Short, Sharp Interview: Nick Triplow

getting carter

PDB: What’s going on?

On the eve of the Hull launch of GETTING CARTER: Ted Lewis and the Birth of Brit Noir, my book about the life and work of the author best known for his novel Jack’s Return Home, adapted as Get Carter in 1971.

And…

About to kick off the main weekend of Hull Noir Crime Fiction Festival. Along with Nick Quantrill and Nikki East, it’s been a long time coming, a lot of hard work, and an ambition realised to bring some of the most important writers of crime fiction currently working to the UK City of Culture 2017.

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

I go through stages. For a long time, it was nearly all old soul music, then cheesy 70s pop, and at the moment I seem to be listening to nothing at all. Or film soundtracks. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’s music for The Assassination of Jesse James has a broad, sweeping hypnotic quality and plenty of space. Which probably says more about where my head is at than the writing I’m doing.

PDB: What makes you laugh?

Alfie Solomons, fucking Biblical mate.

PDB: What’s the best cure for a hangover?

Currently trialing two methods: 1) a pint of water before bed with a healthy splash of good apple cider vinegar; and 2) not going to bed.

PDB: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Crantock, North Cornwall.

PDB: Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s on it?

I refer the honourable gentleman to my previous answer. Oh, and a Martin 000 acoustic (left-handed) if anyone’s offering.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

Post Hull Noir – a darkened room, a bottle of something decent and a bunch of books, music and DVDs. And then making space to reinstate a writing regime and bring together ideas for a new novel and some stories I’ve had on the to-do list for too long.

PDB: Anything else?

I’ll still be promoting GETTING CARTER. And as this seems to be ongoing research, picking up leads around Ted Lewis that have emerged since the book came out. Perhaps taking time to pursue offshoots – there was much about the development of British Noir in fiction and film that I’d like to have explored further. And seeing where my writing can take me in 2018 …

Guest Blog: NINA by Nick TriplowBio: Nick Triplow is the author of the crime noir novel Frank’s Wild Years and the social history books The Women They Left Behind, Distant Water and Pattie Slappers.

2017 sees the publication of GETTING CARTER: TED LEWIS AND THE BIRTH OF BRIT NOIR, his long awaited biography of British noir pioneer, Ted Lewis.

Nick’s acclaimed short story, Face Value, was a winner in the 2015 Northern Crime competition. His stories have also appeared in the Off the Record and True Brit Grit crime anthologies and on numerous websites. Originally from South London, Nick now lives in Barton upon Humber.

Getting Carter: Ted Lewis and the Birth of Brit Noir is published by No Exit Press. Available in bookshops or online: http://www.noexit.co.uk/index1.php?imprint=1&isbn=9781843448822

Short, Sharp Interview: Mike Craven

PDB: Can you pitch YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK in 25 words or less?

Commander Sam Vimes ends up in his own past, trying to stop a revolution whilst keeping his twenty-one-year-old self safe at the same time.

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

Music: Powerslave by Iron Maiden, Long Live Punk by the Anti-Nowhere League, Complete Control by The Clash

Books: Anything by Michael Connelly, Carl Hiaasen, Chris Brookmyre, Terry Pratchett or Mick Herron.

Films: Michael Mann’s Heat.

Television shows: The West Wing, Breaking Bad.

PDB: Which books do you think would make great films or TV series?

Mick Herron’s Jackson Lamb series. Extremely funny but they’re also very clever and relevant spy capers.

PDB: Can you tell me a joke?

What’s brown and sticky?

A stick.

PDB: Who are the great British writers?

Chris Brookmyre, Mick Herron, Terry Pratchett, Tom Sharpe, Arthur Conan Doyle.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

I signed a two-book deal with Little, Brown in March this year. The first in the new Washington Poe series, The Puppet Show, is out in hardback next June.

A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless.

When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of.

Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant, but socially awkward, civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.

As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive . . .

The German rights have been sold and we’ve also been meeting with a major TV production company and hope to be making an announcement on that soon.

PDB: Anything else?

I’m 50 next year so this is a fair warning for people to start saving now I suppose . . .

Bio: Although he was born in Cumbria, Mike Craven grew up in the North East before running away to join the army as soon as he was sixteen. After training as an armourer for two and a half years (that’s an army gunsmith to you and I), he spent the next ten travelling the world having fun. In 1995 he left the army, and after a brief flirtation with close protection and bodyguarding, decided on a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. In 1999 he joined Cumbria Probation Service as a probation officer, working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later, he took the plunge and accepted redundancy to concentrate on writing full-time, and now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals.

