She’s here, there and everywhere. And, wherever she is. K A Laity has Too Many Crooks.
She’s here, there and everywhere. And, wherever she is. K A Laity has Too Many Crooks.
Cold London Blues with me (and my other books) here in Poland.
Ronnie Burke in the Boro.
Jeff Munday in London.
Micheal Haskins in Florida.
Peter Ord in Hartlepool.
Marky Hewitt in Hartlepool.
Denise Sparowhawk in Hartlepool.
K A Laity in Dundee.
Mark Hammonds in the Boro.
Vic Godard in Surrey.
Quite a bit, actually. So much so I’m hoping to take most of the summer off. To wit:
My newest Nick Forte PI mystery, A Dangerous Lesson, launched May 15 in print and Kindle editions, both available through all finer Amazon outlets. In this, the fourth of the Forte stories, Nick is investigating an heiress’s new boyfriend when he becomes tangentially—then deeply—involved with a serial killer. Frankly, I’m not a fan of serial killer fiction, but this story appealed to me as a way to get into Forte’s increasingly dark character. They say two people in a relationship will tend to sink to the level of the one who’s most fucked up, and that’s certainly the case here.
I recently finished the outline for my next Penns River story, tentatively titled Small Town Crime. Based on said outline, this will be my most ambitious book and will force me to try to stretch my abilities. Light a candle for me if you’re so inclined.
“Wait,” you say. “The ‘next’ Penns River book? There are others?” Damn right. Two of them have been released previously, and, thanks to Down & Out Books, all four of the Penns River books currently residing on my hard drive will become available over the next couple of years. D&OB will re-release Worst Enemies and Grind Joint this fall, with the third (and new) book, Resurrection Mall, to become available in the spring of 2017. Contracts have yet to be signed, but we also have a handshake agreement to release the fourth PR book—PR-Two—in the spring of 2018. Everyone at Down and Out has been great to work with and I’m jazzed about the whole process of working with them, as well as the quality group of writers I can now call peers without seeming presumptuous. (You’d have to ask them how crazy they are about that prospect.)
I’ll also be at Bouchercon in New Orleans September 15 – 18 and the Creatures, Crime, and Creativity (C3) Conference in Columbia MD September 30 – October 2. Anyone at either of these events, please stop by and say hello. You don’t need to buy a book. I’ll sign anyone’s book, you want me to. Hell, I’ll sign their name in their book if the line’s too long for you to wait. That’s the kind of reader-oriented writer I am.
(Thanks to Paul Brazill, author, raconteur, and bon vivant, for providing this forum. Truly a gentleman. Hell of a writer, too.)
Bio : Woody Haut, writing in the LA Review of Books, named Dana King’s novel Grind Joint as one of the fifteen best noir reads of 2013. His first PI novel, A Small Sacrifice, received a Shamus Award nomination that same year. A short story, “Green Gables,” appeared in the anthology Blood, Guts, and Whiskey, edited by Todd Robinson. Other short fiction has appeared in Spinetingler, New Mystery Reader, A Twist of Noir, Mysterical-E, and Powder Burn Flash. His newest book is A Dangerous Lesson.
Dana’s blog, One Bite at a Time, resides at danaking.blogspot.com. He lives in quiet near seclusion with The Beloved Spouse.
I was amused by a tweet from Radio 4 wondering — at this late date — whether it was time for Jane Bond. I think Peter O’Donnell and I both would have the same eye-rolling reaction to that. Not least because my sexy spy thriller Chastity Flame has resurfaced from her adventures for a shiny new opportunity: Thanks to Smashwords, Wattpad and Tirgearr Publishing, we’re serialising the first book of the trilogy. That’s right, you can read the book for FREE that’s been called ‘50 Shades of James Bond’ and ‘a highly addictive, fast-moving, clever, sexy and funny globe-trotting, spy romp’ by Mr B himself.
Head over to Wattpad to start reading one chapter a day! Be advised, it’s smoking hot so not for the prudish. James Bond gets a run for his money in that department. Can’t wait that long? Jump over to Smashwords (the alternative to Amazon) and pick up the book or all three in the trilogy.
