Category Archives: Christopher Black

Kill Me Quick is BACK TO LIFE!

Kill me quick new

My seaside noir KILL ME QUICK has been rebooted and suited by the folks at Fahrenheit 13 and Farhrenheit Press, and you can pick it up at a discount price if you buy it direct from the publishers.

The eBook is less than a quid and the paperback is less than a fiver!

Can’t fall off!

Get the eBook here and the paperback here.

Or you can grab it from the Amazons, if you’re that way inclined.

‘We’re all lying in the gutter, but some of us are staring at the spaces between the stars… 

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.

After all, there’s no place like home, eh?

“Gritty, fast-paced and hilarious. The dialogue is full of sharp one liners and insightful asides, and the characters are all larger than life. An absurd story told with such finesse that even the most over-the-top scenes feel real. My guess is you’ll read it in one sitting.” – SW Lauden (author of Bad Citizen Corporation andCrosswise)

“Dark and delicious… With ‘Kill Me Quick!’ the author has provided yet another delicious plate of cool cynicism, peppered with spicy dialogue and an inky black-humour sauce. Paul D. Brazill’s Seatown backdrop is luridly drawn; the characters are a blend of hopeless, scary and hilarious, while the verbal exchanges are as sharp and dry as glass of Northumberland moonshine on the rocks. The gritty darkness of the north-east has never been so much fun. Fabulous.” – Dominic Milne (author of Act of Contrition)

“Fahrenheit 13 have done an excellent job in assembling top quality novellas in this series and Paul Brazill’s offering is no exception. They say home is where the heart is….if you’re a character in a novella by Paul D. Brazill that heart will probably soon be removed and by a gangster with vicious intent! As always with this author’s stories it’s entertaining, witty and always a fun read. A great crime caper that is a steal at the price. Five stars.” – Darren Sant (author of Dark Voices and various Radgepacket tales from the legendary Byker Books)

“A smart and insane ride through the underbelly of crime. Told with his characteristic punch, this is as gritty and as hard boiled as it gets and Brazill is a master at it. By turn humorous and captivating this will keep you guessing. A Noir novel textured with local culture and razor sharp dialogue. Highly Recommended.” – Richard Godwin (author of Wrong Crowd and Confessions of a Hitman)

“This novella is a crazy crime jukebox that takes in everything from crooners to croakers without missing a beat…. Get it. If you have anything like a sense of humour and a heart as black as the inside of a body bag, you’ll love it. Besides, best corpse disposal trick ever.” – Graham Wynd (author of Extricate and Satan’s Sorority)

“The story winds tight as Hammond’s life unravels. Brazill uses his trademark wordplay and humour to add extra layers to the experience and manages to draw out laughs from the most uncomfortable situations. There’s also a vast soundtrack…. If I were to select a song to sum up this novella, Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll would be my pick and, if they’re elements you enjoy in your noir, this is the book for you. Terrific fun.” – Nigel Bird (author of Southsiders and Dirty Old Town & Other Stories)

“An oddball crime book with pitch black humor and wordplay while the out of luck lowlifes run from one unlucky event to the next. Everything is delivered with that dry kind of understatement only the Brits have mastered… where even the strangest situations are funny even they are not funny at all.” – Miranda (booklikes.com)’

Guest Blog: Number Thirteen Press – The End? by Christopher Black

number 13 pressSo that’s it, then. Thirteen crime novellas from thirteen authors in thirteen months. Richard Godwin’s Ersatz World was the last, and Number Thirteen Press is finished.

Only, not quite. Of course there’s still the admin and the accounting and the marketing. The boring bits I’m not very good at anyway. But the publishing part is finished and it’s been one hell of a ride. Didn’t quite manage thirteen consecutive months, which I knew was an ambitious target, but had a damn good go and it’s been seat-of-the-pants stuff all along – a seemingly endless chain of literary panic. And it was fun. Lots of fun, and I got to work with thirteen fantastic authors (who were dragged deep into the panic and all responded brilliantly) and publish thirteen books that I genuinely believe in. At the start I had to choose the limits I would set in the submissions guide, and I decided to leave it as open as possible. The result was books of real variety, showcasing genuine talent across a spectrum of crime fiction that is broader than I could have imagined.

Would I do anything different, starting again? Of course I would. I went in with some design experience and some editing experience and made everything else up on the spot, so of course I made mistakes and had to work even harder as a result. Some things could have been better. But I don’t regret any of it, either. If I was starting now it would be easier for the experience, but if I waited for experience I would never have started. I jumped in to see if I could swim. Well, I ain’t drowned yet.

And that’s bring us to the real poser, the question that seemingly everyone wants the answer to: what next for Number Thirteen? Is there more? kill me quick cover

If I knew, I’d tell you. First things first, and first I’m taking a break. My own writing has taken a back seat for too long. But in the future? The publishing took up far more of my time than I could have guessed, so it’s hard to promise that sort of commitment. It certainly doesn’t pay well. A friend in the business once told me that small press publishing is about the 1 in 10: the one success that allows you to publish the other nine, and so far he’s been proved just about right (although we are batting above average). And anyway, there are more publishers filling that hole. I really believe in novellas and short novels (under 60k words) as the perfect crime/hardboiled/noir length: think They Shoot Horses Don’t They? and James M Cain. In fact, The Postman Always Rings Twice probably wouldn’t be published today, too short. When I first had the idea, there were crime short stories and flash fiction online, and crime novels that I often found 10 or 20,000 words too long, but only a couple of small presses who would consider that in between length – the novella to short novel, perfect for the contemporary ebook equivalent of the old paperback originals and an era when publishing had more ideals than business sense. Enough space to really develop the story, but shorter than demanded by the economics of legacy publishing. Short, sharp and tight, with depth but no wasted words and no padding. A lot of people really bought into the project: initial readers, reviewers, the thirteen authors, of course; but also others who weren’t connected, simply because they loved the books, the format, and the idea. But now more and more small presses are stepping in to the gap. Does the world need another Thirteen?

Then again, it really has been fun. So maybe…

But at the moment I just don’t know. A break, finish a novel or two, catch up on my own reading and viewing. And in the future, another set of 13? Or a different publishing model? Or with a partner? Or…?

I guess in six months or so we’ll see how much I miss the buzz of putting out some of the most original, intriguing, exciting and just damn brilliant crime fiction around. For the moment, excuse me while I sit back, look over those covers, re-read a few favourite chapters and enjoy what is, before I decide on what might be.

And when I’ve rested up, I might just do it all over again. Put me down for definitely, maybe.

NUMBER THIRTEEN PRESS IS HERE.

This post first appeared at Out Of The Gutter Online.

Stories For Sunday : Black, Krohn, Laity, Rosmus.

There are lots of juicy slices of short fiction out and about the interweb at the moment.

Get stuck into this little lot:

Christopher Black makes his debut at Thrillers, Killers n Chillers with a visceral and lyrical tale of one man’s descent into HELL.

Bydgoszcz born globetrotter Magdalena Krohn is over at Litro with DREAM GUN. A man returns to Thailand to come to terms with the past in a vivid and hard hitting story.

The past hurtles towards the regulars at O’Malley’s bar as fast as a speeding bullet in K A Laity’s ASBO BAMBI which is over at Pulp Metal Magazine.

Pulp Metal Fiction have recently published Death Takes A Snow Day, a collection of short stories by Cindy Rosmus. If you want a sample of Cindy’s writing before buying her collection, then pop over to Shotgun Honey where she gives us a corking bit of flash fiction called BANG,BANG.

There you go! That should help your hangovers!

(The pic is of Warsaw Old Town, by the way)