Between leaving the army and securing his first publishing deal, Mike found time to keep a pet crocodile, breed snakes, get married, and buy a springer spaniel named Bracken. He lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne, where he tries to leave the house as little as possible. Mike is also one third of Crime Ink-Corporated, a trio of northern writers who take writing out to the community and host events such as England’s first ever Noir at the Bar.

Mike’s first DI Avison Fluke novel, Born in a Burial Gown (D. I. Avison Fluke), was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award. He is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association, the International Thriller Writers’ Association and the Society of Authors.

mike craven

The Gumshoe and The Neon Boneyard for 99p!

I’ve recently remixed and rebooted a couple of my eBooks and they’re currently available for 99p!

THE GUMSHOE: THE PETER ORD YARNS gumshoe new

A booze addled private eye stumbles and tumbles through a small town in the North East of England in this blackly comic Brit Grit short story collection.

CONTENTS:

GUMSHOE BLUES
THE LADY AND THE GIMP
WHO KILLED SKIPPY?
SHIFT WORK
MR KISS AND TELL
THE NIGHTWATCHMAN

the neon boneyardTHE NEON BONEYARD: A ROMAN DALTON YARN

The Neon Boneyard is a pulpy noir/ horror short story featuring Paul D. Brazill’s creation Roman Dalton – Werewolf PI. The werewolf PI and his oddball cohorts are caught up in a gang war that also embroils Mr Hyde, Frankenstein’s monster and Sherlock Holmes.

You can grab them from Amazon. com, Amazon.co.uk, or any other Amazon you fancy.

Coming Soon: Manchester Vice by Jack Strange

man-v-ebook_300cBio: The mysterious Jack Strange hails from the town of Huddersfield, in West Yorkshire , England. He’s a man with a checkered past, having worked in a morgue, been a labourer, and a salesman. He’s dug holes… professionally (to what end, he refuses to say – sales? corpses? possibly both?),  even more terrifying – he’s a former Lawyer.
He enjoys parties and keeps himself fit (the kind of fit that makes you think he may engage in fisticuffs with Vinnie Jones on a semi-regular basis, or possibly drink stout with both hands while also throwing  a perfect game of darts.) He is allegedly married with two adult daughters. They have yet to be located for comment.

Follow Jack on Twitter: @jackstrange11
Or visit www.jackstrangewriter.blogspot.co.uk man-v-promo_300c

Halloween Flash: The Stamp Of A Vamp

Alison Day was a mousy woman who had barely been scuffed by the wear and tear of life until the day she met Lulu, the effect of which was like lightning hitting a plane. The Autumn night draped itself over the city, and the moon bit into the sky as Alison rushed home from her usual Wednesday evening yoga class. She felt edgy and fumbled for her keys as she heard the click, click, click of high heels on the wet pavement. She turned. On the corner of the street, beneath a blinking street lamp, a woman was smoking a cigarette. Her silhouette seemed to appear and disappear like warm breath on a cold window pane.

The woman was tall and, like Alison, in her early thirties with wan looking skin, a slash of red lipstick across her full lips and her black hair cut into a Louise Brooks bob. She was wearing a red PVC raincoat and shiny black stiletto heels and Alison suddenly felt very dowdy with her green cagoule, Gap jeans and mousy, unkempt hair.

The woman slowly sauntered towards Alison-and in a muddy foreign accent, said:

‘Keep looking at people like that and you’ll be in for a good tongue lashing.’

And then she collapsed in heap at Alison’s’ feet.

* * *

‘Would you like a cup of tea?” said Alison, “I have …’
‘Something stronger, maybe?’ purred the woman as she sat up from the sofa.
Alison rummaged in a cupboard and found an unopened bottle of absinthe.
‘How about this?’ she said.
The woman smiled and lit a Gauloises cigarette.
‘My name is Lulu,’ she said, filling two shot glasses with absinthe. ‘Drink with me, eh?’
As the night hurtled on, Alison got drunk and in the process told Lulu her life story, such as it was. Lulu seemed fascinated by Alison’s idyllic, picture postcard childhood in Yorkshire and her job at Bermondsey Library. Lulu revealed little about herself, however, except that she had come from Bucharest shortly before the revolution and that she was married to a nightclub owner called Nicholas.

‘You know,’ said Alison ‘I hardly ever drink. My friends say that I can get drunk on the sniff of a barmaid’s apron.’ She giggled. ‘This is the first time I’ve drunk absinthe.’

‘They say it makes the heart grow fonder,’ said Lulu, licking the rim of the glass and holding Alison’s gaze.

***
At some point during the night Alison woke up in bed, in a cold sweat, with no recollection of getting there. Lulu, naked, was smoking and gazing out of the bedroom window. The tip of her cigarette glowed bright red and then faded to black.

