through a filter of twelve seasoned authors and three coworkers to determine that it is, in fact, highly inappropriate. And I am pretty sure I am getting some sort of writeup at work now. So here are a couple of good replacements I have borrowed to give you an answer:

For the trendy readers, “I was vegan for a while. I lost 6lb, but most of that was personality.”

For the brainy ones, “Let me tell you a little about myself. It’s a reflexive pronoun that means ‘me’.”

For the bleeding hearts, “What’s black and white and red all over? A racially motivated hate crime, which is not a laughing matter and a sign of the awful times we live in.”

And finally, for the ladies, “What’s the difference between a woman and a fridge? The fridge don’t fart when you take your meat out.”

I do have several more, but I can’t take up all your space with the wit of others. I mean, we are here to talk about me, right?

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

Don’t know if it counts as a favorite, but I have had Dr. Demento’s “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!” stuck in my head since the eighties. Glad it pushed out “Baby Beluga” from Raffi, but a conference call while working from home has forced me to convince my boss that the instrumental version of “Let it Go” is tops. Seriously too many songs to choose only one, but if it is good, I bet it sits idle on the iPod in my car.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

I plan to keep learning and grow as an author. This year I will be working on my second book, planning my third, getting some more shorts published, and improving every step of the way. In a couple of months, I will have a piece in a novel which is definitely one of my favorites so far. My short is called “Pieces Forgotten,” coming up in a collection of stories from myself and twelve excellent authors, all tied together and due for release in May. The Thirteen Lives of Frank Peppercorn. See you there, sir.

kevin bergPDB: Anything else?

Thanks to everyone for the guidance with the joke, and to you Mr. Brazill, thanks for the opportunity.

Bio: Kevin Berg lives at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains with his amazing wife and two kickass daughters. He has published a debut – Indifference – and found a home for some of his shorts out there with Pulp Metal Magazine and Near To The Knuckle. He has some interesting projects coming up with some of the best in the game, so stay tuned. Find him on Goodreads and Facebook, let him know what you think.

Short, Sharp Interview: Paul Heatley

Author photo 3PDB: Can you pitch FATBOY in 25 words or less?

Latino barkeep Joey attempts to regain his family and exact brutal revenge upon the racist businessman that hassles him, all at the same time.

PDB: Which music, books, films, songs or television shows do you wish you had written?

Music-wise, anything by Mark Lanegan or Nick Cave. In terms of wordplay and mastery of language, Saul Williams. Books – The Clown by Heinrich Boll, The Lost Weekend by Charles Jackson, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. For songs, see anything by the above. And the Beach Boys! Love the Beach Boys… Films – The Wrestler, Taxi Driver, Rocky, Sicario, The Nice Guys. Television – The Leftovers, The Wire, Fargo, the first four seasons of Dexter…

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

MW Front CoverI think The Motel Whore could make a decent indie feature. TV-wise, there’s potential in a crime series set in Newcastle featuring characters from An Eye For An Eye, which is a world I’m hoping to expand upon at some point in the future.

PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

James Ellroy, Jim Thompson, Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Zadie Smith, Harry Crews.

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

I’m bad with jokes, I don’t store them. There’s a chef at work always tells the same cheese joke and I can never remember the punch line. Right now I’m struggling to remember the build-up, too… I watch comedians, though – Eddie Izzard, Bill Hicks. The latter’s bit on Jack Palance in Shane has always been a favourite and is worth looking up on YouTube. Pick up the gun…

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

‘The Sound of Silence’ by Simon and Garfunkel.

An Eye For An Eye CoverPDB: What’s on the cards?

Well, I’m keeping busy! I finished a novel at the start of this year which I’ll soon start the edits on, along with two more novellas I wrote shortly after that, and I’m working on a third that I’m hoping to have finished by the end of this month (March). After that there’s a whole slew of new projects I’m looking to plan, write, and edit, and hopefully they’ll see the light of day at some point.

PDB: Anything else?

Fatboy will be available May 1st, published by All Due Respect. In the meantime (or afterward, depending on when you’re reading this), An Eye For An Eye is available for Kindle, published by Near To The Knuckle, and I recently made The Motel Whore & Other Stories, and Guns, Drugs, And Dogs available as paperbacks.

Bio: Paul Heatley’s stories have appeared online and in print for a variety of publications including Thuglit, Crime Syndicate, Spelk, Horror Sleaze Trash, and Shotgun Honey, among others. He is the author of The Motel Whore & Other Stories, An Eye For An Eye, Guns, Drugs, and Dogs, and the forthcoming Fatboy. He lives in the north east of England.

