Category Archives: Near To The Knuckle

Short, Sharp Interview: Paul Heatley

Heatley

PDB: What’s going on?

 

Nothing much, I’m just coming off a chest infection so I’m taking my time with most things as I get breathless very easily. Other than that, it’s same old, same old. Plugging away, writing, reading – the usual.

 

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

 

Sometimes, but not always. If I’m editing then I need silence in order to concentrate, but if I’m writing I can get away with some music. Often I’ll just hit some random tracks on YouTube, lately I’ve listened to a lot of Childish Gambino, REM, Ministry, and, of course, Mark Lanegan.

 

PDB: What makes you laugh?

 

My son. He’s six, and he keeps calling me Paul. Cheeky bugger.

 

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

 

I don’t drink, so you’re asking the wrong person! Or maybe prevention truly is the best cure, I’ve never had a hangover.

 

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

 

I’m quite happy in Northumberland. It’s the right kind of secluded. As I get older it becomes more and more clear to me I like to be away from people. I’m not a city boy.

 

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

 

I don’t, actually. I’m pretty boring. All my plans revolve around writing.

 

PDB: What’s on the cards?

 

The third part of the Eye For An Eye series, Violent By Design, will be released on September 28th, and I’m very excited for that to get out in the world and to hear what people have to say about it. I think the three covers are amazing, Craig Douglas of Near To The Knuckle has really excelled himself.

 

PDB: Anything else?

 

Just recently found out the release date for my next book, Guillotine, from All Due Respect, and that will be dropping on February 22nd of 2019. Other than that, I’m editing a couple of other things and planning some new ones, so I’m keeping busy going forward.

 

Author photo 3

Bio: Paul Heatley is the author of The Motel Whore & Other Stories, the Eye For An Eye series, Guns, Drugs, And Dogs, and Fatboy. His short stories have appeared online and in print for a variety of publications including Thuglit, Mystery Tribune, Spelk, Horror Sleaze Trash, and Shotgun Honey. He lives in the north east of England.

Small Time Crimes’ Soundtrack at Toe Six Press

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Well, I’ve certainly lifted plenty of story and book titles from songs over the years. Small Time Crimes, my new collection, has more than a few yarns with titles nicked from songs I like.

Over at Toe Six Press, I talk about those songs.

Chelsea Girls

I suspect most people would think that the title Chelsea Girls was pilfered from the 1967 Andy Warhol film and perhaps, indirectly, that’s true. It is, in fact, named after art rockers Simple Minds’ second single. I liked their first single, ‘Life In A Day and ‘Chelsea Girls’ too.  I saw them live around the same time -1979 – at Middlesbrough Rock Garden and always associate the gig with beer and marmite.

In The Devil’s Name

The shadow of the shadow of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band hangs over this yarn. SAHB recorded a song about the Scottish witch Isobel Goudie and the pub in the story is called The Swampsnake. SAHB were one of my favourite bands in pre-punk times.’

If you fancy, you can read the rest here.

Graham Wynd Reviews Small Time Crimes

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And Graham says:

Raymond Chandler advised struggling writers, “When in doubt…have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand” and the story would work itself out. I’d say the Brazill corollary is, ‘When in doubt have a man head to a pub.’ While many of his characters try to reform their ways both bibulous and violent, these hard-bitten by life folk generally find they picked the wrong week to give up their vices.

Or is the WC Fields rule? Never give a sucker an even break — and even the most well-intentioned characters here find themselves driven to desperate acts of violence. Most of them don’t have good intentions though: they’ve got axes to grind and long-nursed resentments to avenge and it’s no surprised to find everything going pear-shaped like life had been formed in a pear-shaped mold.

And it’s all hilarious, brutally so. These are not genteel stories. They’re laugh out loud, bitter wincing fun. If you have a black heart and even blacker humour. Some quotes because Mr B is eminently quotable with a boatload of absurdities, musical swipes and clever allusions:

Yeah, and I used to like Benny Liens. He used to be my best mate. My mucker. My partner in crime. Until he screwed my missus, that is. I sharp went off him then, I can tell you. Which is why I killed the fucker.

