Category Archives: horror

Examining the Hellboy Graphic Novel ‘Into the Silent Sea’ Ahead of the Upcoming Movie Release in 2018

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(Image via IndieWire)

Examining the Hellboy Graphic Novel ‘Into the Silent Sea’ Ahead of the Upcoming Movie Release in 2018

Hellboy is returning to the silver screen next year with Stranger Things actor David Harbour replacing Ron Perlman as the titular character. The film is looking to strike a new tone with the film’s screenwriter Andrew Cosby stating that the reboot will be a “darker, more gruesome” version than the previous releases.

The new film, titled: Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen, will lean much closer to the tone of the Hellboy comics. Cosby confirmed that the film’s director Neil Marshall (The Descent, Game of Thrones) wants the movie to “walk a razor’s edge between horror and comic book movie.” As the upcoming film will be closer to the comic book version of the character, we look at the Hellboy graphic novel Into the Silent Sea released earlier this year.

Into the Silent Sea is a Hellboy original comic co-written by Hellboy creator Mike Mignolia, co-written and illustrated by Gary Gianni, and coloured by Dave Steward. The graphic novel is a direct sequel to Mike Mignolia’s 2005 two issue mini series Hellboy: The Island. Into the Silent Sea follows Hellboy after he has set sail from the deserted island. After escaping the island Hellboy runs into a ghost ship, and is taken prisoner by a mysterious phantom crew.

Speaking to Dark Horse before the graphic novel’s release, Gary Gianni described Into the Silent Sea as “Hellboy’s greatest adventure”. Gianni has illustrated work for George R. R. Martin, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, and Michael Chabon. He also created the Monstermen series, which was a back-up feature in Hellboy. He calls Into the Silent Sea “the biggest comic event of the year”.

Mike Mignolia debuted Hellboy in 1993 and the character has become a cult favourite due to its Lovecraftian horror and ironic humour. In an interview with Nerdist this year, Mignolia explained that part of Hellboy’s success was due to releasing the stories as a mini-series or graphic novel, rather than the tradition monthly comic book model. “One of the things I really think I did differently to other things out there was to tell short stories. Almost half of the Hellboy stuff – some of the better Hellboy stuff – are these eight or 12 page stories.”

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The format has clearly worked, as Hellboy is one of the most successful comic book characters outside DC and Marvel. In preparation for the movie remake, Dark Horse formed a partnership with DC Comics in order for Hellboy to be included in the highly-acclaimed video game, Injustice 2, which includes some of the most popular superheroes of the DC Universe. Hellboy’s parent company also signed a deal with online entertainment firm Slingo to release the Hellboy slot game on its platform that uses the Hellboy from the comics rather than the screen. Hellboy is a casual game that uses themes and characters based on the iconic Dark Horse character. The two partnerships with entertainment companies is a clear sign of how popular both the comic book and screen version of the character is with audiences.

The Hellboy remake will star David Harbour as Hellboy, and Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil) as the film’s antagonist, The Blood Queen. The film is expected to be released at the end of 2018. Fans who are waiting for the film should make sure they keep up with the latest adventure of the character in Into the Silent Sea.

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

#FRIDAY FLASH: THE BRAIN SALAD MURDERS

The search was invariably fruitless.

            The path was cluttered with the debris of the past.

            The parade of childhood humiliations always led him down blind alleys.

            Religion and psychoanalysis failed.

            Rationalism was but a damp squib.

            Travel to foreign lands yielded nothing but more sores to scratch.

            Satiation, indulgence, rather than healing his scars, only lacerated him more.

            And then a chance encounter in a snow-smothered car park, as the night creaked into morning, brought a flash of anger.

            The slash of a knife.

            And release.

            For a time.

            Until the scars slowly returned.

            And he killed again.

            And again.

            ***

Another long hot summer had cast dark, elongated shadows that smothered The City’s pitch black secrets. As the sweltering, hazy days stretched out to snapping point, those secrets were jolted into the glare of light.

At times like these, being a private eye, especially a werewolf private eye, could take its toll. Which is why the womb of Duffy’s Bar was always so comforting.

“ The Professor’ss back,” I said to Duffy, who was clearing up the previous night’s debris.