Short, Sharp Interview: Gerald M O’Connor

benjamin-hacketPDB: Can you pitch THE ORIGINS OF BENJAMIN HACKETT in 25 words or less?

GMOC: On discovering the truth of his adoption, 18-year-old Benjamin Hackett hunts down his parents in a country determined to keep them a secret.

PDB: Which music, books, films, songs or television shows do you wish you had written?

GMOC: Music: Anything by American composer Philip Morris Glass, especially from his album Metamorphosis. The melodies and structures are simple and repetitive, and yet the mood it creates is haunting. It takes sheer genius to write such basic scores and still have profound depth to the music. He’s Hemmingway-esque in his minimalism and equally effective.

Books: Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. His novel is the perfect mix of literary and story. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read it. Apparently, it takes the him ten years to write his novels. Time well spent, in my humble opinion. Some say he has the odd opaque moment when the prose strains the eye, but the sheer ingenuity of that book continues to mesmerise me.

Films: Whenever I hear Maximus’ speech to Commodus in the Colosseum, my inner child leaps out and shrieks. If you want an example of the Hero’s Journey done to absolute perfection, then look no further than Gladiator in all its gladius waving glory.

Television: The Killing (Dutch version) Such a multi-layered show. Made me a sucker for Scandinavian Noir from the off. Sofie Gråbøl was imperious. True Detective (Season 1) would be my other must-mention. Those scriptwriters were on fire throughout. Definitely worth another weekend binge.

Songs: The entire back catalogue by the master of cool, David Bowie. His cut-up technique is intriguing to me as a writer. You’d imagine there’d be this strange randomness to his lyrics, yet no matter how awkward his word combinations read, when they gelled with his music their intent was obvious.

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

GMOC: The Origins of Benjamin Hackett. I have been told it has a certain cinematic bent. It has oodles of dialogue and a linear plot, lending itself nicely to a Big Screen production.

PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

GMOC: I imagine Paul D. Brazill and Les Edgerton could hold their own in the rarest of company. Besides these two, George Orwell and Cormac McCarthy possess much of my kindle real estate. I did flirt with Joyce for a while, but I’ve since gotten over it.

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

GMOC: Heard this one today, and as is the way with jokes, it’s now my new found favourite: “Why is it hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs? Because they always take things literally.”

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

GMOC: Ashes-to-Ashes is my favourite ‘stop-shuffle-and-repeat’ song. It’s Bowie in all his pomp and glory.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

GMOC: Today, I’m still in the afterglow of my debut, so I’m busy with promotion and blog tours and my new fascination—split-testing Facebook ads (Odd, I know, but it’s kind of like ethical gambling) Only last week, I added the final touches to my second novel, The Tanist. Now that it’s all buffed and preened, I’ve that pre-release nervousness building once more. By the end of 2017, it should be free to terrorise the world.

 PDB: Anything else?

GMOC: Only to thank the host for having me over. Love what you’ve done with the place, Paul!

gerald o connorBio: I’m a Corkman, reared in the village of Blarney. I studied dentistry in University College Cork and spent 18 years working in the UK. I live in Dublin now, along with my long-term partner, Rosemarie, and our three children. I write character-driven novels of various styles ranging from fantasy to black comedy and contemporary literature. I enjoy sci-fi films, spending time with my family and being anywhere in sight of the sea. My first novel THE ORIGINS OF BENJMAIN HACKETT was released on the 6th of February 2017 by DOWN AND OUT BOOKS. I am currently working on the final draft of my second novel THE TANIST—a Celtic thrill-fest set in the pagan world of 15th century Ireland.

Books: amazon  | Web: geraldmoconnor

I have a Twist Of Noir

I’m up at the all-new A TWIST OF NOIR with a little yarn called THINGS I USED TO LIKE.

‘I used to like playing football when I was a kid. Loved it, I did. I could spend hours kicking a ball around a muddy field or up and down a dirty back street. When I got older, I even played in goal for the local pub’s Sunday league team. But I put on weight because of all the beer and pork pies. I liked that bit too much, and it became hard work. A slog. No fun at all.

That was another thing, too. I used to like spending a few nights a week and the odd afternoon down the pub but heartburn, indigestion and ulcers soon put paid to that. Sitting sipping a mineral water when other folk got pissed wasn’t exactly a barrel of laughs, so I lost interest.  I began to fear I’d lost my capacity for joy, I really did.’

Read the rest here. 

Short, Sharp Interview: Matt Neal

bay of martyrs coverPDB: Can you pitch BAY OF MARTYRS in 25 words or less? 

A sexy, funny thriller set along south-eastern Australia’s Shipwreck Coast. Someone called it the Aussie True Detective. I won’t argue.