They used to say he had more tarts than Mr Kipling. He looked as rough as toast now, though. Hair like straw, face like a blackcurrant crumble, wearing a shabby grey shell–suit. The booze and the divorces had certainly taken their toll on George.

“I met him on a Monday and although my heart didn’t stand still, per say, it certainly skipped a beat or two, I can tell you,” said Martyna.

In the beginning was the sound. The light came later. The sound was a horrifying wail that skewered its way deep into my unconscious brain, until I awoke, drowning in sweat, my heart smashing through my ribcage, my head about to burst.

Truth be told, my most vivid and powerful memories of childhood were always in black and white. The monochrome serials that were shown at the Saturday morning Kidz Klub at the local Odeon cinema, and the Hollywood films on afternoon television, when I was throwing a sickie from school. It all seemed so much more vibrant than anything that real life could come up with. As you would expect of someone who grew up living more fully in his imagination than in the day–to–day, adulthood proved to be a series of disappointments and non–events.

“Hope is the real opium of the masses, Peter.”

I could go on and quote the whole damn book, but just buy it for yourself already. Five stars, shining accolades, Ladybird cover, the Kingsley Amis hungover prose award etc etc. Do yourself a favour.’

A Great Review For Small Time Crimes

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Over at Amazon.co.uk, Mark Hammonds says:

‘Mr Brazill has honed his craft in this collection of tales, some old, some new, to that of the short, sharp, smart uppercut. Rapid reversals of fortune have always been his stock in trade, but here they’ll give you whiplash. The trademark roguery is there and the one-liners come rattling at you as always, but mixed in is some real concentrated dark stuff.

His characters inhabit a morally polluted world and they know it. Life is one long, strange trip to a dodgy pub, slathered in rancid glamour and vomit, where it’s alway close to last orders. From the conniving to the exhausted, from the straight-up malevolent to the merely lost and bemused, they may whine and grizzle about their fates, but can only sigh and shrug it off, expecting no better. All that separates the one from the other are the temporary, flickering dispensations of luck.

Occasionally, you might see one or two attempt to live a better life. Their resolutions, count on it, are stillborn. And you smile. Not in this world, kid. Failure is all, and everyone falls sooner or later (spoiler alert: sooner), though some are falling and laughing. Without exception it all goes tilt, game over, and Charon’s yer man. And to forget this, they drink. And drink until it kills them, which is usually slowly.

Yet Brazill stitches these tales together with verve and glee, with so many tickles and bitchslaps that you go from story to story like a kid with Smarties, woofing them down til they’re gone and all you wish is that there were more. As the old punchline goes, it’s a treat, its a treat. And it is. Buy it, read it, tell your friends.’

Small Time Crimes is OUT NOW!

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Hit-men, con men, jewel thieves, career criminals, killers, crooks and cannibals. They all congregate between the pages of Paul D. Brazill’s Small Time Crimes – a brutal and blackly comic collection of short stories and flash fiction that views the world at its most askew.

Paul D. Brazill’s “Small Time Crimes” boils from the same rough vein that produced such classics as “Sexy Beast” and “Get Carter,” but it’s a nasty splash of British noir all its own’

‘a hard-hitting, fast paced, and darkly comic collection of short tales that go down as easy as your favorite ale!’

‘the prose is smooth and sweet as that top-shelf liquor you swiped on your way out the door. Make this your next book.’ 
You can grab the Small Time Crimes eBook or the paperback from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and the like.

Small Time Crimes Gets Its First Review.

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Over at Ciarfella’s Fiction Corner, Lisa  Ciarfella says:

Hey all,

Coming at ya on a rare Saturday with a crime fiction review that just can’t wait. This week, I’m serving up Paul D. Brazill’s “Small Time Crimes,”a hard-hitting, fast paced, and darkly comic collection of short tales that go down easy as your favorite ale!