I sipped a shot of Dark Valentine, rubbed my tired, red eyes. I ached for sleep.

I ached from the previous night’s prowl, too. I’d had a scuffle with Brother Cage, the leader of one of the many crackpot religions that were infecting The City. I’d managed to take out a few of his henchmen before ripping him to shreds, but they’d got in a few good shots themselves.

Duffy stopped mopping the beer and bloodstained floor. Leaned the mop against the bar.

“You sure?” he said. He scratched his acne-scarred face.

I grunted.

“Oh, yes. It’s him. Unless there’s a copycat killer. But according to Ivan, six corpses have been found with the brains scooped out. Presumably eaten by the killer,” I said.

Detective Ivan Walker was my former partner. Back in the days before I’d been afflicted by full moon fever.

“All rich old men between the ages of seventy-five and eighty?” said Duffy.

“Yep. They fit The Professor’s MO, alright. The only difference is that these guys had been ripped to shreds first.”

Duffy slammed a heavy fist against the side of the Wurlitzer jukebox. Stepped back behind the bar. Poured himself a shot of Dark Valentine.

Knocked it back. Poured another. A Julie London song about black coffee oozed through the room.

“How long is it since he went AWOL?” said Duffy, as he looked up at the plasma television screen that he’d recently installed in an attempt to bring in new customers.

An attempt that had pretty much failed.

Apart from me, the only other customer was a thick-set old man in a double-breasted pinstripe suit. He’d been nursing a pint of Guinness for over an hour and didn’t seem in any hurry to finish it. A typical Monday afternoon, then.

The flickering TV showed an old black and white Tarzan film that had been colourised. I growled in disapproval.

“The Prof hasn’t been seen for five years. Same time as The Brain Salad Murders stopped,” I said.

The press had given the murders a typically colourful name, as if they weren’t lurid enough. Murders were ten a penny in The City, of course, but these caused a stir like no other.

The fact that the victims were all powerful, rich, old blokes probably had a lot to do with that. Every one was a big shot. Bankers, judges, media moguls. Even Police Commissioner O’ Neil. Every cop in The City had been told to make it a priority. And let every other one of The City’s crime victims help themselves.

Professor Galimova – a nutjob that had been fired from The City University for “an undisclosed matter” – sent a letter to The City Gazette confessing to the crimes and saying that he was on a mission to harvest The City’s corrupt souls. But, shortly afterwards, the murders suddenly stopped and it was assumed that Galimova had been killed. Until now.

I rubbed my eyes again. Yawned.

***

            The beast roared and shards and slivers of pain sliced through his flesh.

            The slivers became a throb. And the throb faded to silence.

            A stillness consumed him.

            A calming darkness.

            And the sea of sleep enfolded him.

            Until the chill night, when bathed in the milk of the moon, he raged.

            And he roared.

***

“Duffy, can I have the key to the back room? I’ll be canoodling with Morpheus any minute,” I said.

“Sure.” He handed me the big brass key.

Duffy’s spare room was Spartan, to say the least. A simple single bed. A table. A chair. And a bottle of Dark Valentine. I opened the bottle and took a swig, switched off the light and plonked down onto the bed.

I could hear an Al Green tune playing in the bar and was heading into the void when I heard a voice.

“Perhaps you would like a bedtime story, Detective Dalton.”

I wrenched my eyes open. Let them adjust to the dark.

Sat at the table was the old guy from the bar. He poured a shot of DV into a tumbler and sipped.

“My name is Professor Galimova. I believe that you are aware of my reputation?”

“Yeah, and you look kinda familiar,” I said, sitting up.

I held out my hand and he passed me the bottle of booze.

“Well, that’s nice to know. I’m sure you have infected many since your transformation. I assumed we’d all blurred into one.”

“We …?”

I took a swig of DV.

“Oh,” I said, twigging what the Prof was talking about.

“Yes, ‘oh’,” said The Professor, with a smirk.

“When?”

“Six months ago, of course. I was about to harvest your old friend Ton Ton Philippe, in fact, when I was set upon by a wild beast. You.”

“So that’s why you stopped …”

“Harvesting? Yes.”

“And now you’re back?”

