Short, Sharp Interview: Ryan Bracha

paul carter is a dead manPDB: Can you pitch PAUL CARTER IS A DEAD MAN in 25 words or less?

A motley team of rebels go to war with a violent law man, a despot prime minister and a hideously disfigured social network.

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

Music wise, Jake Bugg has caught my ears, he’s only young but the way he tells his tales through music completely belies his age.

I haven’t watched many decent new films recently but there have been some top quality shows on British TV recently. The Tunnel, for one. It’s a remake of the Scandinavian show The Bridge. I love telly that’s uncompromising, and unafraid to kill off whoever it needs to, to drive home its message and push the story where it needs to go. Luther, although it’s had three series, is another prime example. I love it.

Okay, so books, I’ve had a blast this last year discovering new authors, Craig Furchtenicht’s Dimebag Bandits was one of my favourite books last year, it’s a hilariously violent sniff around small time criminals. The set pieces he dreams up are brilliant. Another American book which knocked my head off was The Origins of Disgust, Self-Hatred and Hostility by Ken Leek, equally violent and uncompromising. There’s a scene where a guy breaks his back trying to steal a wallet from the decomposing body of a pensioner that’ll have you vomiting whilst you laugh. On this side of the pond there have been many many authors whose books have got me excited, and have since become pals. Mark Wilson’s stuff is great, I’m looking forward to what he’s got planned this year, Keith Nixon and his Margate based capers, Martin Stanley’s doing some great things, and of course Mr Brazill will his ridiculously high quality noir. 2013 was the year of the indie author for me, and I know my reading lists will never be the same again.

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

Yeah I think so, to a degree. There’ll always be a slight thing at the back of your mind that’s jealous of the way an author manages to portray something, or maybe you’ll cringe and be glad it wasn’t you who wrote something particularly bad, but for the most part we write because we love to read. The best books will make you forget you’re even a writer.

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

Yeah a huge interest. I started out in film, writing a directing a feature after my degree, and I wrote another feature. I prefer writing books though. In film you’re always relying on a hundred other people to help get the story how you want it. With a book you have to rely on nobody but yourself. It costs a hell of a lot less money to tell your story too. If I was approached to do anything with my own books though I’d definitely be up for a chat at least.

PDB: How much research goes into each book?

RYANNot a great deal to be honest. I write about what I know. I’d feel like a fraud if I were to write a 90,000 word novel on something I had to spend six months researching. There’ll always be somebody that knows more than I do on it. Sometimes I’ll need a bit of Google’s advice on weaponry or chemistry, but that’s the world we live in now. You don’t need to go too far to find an answer to your question.

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

Massively. My inspiration comes predominantly from the stupid and the clever of social media. The mob mentality that comes with it. Everything is built for social media nowadays, and my writing just stretches what’s already happening out of shape, but not so much that readers wouldn’t think ‘this could happen’. As far as a promotional and networking tool it’s very important too. The biggest and most successful authors tend to be too busy to respond to the public. I like to think that even if it suddenly went mental I’d still keep in touch with the people who read my work. It’s the same for writers as it is for musicians and filmmakers. Keep putting the work out and the hard work in, and keep on knocking on doors. If you’re doing a good job of it it’s always nice to be told by Frank Watson of Colchester that he appreciates it.

PDB: What’s on the cards for 2014?

My third novel, Paul Carter is a Dead Man, is due for release very shortly, and I’m also writing a different short story every month for the whole of 2014 and publishing them free-to-read on the Paddy’s Daddy Publishing blog. These stories will be all linked to the universe I’ve created in the book, and will provide a prequel/companion piece when they are put together and published properly next December. I’ll also be writing the sequel, which will be the second book in the ‘Dead Man’ trilogy. Busy year. Exciting times.

Bio: Ryan Bracha is 34 years’ worth of ideas just screaming to be unleashed on an unsuspecting public. By 24 he had written and directed his first feature film “Tales From Nowhere” which was well received and enjoyed a limited release around his native Yorkshire, his second screenplay “Dirt Merchants” never made it to screen but was an outlet for his desire to tell stories. Almost 4 years in the making, his debut novel, “Strangers Are Just Friends You Haven’t Killed Yet” is a darkly comic satire based on the state of the media in the face of what appears to be a serial killer stalking the streets of Sheffield. His second novel, “Tomorrow’s Chip Paper”, a fast moving look at the current media infatuation with celebrity deviants, was released in early 2013, and his latest offering, the wonderfully titled ‘Bogies, and other equally messed up tales of love, lust, drugs and grandad porn’ is out now. He lives in Yorkshire with his wife and two cats.