Brazill’s pace and quick to the draw style are an entertaining way to spend an evening. Outlandish yarns spun like nobody’s business! A real one-two knock-down drag em’ out tone, his characters are like cowboys in the wild-wild west…rebels, without anyone’s cause but their own. 

TAKE ” 7 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT.”

Compelling, chilling prose puts the reader in the story right away. I just knew something bad was gonna happen soon, and Brazill’s narrative cuts right to the chase:

“It’s seven minutes to midnight and the brothers will be here at the witching hour, for sure. Same as last night and the previous night. The motel room is dark except for the faint light from an old transistor radio that is tuned to a classical music station. Hinkson sits in an old rocking chair, eyes closed. A sawn– off shotgun across his lap. A half– empty bottle of whisky on the table beside him….” 

And you got to luv the protag’s final way down:

Hinkson lights fire to a toilet roll and grabs his shotgun, shouting “bring it on.” What a way to go out, guns blazing!

 

“A man of sophisticated tastes” has its own charms, and could have you up late nights, worrying about the last burger you downed:

“ He ran a butcher’s shop and me ma worked at the old people’s home. Times were ‘ard after that Thatcher snatched the mines. And the oldies were droppin’ like flies. So, it just seemed like … well … an opportunity. It was just recycling, really. Very ecological.”

“A Big Payoff” is wicked funny.A dude hacks up people he doesn’t like, then cuts em up and sells em for dog food on the street! Then, for good measure, spikes their heads:

“It’s all about revenge. Impure and simple. Same as it ever was. The turban idea came to me after I saw a documentary on The History Channel about Vlad The Impaler. You know him? He’s the bloke that they say Dracula was based on? Anyway, he was a right nasty cunt and that was one his ways of showing everyone who was boss. And I was inspired,”

And “Gareth and Fiona” remind me of the young couple in “Pulp Fiction” who try to rob the diner before the two hit men intervene. These guys are a little more successful, and actually rob a postmaster, but not before Fiona takes out a blindsided teenager in the process who happens to wander in at the wrong moment! They’re violent, guilt-less, and all about the cash grab! ‘

A Short Interview and A Few Tasty Reviews

cropped-gazeta-wb-43.jpgOver at Unlawful Acts, Indie Crime Mastermind David Nemeth takes a look at Last Year’s Man and says:

‘“Last Year’s Man” is a one-sitting book, so grab a pint or two or maybe some whiskey, sit back and enjoy.’

Read the rest here.

Over at Amazon.com, Kevin McNamara also reviews Last Year’s Man and says:

‘Mr. Brazill is a master in this genre. A story about an aging hitman set both in London and Seatown. With a broad cast of characters, this book has action, wit and suspense. Highly recommended.’

Jack Strange reviews A Case Of Noir over at Goodreads and says:

‘The whole is greater than the sum of the parts – although the parts are so good you’ll savour them individually, as you work your way through them.’

Meanwhile, over at Near To The Knuckle, I say a few words about my forthcoming short story collection, Small Time Crimes.

NTTK: Thieves, killers and cannibals – the stories in your latest collection, Small Time Crimes, are brutal and dark. But they are also, at times, comic, and that fun factor really grips. What’s the trick to getting readers to laugh about crime and murder?’

Check it out!

Pre-Order Small Time Crimes

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Hit-men, con men, jewel thieves, career criminals, killers, crooks and cannibals. They all congregate between the pages of Paul D. Brazill’s Small Time Crimes – a brutal and blackly comic collection of short stories and flash fiction that views the world at its most askew.’

Small Time Crimes is now available for pre-order from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and all the other Amazons, if you fancy.

Recommended Read: The Glass House by Richard Godwin

The Glass HouseTroubled rich kids Michael and Abby are kidnapped and their parents are sent bizarre films of them trapped in glass cages.

