I have a story ‘Headless in Bury’ in the new Fox Spirit anthology Missing Monarchs. It sets a PI named Wolf on the trail of the head of a long-dead King, St Edmund. There’s a bunch of great folks in this collection including Jo Thomas, Geraldine Clark Hellary and the always hilarious and blisteringly profane Chloë Yates. I also have a fun little tale about obsession over at Pulp Metal Magazine “30 Versions of Warm Leatherette” which is based on a true story. Well, only so far as my pal Marko gave me 30 versions of “Warm Leatherette” though on CD because he’s old school.
PDB: How did you research this book?
For once, I did: I used some of my medieval background because the story of St Edmund (as in the town of Bury St Edmunds) has him getting captured and killed by Vikings, who knock his head off. A wolf guards it until the monks can find him when the head calls them over saying “Here, here, here!” Or in the Latin, hic hic hic which sounds much better of course.
PDB: Which of your publications are you most proud of?
Right now I’d say the Fox Spirit novella collection Extricate & Throw the Bones which also includes a bunch of shorts. I think it’s where I first really found my noir stride and I’m really pleased with both those novellas and most of the stories, one of which Otto Penzler picked our of the blue to be in Kwik Krimes. It was my nod to Tony Hancock and Sid James so I’m chuffed (“Losing My Religion”).
PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme?
Oh, I can never choose. I’m having the worst time choosing things for the crime course I’m teaching in the spring. It’s impossible making up my mind, so I finally told myself I just have to be a gateway drug: Chandler, Hammett, Sanxay Holding, Hughes, Cain, Highsmith, Millar, Himes, Thompson. Films I’m using—I had to cut down to three!—Third Man, Out of the Past, Night of the Hunter unless I change my mind and do one of the books after all (probably Maltese Falcon or Strangers on a Train). Television I’m behind on everything. Caught up on the first four seasons of Justified earlier this year and loved it. Oh and so excited about a third series of The Bridge because Saga is my hero.
Yeah, but it’s also a drawback because most of my stories are set in the UK but I’m not actually British so I’m not a British writer and US readers aren’t interested in British settings unless they’re cosies and I don’t do cosy.
PDB: How often do you check your Amazon rankings?
Never—what’s the point? If it’s ever good news it’ll show up in my bank account. Otherwise it’s just depressing. There’s always somebody doing better than you.
PDB: What’s next?
I’m working on a new novel that’s noir in the vein of James M. Cain, rather than detective sort of stuff. People who get obsessed and then go too far because they can’t just walk away from a bad situation. And a dog. I said I wasn’t going to do any more stories with dogs in them, but maybe I lied. Or maybe I just don’t learn.
Bio: A writer of bleakly noirish tales with a bit of grim humour, Graham Wynd can be found in Dundee but would prefer you didn’t come looking. An English professor by day, Wynd grinds out darkly noir prose between trips to the local pub. The novella of murder and obsessive love, EXTRICATE is out now from Fox Spirit Books; the print edition also includes the novella THROW THE BONES and a collection of short stories. ‘Headless in Bury’ appears in the MISSING MONARCHS Fox Pockets anthology, ‘The Tender Trap’ appears in EXILES: AN OUTSIDER ANTHOLOGY from Blackwitch Press, and the short story ‘Kiss Like a Fist’ appears in NOIR NATION 3.