“Indeed. I tried to cleanse myself of your disease, but to no avail. So I accepted that the affliction is, in fact, a gift and decided to return to The City to continue my work. But with an added strength when the moon is full, of course.”

He chuckled.

“So, cheers to you, Detective Dalton,” he said. He finished off his drink.

“Na zdrowia,” I said.

I took another mouthful of DV.

The Professor grinned, stood and walked out the door.

So, the worst serial killer in The City’s history was back. Stronger and more powerful than ever. And I was responsible.

I shuffled my stiff body off the bed and prepared to follow Galimova, but then I thought of the particular demographic of The Professor’s victims.

The crème de la crème here in The City. They’d be sitting ducks for a werewolf serial killer, for sure.

And then I lay back down and went to sleep.

***

The City’s neon-drenched, sin-soaked streets and alleyways called to him.

            The silver moon sang a seductive refrain.

            And The Professor was again consumed with a hunger.

            A hunger for the corrupt.

 

THE END

(c) Paul D. Brazill

The Liberator is BACK!

The Liberator. THE LIBERATOR is on sale again.

The skinny:

A priest tracks down his kidnapped sister and finds her trapped in a nest of evil.

Van Helsing meets The Punisher in The Liberator, a hard-boiled noir/ horror short story from Paul D. Brazill creator of Roman Dalton – Werewolf PI.

A dark and atmospheric story of the usual high standard you expect from Paul D.Brazill. Each scene is a perfectly blended mix of noir, horror and highly charged magic. Great characters, world weary cynicism and a great short story all in a few thousand words. Another winner from Brazill.’
You can grab THE LIBERATOR from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and any other Amazon.

Thump! is at What Are You Afraid Of? Podcast.

what-are-you-afraid-of

Listen HERE!

Here’s the skinny on the episode:

‘HAPPY HALLOWEEN from What Are You Afraid Of? Podcast New episode now available. HALLOWEEN NIGHT.T

T. Fox Dunham, Phil Thomas & PD Cacek bring you this special & extra episode of What Are You Afraid Of? Horror & Paranormal Podcast to celebrate Halloween 2016. It was recorded onsite at Uncanny Comics in the King of Prussia Mall, Philadelphia during their Malloween event. They handed out true ghost stories & candy then recorded the episode, joined by horror author PD Cacek who will be a regular part of the show.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN from WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF PODCAST? New Halloween Special available for download.

The show opens with an encore of Halloween Night by #indiemusic star Monk Turner. They discussed all things Halloween and paranormal, shared a few baking tips and even interviewed a traveling magician, Doug Stafford, who was on his way to a gig in Atlantic City. Katie Montana Jordan, the show’s occult scholar, returned to talk about some of the darker traditions of Halloween, and PD Cacek shared two ghost stories from New Hope PA, narrated by the British folksinger, David Walton.

“I’m a ghost magnet.” Horror Author PD Cacek

Noir author Paul D. Brazill of Europe gave the show a dark tale of murder and captivity below an English pub, narrated by T. Fox Dunham. And Monk Turner closed the show with a song called ‘It’s a Wicked Life’ (The Hades Song.)

“The thing lived in the furnace.” PD Cacek

The hosts wish you a happy Halloween and hope you’ll enjoy the spooky night with their show. They will be on PARA-X RADIO at a special time on Oct 31st at 8PM and then have an episode for you every week, exploring the darkness on Saturdays at 6PM and from all major podcast services. Fox will be in Richmond on Saturday, November 5th for a special night of noir readers then in Philly for a unique and secretive night of metal bands. Phil’s new horror movie is soon to be released.’

Check out the WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? website HERE.

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#FRIDAY FLASH: THUMP!

THUMP.

 

There.

 

THUMP.

 

There it is again.

 

THUMP.

 

I told you. No, shh. Listen . . .

 

THUMP.

 

Did you hear? Listen. No ….

 

THUMP. THUMP. THUMP.

 

There! You must have heard that!

 

THUMP.

 

See, I told you but you didn’t believe me, did you? She’s down there.

 

Of course I’m sure it’s her.

 

What do you mean?

 

Eh?

 

It stands to reason doesn’t it? When was the last time you saw her, eh?