Over on the Graham Wynd side of my life the exciting news is that two anthologies I’m in are up for Anthony Awards: my story ‘Life Just Bounces’ is in Murder Under the Oaks edited by Art Taylor and my tale ‘Mesquite’ appears in Protectors 2: Heroes which Thomas Pluck edited. Lots of great books up for the awards—tough choices for those voting in New Orleans!
Meanwhile I’m trying to wrap up a novella called Love is a Grift and figure out who I should send it off to. I think the tag line will be, ‘One woman, four cities—and a string of bodies.’ How’s that sound?
I wouldn’t usually bring up academic stuff here, but I’m working on an essay about Dorothy Hughes’ The Expendable Man for a special issue of TEXT on crime fiction and the creative nexus. The more I write about Hughes the more I admire her writing. If you haven’t yet read the novel In a Lonely Place grab it. Then go get the Criterion release of the film. What a gorgeous piece of messed-up noir with glorious Gloria and a surly Bogart. You will not be disappointed.
K. A. Laity is the award-winning author of White Rabbit, Dream Book, A Cut-Throat Business, Lush Situation, Owl Stretching, Unquiet Dreams, Chastity Flame, and Pelzmantel, as well as editor of Respectable Horror, Weird Noir, Noir Carnival and Drag Noir. She also writes historical fiction as Kit Marlowe and crime as Graham Wynd. Dr. Laity teaches medieval literature, film, gender studies, digital humanities and popular culture at the College of Saint Rose, where she is also the director of the Digital Humanities Initiative. She divides her time between upstate New York and Dundee, Scotland.
‘My beloved in Ziggy—transplendent be his name!—there are some troubling trends of late in our nation. Despite the ubiquity of our faith—it’s rare to see anyone not wearing a lightning bolt, admittedly, whether on a chain around their neck or in a discreetlapel pin—I am hearing reports from the periphery of our great lands that give me pause. Not since the great Pope of Pop laid his head down for the interval of rest has there been such dissension, or at least not since the great Reformation when we reconciled the Duke with the Starman and all was hunky dory once more from Colorado’s coast to the great basin of Beijing, cool as the ocean that is our heart.’
Read the rest here at PULP METAL MAGAZINE.
K A Laity is over at Polski Noir with Groteska!
Polski Noir ma na celu zapoznanie polskich czytelników czarnych kryminałów z międzynarodowym gatunkiem literackim zwanym noir flash fiction.
Polski Noir is a new crime e zine that aims to introduce international noir flash fiction to Polish readers.
The first story is live. It’s one of mine.
There are more stories to come from Patti Abbott, K A Laity, David Malcolm, Richard Godwin and more.
(Photo (c) Kasia Martell)
In 1950’s America, Sandra’s parents send her off to a small town university in order to keep her out of trouble. While there she encounters Trixie Faust and the rest of the Sigma Tau Nu sorority. Blood, sex and satanism quickly ensure.In spades!
Satan’s Sorority by Graham Wynd is a smart, witty and marvelously well written slice of pulp fiction. Full of great lines and clever asides, Satan’s Sorority is another winner from Number Thirteen Press.
Satan’s Sorority is out NOW from Number 13 Press! I just came back from Bouchercon where I gave out loads of ‘I’m pledging Sigma Tau Nu’ badges, plus I got to read from my story ‘Life Just Bounces’ at the big Murder Under the Oaks reading and then signed more books than I have ever signed before, thanks to the big guns that are in that collection.
PDB: How did you research your latest book/ short story?
I joined a satanic sorority and made a blood pledge – aw, who am I kidding? I did attend a certain Connecticut institution at one time that has a notorious Greek row but not notorious for Satanism as far as I know. Also as part of my job I do historical research into magic. I did have to check dates (and cheated when they didn’t quite fit!) and pore through archives to see how tabloids were covering sensational crimes in 1958. Probably the best research was watching a lot of crap occult films in the 1970s – well some of them were good, great in fact! I loved the often ambiguous endings of them, but that’s like a whole post in itself.
PDB: Which of your publications is the most successful?
Probably Murder Under the Oaks but I have high hopes for Satan’s Sorority. It’s just dying to become an indy horror film! I suppose over all the Chastity Flame series has sold the most units but nothing big enough to make me change my lifestyle.
PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme of 2015?
Oh, I don’t know. Mad Max: Fury Road probably wins for film. It was just so wonderful and I love the soundtrack so much. Drum crazy! Television: I absolutely loved Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Making fairy scary again like it should be, and so dark. Books? Well, friends aside because I don’t want to piss anyone off by not mentioning them – my friends all write awesome books and you should check them out – I’m deep into The Big Con by David Maurer. It inspired The Sting and it’s all about how the big con games flourished in the early 20th century. Fascinating stuff. I think I need to write a self-help book that teaches people to live like con artists.
Oh yeah. I’ve mostly set my crime stories in Britain or Europe, but I’m using a few US settings now because apparently the big publishers prefer that. I’m experimenting with using the Hudson Valley (where I spend half the year) as a setting, but I just seem more naturally inclined to set stories in Britain. Maybe it was all the stories I read as a kid – or my immersion in classic British humour at the formative age, around the same time as all those cheesy horror films, but those are the voices in my head.
PDB: What’s next?
Amongst other things, I’m working on a novel inspired by a song by the Royale Brothers, who were an awesome Connecticut band. Noir, death, downward spirals and betrayal: the usual sort of thing. And I’ve already thought up a sequel to Satan’s Sorority so now I just need to see if it does well enough that anyone wants it. I always have about ten projects going on. It’s nuts.
Bio: A writer of bleakly noirish tales with a bit of grim humour, Graham Wynd can be found in Dundee but would prefer you didn’t come looking. An English professor by day, Wynd grinds out darkly noir prose between trips to the local pub. Wynd’s novella Satan’s Sorority is out now from Number Thirteen Press. See more stories (including free reads!) here.
‘In the neon-soaked, blood-spattered hell-hole they call The City, Roman Dalton struggles to fight the forces of darkness, even when he becomes a creature of the night. Werewolves, vampires, zombies: they’re all just amateurs when it come to the real menace who haunts the streets. Let Brazill take you on a grim dark journey to hell and back. Bring lots of whisky: it’s a rough ride.’ K A Laity, author of White Rabbit. Get the eBook from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk etc. Or get the paperback here.
‘Other highlights include Kiki Le Shade by Chloe Yates, a lovely little horror story that mixes noir, drag and something else into the mix to create a charming nightmare. It’s a little rushed and could have done with being a touch longer, but it crams a lot of ideas into a short space without being too forced. Amelia Mangam’sStainless Steel is a cleverly twisted take on the theme, and A Bit of a Pickle by Paul D. Brazill is a nostalgia powered tale of regret.’
I have a story ‘Headless in Bury’ in the new Fox Spirit anthology Missing Monarchs. It sets a PI named Wolf on the trail of the head of a long-dead King, St Edmund. There’s a bunch of great folks in this collection including Jo Thomas, Geraldine Clark Hellary and the always hilarious and blisteringly profane Chloë Yates. I also have a fun little tale about obsession over at Pulp Metal Magazine “30 Versions of Warm Leatherette” which is based on a true story. Well, only so far as my pal Marko gave me 30 versions of “Warm Leatherette” though on CD because he’s old school.
PDB: How did you research this book?
For once, I did: I used some of my medieval background because the story of St Edmund (as in the town of Bury St Edmunds) has him getting captured and killed by Vikings, who knock his head off. A wolf guards it until the monks can find him when the head calls them over saying “Here, here, here!” Or in the Latin, hic hic hic which sounds much better of course.
PDB: Which of your publications are you most proud of?
Right now I’d say the Fox Spirit novella collection Extricate & Throw the Bones which also includes a bunch of shorts. I think it’s where I first really found my noir stride and I’m really pleased with both those novellas and most of the stories, one of which Otto Penzler picked our of the blue to be in Kwik Krimes. It was my nod to Tony Hancock and Sid James so I’m chuffed (“Losing My Religion”).
PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme?