PDB: Which music, books, films, songs or television shows do you wish you had written?

The entire oeuvres of XTC and The Beatles, The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, The Muppet Movie and the first 12 or so seasons of The Simpsons.

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

I’ve only written (co-written actually) one book, Bay of Martyrs, so that one. But I have written a screenplay which is a sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit which I am desperate to get made (I’m not even kidding).

 PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

Aside from my co-writer Tony Black, who I am forever indebted to, my two favourite writers are Hunter S Thompson and Terry Pratchett, may they both rest in peace.

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

Donald Trump is President of the United States of America.

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

Today, I think it’s Television’s Marquee Moon. Yesterday it was XTC’s Books Are Burning. Tomorrow it will probably be Ween’s If You Could Save Yourself, You’d Save Us All.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

I’m balls deep on the sequel to Bay of Martyrs, which is currently titled The Cutting -named after another local landmark in my little patch of Australia.

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PDB: Anything else?

Did you know the outro to Hey Jude is longer than the rest of the song?

Bio:  Australian journalist, film reviewer, musician, songwriter, and international author Matt Neal was born and raised in south-west Victoria. He’s been writing for The Warrnambool Standard for 15 years, is a prize-winning songwriter and a film reviewer for Australia’s ABC Radio. His first book Bay Of Martyrs – a crime thriller set in south-west Victoria – has been co-written with Scottish “tartan noir” novelist Tony Black. A sequel is due out in 2018.

Ray Foster Reviews Too Many Crooks

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Too Many Crooks

Over at Amazon.co.uk , ace western writer Ray Foster says:

This is pure, solid Paul D Brazill. With the action switching from London to Warsaw and back it is a dark humoured journey laced with death and double-dealing. An experience.

99p eBooks

I have a fistful of eBooks that you can pick up for a mere 99p at Amazon.co.uk

Too Many Crooks

too-many-crooks
Too Many Crooks

When high-class fence Leslie Hawkins meets Peter Rhatigan in a sleazy London pub, he offers her the chance to get her hands on the Totenkopfring, a legendary piece of World War Two memorabilia. However, after a violent encounter with a member of a biker gang, things soon spiral wildly and dangerously out of control. Meanwhile in Poland, Dr Anna Nowak finds an amnesiac Englishman half-dead in the snow…

Too Many Crooks by Paul D. Brazill is a fast-moving and action-packed cocktail of bodies, bullets and death-black comedy.

A Case Of Noir

In snow smothered Warsaw, Luke Case, a boozy English hack with a dark secret, starts a

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A Case Of Noir

dangerous affair with a gangster’s wife. Case escapes to the sweltering Spanish heat where he meets a colourful cast of characters, including a mysterious torch singer and a former East End villain with a criminal business proposition. While in stormy Toulouse, he encounters a blast from the past that is positively seismic which forces him to return to England and confront his past.

Kill Me Quick!

kill me quick cover
Kill Me Quick

Seatown may not have a lot going for it – apart from the Roy Orbison lookalikes and Super Seventies Special every Thursday night, of course – but it is at least the place Mark Hammonds calls home. And after a decade away, it’s the place he returns to when he has nowhere else to go.

From dead bikers to dodgy drug deals, from one downbeat bar to another, from strippers to gangsters and back again: the luckless former musician bounces from one misdeed to the next along with a litany of old acquaintances, almost as though he never left. And if only he can shake off everybody who wants to kill, maim or otherwise hurt him, maybe he could even think about staying.

13 Shots Of Noir

English writer Paul D Brazill’s 13 Shots Of Noir is a collection of short stories in the vein of13 shots2 Roald Dahl, The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.The first story, “The Tut”, was nominated for a 2010 Spinetingler Award, while the story “Anger Management” was chosen as one of the Predators and Editors top twenty crime stories.

Crime, horror and dark fiction are contained within the pages of 13 Shots Of Noir.

 

 

David Nemeth Reviews A Case Of Noir

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A Case Of Noir

And says:

‘Reading Brazill gave me the same sort of enjoyment I get when reading Jim Thompson, characters filling their desperation with alcohol, fornication, and crime. As with Thompson, Brazill knows that the human condition is weak and is punctuated with violence and/or death.’

Read the rest here.

 

Keep It Simple. Keep It Short.

4 picsI think I’ve always liked singles more than LPs. Preferred the short, sharp burst of a 45 rpm vinyl to 33 and 1/3 rpm of a few decent tunes padded out with fillers. And maybe that’s why I was drawn to flash fiction.

I started off my crime writing ‘career’ – arf – submitting yarns to the late lamented Six Sentences website – short stories in just six sentences. Indeed, my first writing to appear in print was in the 6S volume 2 anthology.

