Short, Sharp Interview: Dominic Milne

A of C CPDB: What’s going on now?

Right now is kind of mayhem. Just had the release of the Eddie Kane trilogy, so trying to push what feels like a million buttons at once. Fantastic stuff though – really exhilarating. ‘Act of Contrition’ is already beginning to turn some heads. This feels in some ways like the culmination of so many years hard work, which of course it isn’t at all – it’s just the beginning.

PDB: How did you research this book?

I had what I imagine was every crime-writers idea of a gift horse of a head start. In the early 2000s I spent several years working in HMP Wormwood Scrubs, which gave me an absolute mountain of inspiration and potential storylines. I was working directly with inmates, getting to know them, hearing their stories and experiences, and I can honestly confirm that truth is a hell of a lot stranger than fiction – if anything, as a writer I’m having to moderate the things I’ve heard to make them plausible. The beauty is I’ve only scratched the surface so far. There’s plenty more in the tank for the future.

A of M CPDB: Which of your publications are you most proud of?

I’m deeply proud of ‘Act of Contrition’ and ‘Act of Madness’, but ironically it was actually Act of Vengeance that kicked this series all off, despite now being the third in the series chronologically. Act Of Vengeance got me in the doors of a few major publishers a few years ago, meetings that led to a lot of excitement, but ultimately no cigar. I think of it as a kind of wayward son, hopefully one who’ll come good in the end.

PDB: What is your favourite film/book/song/TV programme?

Film-wise I love some of the darker noirs of the late forties/early fifties, such as ‘The Prowler’ with Van Heflin, an actor who was also in a top piece of dark cinema called ‘Act of Violence’ (which you won’t be surprised very nearly also became the name of an Eddie Kane book). Top place has to go to ‘The Servant’ though, directed by Joseph Losey, who also made ‘The Prowler’. It’s one of the more bizarre and weirdly dark films I’ve come across. That said, I could probably watch ‘The Wicker Man’ on a loop if pushed.

Favourite book I’ll give to Cathi Unsworth’s ‘The Singer’, which I think is a triumph of punk noir. It helps that it kicks off in Hull, where I grew up. It also reminds me of ‘The Wicker Man’.

Favourite song has got to be ‘No More Heroes’ by the Stranglers. It gets the pulse racing, without really actually meaning, well, anything. But that’s cool. Sums up my early life.

Favourite TV programme goes to ‘The Sopranos’, which could be quite worrying.

A of V CPDB: Is location important to your writing?

Totally and utterly, and I love living where I live in North London for that very reason. The Eddie Kane books are set largely in Hackney and Islington, which are fantastic places in terms of criminal history, dark streets, alleys, pubs full of character and endless storyline possibilities. The most enjoyable part of writing crime novels is getting the feel for places and brainstorming ideas, a great excuse for checking out the less-reputable pubs and bars on the manor. You have to watch your back though. I’ve been mistaken for police a few times by suspicious locals in dodgy haunts, wondering why I’m looking at them then scribbling stuff down. It’s a risky business this writing. People don’t realise the sacrifices we make for their pleasure.

PDB: How often do you check your Amazon rankings?

I can honestly say that so far I barely look at them – but I’m sure I’ll cave sooner or later and become a ridiculous obsessive.

PDB: What’s next?

Plug the books, until I’m unpleasant to be around I guess. I have another novel ready and written, based on one of the characters from ‘Act Of Vengeance’ called Dan Harwood, so that will probably come out later in the year. It’s a stand-alone, but Eddie Kane also makes a crucial cameo. I’m also currently working on the fourth Eddie Kane novel, which involves him stepping heavily on the toes of Turkish mafia in north London. Let’s hope I don’t do the same while I’m researching it.

dominicsphotos00Bio: Dom Milne was born and raised in Hull, East Yorkshire. He spent many years working as a musician, before moving to London to train and then work professionally as an actor. After a spell working in HMP Wormwood Scrubs in the early 2000s, he began writing and has since written several novels and short stories, including the Pulp Press original, ‘My Bloody Alibi.

March 2015 saw the release of the Eddie Kane trilogy, the first three crime novels in the new series featuring the maverick, Hackney-based detective. The titles, ‘Act Of Contrition’, ‘Act Of Madness‘ and ‘Act Of Vengeance‘ are available now on ebook worldwide.

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