Category Archives: Jan Kozlowski

The Next Big Thing

Death On A Hot Afternoon by Paul D. Brazill

So, recently I was tagged by a couple of people to do this ME! ME! that’s doing the rounds.

The first two folk to Tango me were ANNE BILLSON  and JAN KOZLOWSKI

The gig is to answer some questions and then tag five more people, who then answer the same questions.

And on … so …

1. What is the title of your book?

Death On A Hot Afternoon.

 

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

A bit back I wrote a novelette for Atlantis, the Italian publishers, called Red Esperanto/ Rosso Esperanto.

It’s set in Warsaw, Poland and is the story of an English hack – Luke Case – who gets involved with a gangster’s wife.

Atlantis asked me to write a follow-up, so I did just that. This time Luke is in Madrid, Spain . The title is a hat-tip to the film Seance On A Wet Afternoon.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

It was specifically written with a noir/crime vibe in mind, so let’s hope that’s what it is!

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh, most of the actors I’d choose are probably brown bread now but … Luke Case could be played by Tim Roth. His drinking crony Nathan Jones could be played by  Gary Oldman– if he piled on the pounds – and Lena K, the torch singer … dunno!

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

An English hack  encounters a man with a violent past, and a mysterious torch singer, during a hot Spanish summer, with fatal results.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Well, though I have had a bit of agent interest, this book was commissioned directly by the publishers, so neither!

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Probably two to three days, in bits and bobs. I edit as I go along so I can keep the mood.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

No specific books, but the tortured spirits of Patricia Highsmith and David Goodis were floating over my head as I worked on it. And the John Dahl  film The Last Seduction.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I was asked! And I like the idea of a rootless anti- hero wandering around the globe getting into scrapes! I’ve known a few of them in my time …

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

Good food, good music and good drinks abound! And no karaoke!

Now, I’m goin to pass the Dutchie – on the left hand side- to …

ELETTRA MORELLI who blogs here, STEPHEN WALKER of STEVE DOES COMICS,   COL BURY who has a crime fiction blog hereLEE HUGHES who writes here , and JJ Toner, who hangs about over here.

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Recommended Reads

Die, You Bastard Die! – Jan Kozlowski

Claire is a tough, no-nonsense paramedic who is called back to her home town to take care of her injured father. The sordid skeletons come rattling out of the closet as Claire is forced to confront her abusive childhood. Can any book live up to a title as good as Die, You Bastard, Die!? Jan Kozlowski’s blisteringly violent  rush of grindhouse Gothic actually does. A corker!

Blood Red Turns Dollar Green by Paul O’ Brien

Lenny is a ‘mark’ A long time wrestling fan who wants ‘in’. Paul O’ Brian’s fantastic debut crime  novel opens with Lenny in a more than somewhat dazed and confused state after  being involved in a car accident.  The smartly woven story then moves backwards and forwards across the US and from the early ‘70s to the late ‘60s, and then back again, until it reaches a magnificent adrenaline pumping finale. Blood Turns Dollar Green has a rich cast of characters including a supposedly mute and South African giant, and a colourful cornucopia of gangsters and low – lifes. Brilliant.

What Gets Left Behind by Mark West

Mike returns to his home town  – the scene of a childhood tragedy – and picks at the sores of the past in Mark West’s marvellously written horror  novella. West moves the story  back to the ‘80s –when the town was being stalked by a serial killer –  and then hurls it forward as Mike attempts to confront his inner demons. Full of atmosphere and aching with a sense of nostalgia and missed opportunities, What Gets Left Behind is chilling and moving story of regret.

The Storm Giants by Pearce Hansen

Everett is a man with a dark and destructive history who is living a life that approaches normality – an artist wife, a young son, a house in the country. But then The Widow steps out of the past and forces Everett to return to his old, violent ways. Pearce Hansen is a splendid writer who has created a powerful,  strange and affective kind of urban fairy tale with oodles of hardboiled action and social commentary to boot.

Find Emily by J J Toner

D I Ben Jordan returns for a second hard-hitting outing in J J Toner’s cracking Find Emily. Jordan has handed in his notice but is called in to find a missing child, the daughter of a big shot Irish businesswoman and a former American football star . Jordan know that he has  maybe 24 hours to find the missing child and Toner breathlessly drags us along with him on his frantic search that includes encounters with the IRA, a sex traffic ring, corruption and much more. Find Emily is the sort of gritty, realistic crime thriller that would be topping the best seller lists, if there were any justice in the world.