Michael’s horrified parents contact a private detective, Earl Blake, to help them get their children back but things soon spiral out of control.

Richard Godwin’s The Glass House is a violent and gripping London set crime thriller full of sharp twists and turns.

I’m Interviewed at We Are Cult

CULTBANNER200DPIOver at We Are Cult, James Gent interviews me about Brit Grit and more:

‘Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I was born in Hartlepool in 1962, which was the same year the first Beatles single and the first Bond film were released. It’s no coincidence, I’m sure.

My first job was on a government scheme updating ordinance survey maps. It wasn’t as glamourous as it sounds.

I’ve worked in a second-hand record shop, a toy shop and as a welfare rights worker. I’ve been TEFL teaching in Poland for more than a decade and have yet to be deported.

What is your creative background?

I don’t think I have one. I played bass in a couple of bands in the early ‘80s but then, didn’t everyone? I did a screenwriting course in the ‘90s and wrote a screenplay. I sent it to ‘a well-known film production company’ but they never got back to me. It was the only copy I had of the bloody thing but I never bothered to ask for it back.’

Read the rest HERE.

I’m Interviewed by Mark Ramsden

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Ace transgressive fiction  writer Mark Ramsden has some nice things to say about my writing and then we have a little natter:

‘In the mid 20th century there were light-hearted crime novels about decent chaps with a taste for adventure. The Saint. The Toff. Perhaps, like Paul Temple, they had a cockney manservant and lived in Mayfair. Mr Brazill’s comedic capers are generally set somewhere less salubrious. Perhaps a grim seaside town, where laconic losers drink super strength lager, which might be stored in their pockets for later – not much later at all.

Instead of a search for the Maltese Falcon a vile gangster wants to know which of his girls are offering, against his wishes, a ‘full service’.
The one liners come thick and fast. ‘”I’m as honest as the day is long”. If you live in Iceland.’
‘The silence dragged like a BNP voter’s knuckles.’
There’s nifty descriptions: ‘He had salt and pepper hair that erred on the side of Saxa, and his face had that scrubbed-by-a-Brillo Pad look favoured by football mangers like Sir Alex Ferguson.’
It’s realistically sleazy and gritty but with enough humour so you don’t need to drown your sorrows – unlike Paul’s protagonists.
Like his Too Many Crooks there’s a sly metafictional flavour but it’s gentle and playful. It won’t strip the enamel off your teeth, like some of the beverages consumed herein.
In short, an original homebrew with a kick. Well worth sampling.

MR  Your earliest influence, writers you most admire? 

PB   Well, I wasn’t a book person as a kid so the first writers I noticed were comic writers like Stan Lee, Steve Gerber, and music writers like Jane Suck and Paul Morley. Monty Smith’s film stuff for the New Musical Express was essential reading. After that, the ‘grown up’ books were by Dorothy Parker, Graham Greene, Kurt Vonnegut and Elmore Leonard – the latter due to an NME article by Charles Shaar Murray.’

Read the rest here.

Another Top Review For A Case Of Noir

aconOver at Amazon.com, Kevin McNamara says:

‘I very much enjoyed this gem from Mr. Brazill. A fast set of interwoven stories about a man on the run from his past. Set in several European countries, our “hero” stumbles into awkward situations and somehow seems to extricate himself in one piece. There are twist and turns and humor as well. Highly recommended!’

Small Time Crimes Cover Reveal

The Dorset Book Detective  has revealed the cover of my forthcoming Near To The Knuckle  story collection, Small Time Crimes.

30726003_10216365354109030_4468694681558974464_nAnd here it is!

‘Hit-men, con men, jewel thieves, career criminals, killers, crooks and cannibals. They all congregate between the pages of Paul D. Brazill’s Small Time Crimes- a brutal and blackly comic collection of short stories and flash fiction that views the world at its most askew.’