 

THUMP.

 

See, what I reckon is … Shhh! Toby’s coming back. Neck that and let’s get a couple more pints in while he’s here.

 

How’s the match, Toby? Aye… Aye. Well there’s still time ,eh? Game of two halves and all that.

 

Yeah a couple more pints of Nelson please Toby … Ta.

 

Many in the other room? Oh, aye, him. Well he’s attached to the place like it’s an umbilical cord, eh? Tight as a gnats twat, though, eh?

 

Ta much.

 

Good CD this. Love a bit of Simple Minds, me. Could you turn it up a bit before you go back, Toby. Ta.

 

Aye, pain in the arse having to go outside for a cig but what can we do eh? The law’s the law.

 

Oh, ey Toby. Keith here was asking after your Lisa. Said he hasn’t seen her for a bit. I said a bit of what? Ha, ha …

 

Ey, ey, ey!

 

Ey, only joking mate. Sorry! No offence. Just making conversation, like.

 

Aye.

 

She still in Jockland then?

 

Aye, well as long as she’s alight then. Yeah. Yeah.

 

Aye.

 

Aye.

 

Aye, we’ll give you a shout if anyone comes in.

 

Right.

 

Shh. . . Wait . . .

 

Right.

 

THUMP.

 

See. Told you. It’s her, Keith.

 

It is.

 

Think about it. She was always hanging around here in them jeans so tight you could read her lips. You could see Toby’s face when anyone tried chatting her up.

 

Aye, only natural. But you know, the little green – eyed idol and that …

 

What? But she hasn’t been in for …

 

… Yeah, I know. I know he said she’s off with her aunt in Scotland but it’s not what I heard.  I heard she was banging that Gypsy bloke that was sniffing around her and .. .

 

Yeah, I know. Only sixteen, but old enough to bleed old enough to breed, eh?

 

THUMP. THUMP.

 

Now you must have heard that?

 

See, that Gypsy bloke, you remember him, all gold, tattoos and hairy arms? Aye. Pentagon medallion dangling round his neck.

 

That’s the lad….

 

Shhh … Ahh, Don’t You Forget About Me… this is the stuff… Simple Minds biggest hit, you know? Broke them in the US of A …

 

Yeah, well Toby was ever so protective, eh? That lad must have been forty if he was a day…

 

May to December relationships, eh? Call it what you want Keith, I doubt Toby was too impressed. They reckon he covered Lisa’s neck with some nasty love bites … Yeah, she was smitten and that. Walking around like she was hypnotised. Spaced out, like…

 

Nah, doubt she touches the wacky backy, all fitness and health and safety, her.

 

Anyway,  I reckon that he’s got her down there like that Fritz bloke in Austria. Remember him? Had his young un locked up in the basement for donkeys years?

 

Probably banging her himself. Can’t say I blame him, mind you …ey, ey, no need for you to get all touchy as well … only a bit of a …

 

What? Go where? The filth? Grass him up?

 

Not on your nelly, Keith. I’m many things but I am not a grass. Anyway, I think they’re still looking for me for that B&E at the gas works. Nah, you see, I’ve  got a  …

 

Hold on … Wait for the next song to start. . .

 

THUMP.

 

See?

 

THUMP.

 

See?

 

Ahh, Promised You A Miracle. Love this one. Classic.

 

Naw, my plan is to get down there after he closes up the pub and see if she’s there, just to be certain, like …. yeah, I’m sure she is … and then phone the press…

 

The papers!

 

You know, The Mirror, The Sun, News Of The Screws and that … and get them down here when we set her free. I reckon we could make a fortune selling the story. Telly. Book deal. Films. The lot, Keith. The lot.

 

What? The lock? Do you know who you’re talking, to Keith?

 

Piece of piss. Easy peasey, Japenesey. We get in through those double cellar doors at the back of the pub. The ones that the brewery use to deliver the booze.

 

Yes!

 

He’s only got a daft padlock on there, I can pick that in no time, you know that.

 

Yeah, we’ll do it tomorrow might after he closes up.