Here’s an example of a 6S yarn:

A Cold Day in Helsinki

The January night had long since waned when Mika blasted Aki’s brains over the snow covered street, producing a more than passable Rorschach test. A murder of crows sliced through the whiteness as the purr of the passing motorcycle grew to a roar, masking the sound of the shotgun. When day eventually melted into night, the moon hung fat and gibbous, the bloodstains now black in the moonlight. Mika draped Aki’s cold, dead skin over his own pallid flesh as, shivering, he breathed in the scent of cheap aftershave, cigarettes and booze. Sour memories trampled over his thoughts with bloodstained feet. Together forever he rasped, as tears filled his bloodshot eyes.

Or:

Snap, Crackle & Pop! 

Snap went Larry’s index finger when Mo bent it back. Crackle went the cigar that Mo slammed into Larry’s face. Pop went the pistol that Mo shoved under Larry’s chin. Snap went the paparazzi when Mo was led into court. Crackle went the electric chair when Mo was sent to meet his maker. Pop went the champagne cork in Curly and Shemp’s hotel room.

And I’ve also enjoyed writing a few other forms of flash and micro fiction too, such as 6word stories a la Ernest Hemingway.

Quentin.

Blah blah. Bang bang. Ha ha.

Or there are stories limited to fifty words for magazines such as Blink Ink.

Old Town, midnight.

The moonlight oozed across the dank cobblestones like quicksilver; creeping between the cracks, crawling into the gutters. Howls sliced the silence. Lara shivered, pulling the fur close to her flesh. Each heartbeat was like the tick of a clock. As the limousine growled into view, heavy footsteps shuffled closer.

And flash fiction in 100 words, which is known as Drabble.

Swamplands

Elvis awoke in a cold, dank sweat, hungover from bourbon and bad dreams. The nightmares had consisted of him being hunted through a swamp by the murderous spectre of Jesse, his stillborn twin. His pounding heartbeat seemed to echo through the mansion. He stumbled into the bathroom, splashed cold water on his face and looked in the mirror, only to be confronted by his own ashen reflection and that of his grinning doppelganger. Jesse tightly wrapped the umbilical cord around Elvis’ throat and pulled it until Elvis breathed no more. The king is dead, long live the king, he muttered.

Indeed, if you feel the urge to take the plunge into writing but just want to test the water, there are plenty of flash fiction sites online. Spelk Fiction, for example,’ limit you to 500 words and Shotgun Honey have a 700 word limit.  And it’s a great way for more experienced writers to practice disciplining their writing too.

So why not get flashing!

This post first appeared over at Debbi Mack’s blog.

Train In Vain at Pulp Metal Magazine

PULPLOGO (1)I have a new yarn up at Pulp Metal Magazine.

It’s called TRAIN IN VAIN:

Seatown train station was certainly a lot better looking than I remembered it but it still smelled of puke. And shit, And sweat. Well, it did now that Smiffy was there. He’d spruced himself up a bit, slicked back his hair, put on a double-breasted pinstripe suit. But his rancid stench still oozed out. I hadn’t really seemed to notice it when we were boozing together in The Cobble Bar but out here in the fresh air it seemed overpowering.

A small group of football fans, watched by an equal sized group of bored policemen, snaked out of the station, through the streets and toward the town centre. They were quieter than I expected but then I’d never been much of a football fan, even as a child. I assumed supporting a football team was something you just grew out of although a few of the fans looked as if they’d grown a bit too much. Especially around the stomach area.’

Check it out, if you fancy.

More 5 STAR Reviews For Too Many Crooks

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Too Many Crooks

Over at Amazon.com, Hector Duarte Jr says:

on March 7, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition

Paul Brazill gives us another slice of Brit Grit in the unique style only he can wield. With characters ranging the class, (and moral), spectrum, Too Many Crooks is just that. A tale of too many people chasing the wrong kind of loot. Think, it’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World but with a couple more of those adjectives thrown in there.

Settle in, pour yourself a couple of pints, and get ready for a mad, fun dash through Europe’s seedy– and oft-times funny–underbelly.

 

And Chris Rhatigan says:

on March 7, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Plenty of gallows humor and dive bars in this short, sharp read that alternates between London and Poland. Another winner from Brazill.

Paul Heatley Reviews A Case Of Noir

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A Case Of Noir

Over at Amazon.co.uk:

Some great stuff here from the master of Brit Grit Paul D. Brazill. Each of the five stories (connected via hard-drinking, fast-loving Brit abroad Luke Case) builds upon the last and connects wonderfully to a denouement that masterfully rounds out Case’s character development.

Writer

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