Short, Sharp Interview: Jan Kozlowski

PDB: Can you pitch Die, You Bastard Die ! in 25 words or less?

Paul, I’m lucky in that I think the title says it all, but here goes: DIE, YOU BASTARD! DIE! is a down-and-dirty, grindhouse-style revenge story that registers somewhere between Misery and Last House on the Left on the EEK! meter.

PDB: Which books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?

Films: The only new one I have any interest in seeing is Seven Psychopaths, with Christopher Walken, Harry Dean Stanton, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell & Tom Waits.

Old ones saved to the permanent DVR queue: Machete, Jennifer’s Body, Secondhand Lions, Dust Til Dawn& Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2.

Television: The Walking Dead, Castle, The Big Bang Theory, Hot in Cleveland & Dave’s Old Porn.

Books: Oh, man…too many to mention! I tend to read a bunch of books at a time and right now I’m in John Skipp’s Psychos, Mercedes M. Yardley’s Beautiful Sorrows and short story collections Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT, and Shotgun Honey Presents: Both Barrels.

The books I’ve most recently finished have been: Chastity Flame by K.A. Laity, Kin by Kealan Patrick Burke and A Hell of a Woman: An Anthology of Female Noir edited by Megan Abbott

PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?

My problem with writer as reader is not so much objectivity, as it is just being able to kick back and enjoy a good read without turning into nasty editor lady. I’ve spent most of life as a writer and the last 15 years or so as a freelance editor, so just being able to relax and sink into a story without (or without noticing) grammar, typos, fact checking or plot glitches is a rare and beautiful thing.

PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?

Years back I had a short story that I was asked to turn into a short movie script and then that movie was shot locally. I was lucky enough to actually be on the set as a technical consultant during the shoot and I had a blast. Unfortunately the film, to my knowledge, never made it out of post-production, but it was a great experience.

It was different in that I had to get used to creating by committee and at one point on the set I thought that if I heard my own words repeated one more time

I’d scream…but all in all it was a lot of fun and I’d certainly consider doing it again if the project was right.

PDB: How much research goes into each book?

As much research as I need to do to make the story credible and as factually accurate as possible. For BASTARD, I relied mostly on my own history, emotional truths and work experiences. Back in the 80’s, I was an urban EMT and I grew up in an area much like where BASTARD is set. About the only hard research I needed to do, besides finding out how long cockroaches could live underwater, was to make sure that my main character’s paramedic equipment and treatments were up to date and followed today’s protocols.

PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?

Social media is absolutely vital to professional writers today. It is our salon, our professional gatherings and publications, our local watering hole, our backyard fence and in many cases, our employment office.

Don’t like Facebook or Twitter or Goodreads or Pinterest or Google+ ? Too bad, if you’re going to be a professional writer, that is one who gets paid for their work, suck it up and learn how to manage it. Personally, I aspire to Jonathan Maberry’s disciplined approach of spending ten minutes of every hour on Facebook or Twitter and the other 50 minutes writing…but stuff (and fun conversations) happen. So I do the best I can and the quest for balance continues!

PDB: What’s on the cards for the rest of 2012/13?

Hopefully lots and lots of writing! I’ve been busy with conferences for the past couple of months, so it will be nice to hang up my traveling shoes and concentrate on putting words on the page again. I have a new novel project that I JUST started working on and I have a couple of fun editing projects on the horizon that I’m looking forward to as well.

Bio: Jan Kozlowski is a freelance writer, editor and researcher. Her first novel DIE, YOU BASTARD! DIE! was published in 2012 by John Skipp’s Ravenous Shadows imprint. Her short horror stories have appeared in HUNGRY FOR YOUR LOVE: An Anthology of Zombie Romance and FANGBANGERS: An Erotic Anthology of Fangs, Claws, Sex and Love, both edited by Lori Perkins, NECON EBOOKS FLASH FICTION ANTHOLOGY BEST OF 2011 and WEIRD NOIR edited by Kate Laity. Her websites are: www.jankozlowski.com and www.butshekeepsanicelawn.com