 

* * *

 

You tosser. I can’t …

 

Of course we need a friggin torch. I left me night vision goggles at home … nah, that was a joke, Keith. Honestly some people …

 

Well, at least we’ve got that full moon dangling  there. Should give us a bit of light …

 

A what? A gibbons moon? If you like, Keith, if you like…

 

Right, now slowly, slowly  .. shh, don’t wannna frighten .. . Jeesus, you reek. How many slices of that garlic bread did you tuck into?

 

Nah, can’t stand the stuff. Don’t like foriegn food, do I?

 

Right here we go. Steady on the ladders. Soon as we see her we phone Col at The Gazette.

 

THUMP.

 

What was that?

 

THUMP.

 

Ehh? Sounded like a bird flapping around?

 

THUMP.

 

… yeah … maybe a scream … sure of … Yeah, I can see it.

 

THUMP.

 

Hold on, it’s landed in the corner… who the …?

 

Nahh, it’s her. It’s Lisa… well of course it’s her.

Alright, Lisa love, only  me and Keith … eh up!

 

Lisa, love, don’t you think you should get some clobber on? Eh, Lisa? Bit nippy down here for …

 

Ey, you’re eyes don’t half look red … What the fu… Lisa, no offence, normally I’d love a snog but …

 

THUMP. THUMP. THUMP.

 

Ey, Keith, where the fuck are you scarpering to? Get your neck back here …

 

Aw jeez, Lisa! No … please!

 

THUMP. THUMP. THUMP.

 

Aaaaaaah!

 

THUMP.

 

THUMP. THUMP. THUMP.

 

THUMP.

(THUMP! first appeared at Thrillers, Killers N Chillers)

Recommended Read: The Pure And The Hated by Richard Godwin

the pure and the hatedFamily man Shepherd Butler is mourning the death of his son when he decides to take in a homeless man who has also suffered a violent tragedy. Things then quickly spiral violently out of control.

Richard Godwin’s The Pure And The Hated starts as an atmospheric tale of loss, then twists into a graphic cross between Cape Fear and Grande Guignol horror.

Short, Sharp Interview: Jason Michel

the death of 3 coloursPDB: Can you pitch THE DEATH OF THREE COLOURS in 25 words or less?

A dark and surreal tale of organised crime, betrayal, the nature of evil and one man’s obsession with the Mexican folk saint, Santa Muerte.

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

Barry Adamson’s Moss Side Story, They Live!, and Twin Peaks.

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

Well, I am thinking of writing a screenplay for TDo3C, but I’d love to see a version of The Dice Man on the screen. Or The illuminatus Trilogy.

jason 2016.PDB: Who are the great Italian novelists?

Well, Umberto Eco’s the big one, of course. D’Annuzio is a controversial one, part of the Decadent movement and the works I have read show a mad artistic genius there. The kind that doesn’t seem to exist today. There’s also the current of “Giallo” literature, one I need to learn more about…

PDB: Is blogging killing journalism?

Maybe it should.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

Chaos and misfortune, knowing my luck.

Jason Michel is the dictator of PULP METAL MAGAZINE. He lives in Italy.

 

Frank Duffy Interviews Paul D. Brazill

hungry cellWho the hell are you?

PDB: Paul D, Brazill. I was born in England and live in Poland. I’m the author of Cold London Blues, The Last Laugh, Guns Of Brixton, and Kill Me Quick! And some other stuff. I have short stories all over the shop, including in 3 editions of The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime. I’ve had stories translated into Italian, German, Polish, Slovene and Finnish. I’m working on two novellas. One is set in England and Poland and the other is set in New York, London and Madrid. My blog is pauldbrazill.com

1. In the modern age of the jobbing writer, is there such a thing as an average writing day for you?

PDB: No. I read and write when I have time and when I feel like it. Like most other things in life. Consistency is the city hobgoblin of little minds. Or is that Jim Kerr?

2. How often do you feel a seething envy whenever one of your writer friends posts about their latest publishing success?

PDB: Never.

3. Should prolific writers be tied to a chair for a few days, before being allowed to post constant updates on social media sites relating to their literary prowess?

PDB: No. Unless you’ve got an agent and a big publisher behind you ‘Shill What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law.’