***

In the morning, as slivers of sun sliced through the blinds, Alison awoke and saw that Lulu was gone. Memories of the night before fizzed like champagne bubbles as, on the bed, she saw a business card for Vamps Gentleman’s Club in Shoreditch. Written in red lipstick, was a phone number.

***

Vamps was suffocating in black leather and red velvet. It was cluttered with noisy groups of brash City Boys and semi-naked young women who wandered around with beer glasses full of money. The DJ played ‘Goldfinger’ as a statuesque blond, wearing only a pair of angels’ wings, crawled up and down a glistening pole.

Alison sat on a large black sofa next to Lulu, who was dressed in a red leather nun’s habit with a gold pentagram dangling from a chain around her neck. Tearing the label from her beer bottle she moved in close to hear Lulu speak.

‘I suppose marriage to Nicholas was a marriage of convenience.’ Lulu said. ‘I wanted to stay legally in England and he wanted…well, a pet. He promised me a job in a West End nightclub and I ended up here. But the worse thing is, he makes me have sex with other dancers. His business partners.’

She downed her drink in one.

‘Can’t you leave him?’ said Alison, red faced.

‘If I leave him, I’ll be deported and that will be that’, she said. Alison blanched.

As Autumn trudged on into Winter, Alison and Lulu’s meetings became more frequent and murderous thoughts hovered over them like a hawk ready to strike its prey until one night Lulu eventually said, ‘Okay. Let’s kill him.’

***

‘You see, ninety nine percent of the human race are just here to make up the numbers,’ said Nicholas, in a voice stained with nicotine and brimmed with brandy. He was an elegant, handsome man in his sixties. He indifferently smoked a large cigar, the smoke rings floating above his head like a halo or a crown of thorns.

‘They’re just cannon fodder. Don’t you agree?’

Alison couldn’t agree or disagree. She couldn’t say a thing and she couldn’t move.
The plan had been simple enough. She was to go to Vamps on New Years Eve and ask about work as dancer. When the place closed she’d accept Nicholas’s inevitable invitation to go to his office for a night cap with him and Lulu. They were to poison him and dump his body in the Thames along with the drunks who tottered into the river’s dank and dirty water at this time of year.

But after the first couple of drinks she realised that she was paralysed. In the oak and leather armchair she was like an insect trapped in amber. The clock struck twelve and the room was lit up by exploding fireworks. Lulu and Nicholas’ eyes glowed bright red and then faded to black.

‘Happy New Year, my sweet,’ said Lulu. ‘I hope you like your present.’

‘I’m sure I will, darling,’ said Nicholas, ‘I know how difficult it is to find fresh meat in these decadent times’. He chuckled and seemed to float from his chair.

As Nicholas sank his fangs deep into her neck, Alison felt pain greater than she had ever felt before. She wanted to cry, to scream, to tear herself apart but she could do nothing except listen to the sound of fireworks and Lulu’s cruel, cruel laughter.

(c) Paul D. Brazill

James Newman Reviews Big City Blues

Big City Blues

Big City Blues

And says:

‘Brazill has a way with words and, yeah, he uses them here wisely. The character building is solid in all his books, the locations are real enough to touch and smell, and the humor is omnipresent. This man’s books are laugh-aloud hilarious simply because Brazill is a wickedly smart humorous writer who never misses a trick. Great stuff. Read it. Spread it. Enjoy the infection.’

Short, Sharp Interview: Keith Nixon

Dig 2 GravesPDB: What’s going on?

A new series of books out with Cologne based publisher Bastei Lubbe starting with Dig Two Graves on the 10th October. I’ve been signed for two more afterwards. The great thing is I get to work with the genius who’s Al Guthrie

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

Nope, too distracting unfortunately. Though songs and lyrics sometimes generate ideas which I work on late.

PDB: What makes you laugh?

On social media – Martina Cole.

Elsewhere Peter Kay. The latest series of Car Share, particularly the monkey in the back of the car, was genius…

PDB: What’s the best cure for hangover?

I wish I knew! As I get older it takes less beer to get drunk and the hangovers increase proportionally. But possibly coffee, bacon sandwich (with brown sauce, please) and a Berocca.

PDB: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Italy. Fabulous country, great people, great weather, great wine and food.

PDB: Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s on it?

A few things – see the Northern Lights in Iceland, escape the earth’s atmosphere, own an Aston Martin, meet Ian Rankin, live to 100.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

Books two and three in the Gray series. Book two is in final edits (hopefully) and book three is taking shape…

PDB: Anything else?

keith nixonGet the children grown up and through the front door…

Bio: Keith Nixon is a British born writer of crime and historical fiction novels. Originally he trained as a chemist, but Keith is now in a senior sales role for a high-tech business.

 

Keith currently lives with his family in the North West of England. His novels are published by Bastei Lubbe, Caffeine Nights and Gladius Press.