Oh, I can never choose. I’m having the worst time choosing things for the crime course I’m teaching in the spring. It’s impossible making up my mind, so I finally told myself I just have to be a gateway drug: Chandler, Hammett, Sanxay Holding, Hughes, Cain, Highsmith, Millar, Himes, Thompson. Films I’m using—I had to cut down to three!—Third Man, Out of the Past, Night of the Hunter unless I change my mind and do one of the books after all (probably Maltese Falcon or Strangers on a Train). Television I’m behind on everything. Caught up on the first four seasons of Justified earlier this year and loved it. Oh and so excited about a third series of The Bridge because Saga is my hero.
Yeah, but it’s also a drawback because most of my stories are set in the UK but I’m not actually British so I’m not a British writer and US readers aren’t interested in British settings unless they’re cosies and I don’t do cosy.
PDB: How often do you check your Amazon rankings?
Never—what’s the point? If it’s ever good news it’ll show up in my bank account. Otherwise it’s just depressing. There’s always somebody doing better than you.
PDB: What’s next?
I’m working on a new novel that’s noir in the vein of James M. Cain, rather than detective sort of stuff. People who get obsessed and then go too far because they can’t just walk away from a bad situation. And a dog. I said I wasn’t going to do any more stories with dogs in them, but maybe I lied. Or maybe I just don’t learn.
Bio: A writer of bleakly noirish tales with a bit of grim humour, Graham Wynd can be found in Dundee but would prefer you didn’t come looking. An English professor by day, Wynd grinds out darkly noir prose between trips to the local pub. The novella of murder and obsessive love, EXTRICATE is out now from Fox Spirit Books; the print edition also includes the novella THROW THE BONES and a collection of short stories. ‘Headless in Bury’ appears in the MISSING MONARCHS Fox Pockets anthology, ‘The Tender Trap’ appears in EXILES: AN OUTSIDER ANTHOLOGY from Blackwitch Press, and the short story ‘Kiss Like a Fist’ appears in NOIR NATION 3.
‘The ghost of a Petula Clark song drifted into The Bag O’ Nails through a partly open window. A shard of sunlight sliced through the blinds, picking out specks of dust that floated in the air. An old electric kettle boiled in another room. A refrigerator hummed. A dishwasher chugged dully. A mangy black and white cat strolled across the newly polished bar before curling up on a wooden bar stool and going to sleep.’
To read the rest of A BIT OF A PICKLE you should pick up a copy of DRAG NOIR.
‘DRAG NOIR: this is where glamour meets grit, where everyone’s wearing a disguise (whether they know it or not) and knowing the players takes a lot more than simply reading the score cards. Maybe everyone’s got something to hide, but they’ve got something to reveal, too. Scratch the surface and explore what secrets lie beneath — it’s bound to cost someone…a lot.
Here are the stories in Drag Noir, suitably wrapped in a stylish cover from S. L. Johnson:
Introduction by Dana Gravesen and Bryan Asbury , The Meaning of Skin – Richard Godwin , Wheel Man – Tess Makovesky , No. 21: Gabriella Merlo – Ben Solomon , Geezer Dyke – Becky Thacker , Lucky in Cards – Jack Bates , Trespassing – Michael S. Chong , Chianti – Selene MacLeod , The Changeling – Tracy Fahey , Straight Baby – Redfern Jon Barrett , Kiki Le Shade – Chloe Yates , Protect Her – Walter Conley , King Bitch – James Bennett , A Bit of a Pickle – Paul D. Brazill , Stainless Steel – Amelia Mangan , The Itch of the Iron, The Pull of the Moon – Carol Borden.’
The Drag Noir anthology – edited by K A Laity and published by Fox Spirit – is out now and over here you can find out what inspired my yarn ‘A Bit Of A Pickle’ … My new Brit Grit Alley column is live at Out Of the Gutter Online and includes news of a HOT Crime Fiction writing course organised by Graham Smith … I’ve had a couple of yarns accepted recently. The new flash fiction site Spelk Fiction have accepted my piece The Long Haul. It should be published at the end of December. The deservedly well-respected Spinetingler Magazine have accepted my story The Postman Cometh. It should be online early next year … and my comic crime caper Guns Of Brixton (soon to be published in paperback by Caffeine Nights Publishing) appears to be available for pre-order from loads of places including Waterstones, Foyles, Amazon and Amazon UK.