4. How long does it take you to complete a short story from start to finish in the age of the internet and Facebook?

PDB: I’ve never timed it. I suppose about 24 hours – off and on- and then piddling about for an hour or so at a time while I’m watching Dog- Bounty Hunter..

5. Can controlled substance abuse really aid the writing process?

PDB: It seems unlikely. I don’t even drink when I read let alone when I’m writing. Horses for courses, I suppose but not for me.

6. What are your thoughts on setting word targets each day? Are they constructive, or is it something only an insufferable pedant would claim essential?

PDB: If you’re a professional writer, it seems eminently sensible but not for a dilettante like what I am. I suppose it should be an achievable word count, if you are going to do it and it probably varies from person to person.

7. Would you like to be a reviled and unpopular obscurantist if it meant having worldwide success in the literary world, or are you a true artist who would never dilute the substance of their art?

PDB: I’m lucky in that I have a job so I can write what entertains me. And that entertains other people, too. Which is nice. If I was offered a ton of dosh to write something? Of course but I’m far too slap dash to end up with an offer like that, I think. I see myself as an entertainer rather than an artist: More Lionel than Roland, More Des than Flannery.

8. More importantly, how often are you involved in an online argument among other genre writers bemoaning the state of the writing community?

PDB: Never. I pay almost no attention to ‘the stuff’ this days.

9. What are the most common gripes that authors make on social media sites which drive you bonkers?

PDB: Nothing. See above.

10. How long does it take for you to decide if the story is a work of genius or utter drivel?

PDB: I immediately know that it’s quite good and that opinion rarely changes.

11. Are beta readers a good idea, or are they the equivalent of your Uncle Bertie’s friends from the local library reading group?

PDB: It seems sensible. I hardly ever do it, mind you. It’s great working with good, honest editors, which I have done and do with Caffeine Nights, All Due Respect and Number Thirteen Press.

12. What is the most difficult form of fiction to write, a short story, a novella or a novel?

PDB: I still haven’t written a novel so it must be that.

13. Have you ever considered writing under a pseudonym to kick-start a lengthy career as a writer of erotica?

PDB: If I could do it easily, I’d have no problem with writing erotica. I wouldn’t use a pseudonym though.

14. What has been the longest writing project you’ve embarked on? Was there any point at which you thought of abandoning the story so you could get absolutely sh**faced?

PDB: Guns Of Brixton and Cold London Blues took the longest, I imagine, since they are the longest. It’s finished when it’s finished for me. I don’t get stressed about not finishing things. Story of my life …

15. Have you ever lain awake at night and wondered why you write? Have you ever considered if other people lie awake at night also wondering why you write?

PDB: No.

16. Do you conduct research for everything which you write? Have you ever broken into a top secret facility to add authenticity in the name of research, or is Wikipedia your ultimate guide to authenticity?

PDB: I spy for the FBI. And do as little research as I can get away with. The world is a mouse click away. Or I can make something up. I’m not a journalist.

17. What piece of research might show up on your internet history and give your family cause to worry about your stability?

PDB: Carnaby Street tailors in the 1970s.

18. What life experience has been the most advantageous in terms of writing a story?

PDB: Meeting interesting /funny/ mental people. Ripping off their lives and anecdotes.

19. Should authors give advice to aspiring authors , or should they leave them to do things their own way? What was the worst bit of advice you ever heard ?

PDB: Never give or listen to advice. It usually goes tits up.

20. What are some of the most popular misconceptions about writers from the perspective of the public?

PDB: That writers are rich or even make money from writing.

21. What was the worst rejection from a publisher you’ve ever had?

PDB: Never had one, I’m shocked to say. I’ve had a 2 or 3 short stories turned down but the rejections were usually very polite and I just rewrote the yarns.

22. Have you ever thought of launching a secret hate campaign against a publisher who simply misjudged your literary genius?

PDB: No.

24. And finally, which would you choose, a commercial contract with stipulations about what you’re allowed to write, or a career in the Small Press with no restrictions on what you are allowed to write?

PDB: I’m happy doing what I do. I’m an indie/ cottage industry guy. Never say never, though. If I ever write something that might end up in ASDA or Walmart then maybe I’d give it a shot.

This interview first took place on Frank Duffy‘s Facebook page.