Category Archives: Number Thirteen Press

Short, Sharp Interview: Aidan Thorn

tales from the underbellyPDB: What’s going on?

Right now, it’s 3am and I’m wide awake because I’m in the USA and I’m shite at travelling and time differences. But I guess I should also tell you about the release of my new linked story collection, Tales from the Underbelly. It’s a sort of British Pulp Fiction, as a bunch of characters all in someway linked to a couple of crime bosses, Tony Ricco and Jimmy O’Keefe, go about their lives and have to deal with the consequences of being involved with the criminal underbelly. There are a stories of all different lengths here, from flash fiction to novella, hopefully there’s something for all lovers of crime fiction, murders, corruption, dodgy coppers, colourful characters and occasionally some humour.

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

Always. Much of my writing is inspired by music, as the title of my first novella, When the Music’s Over suggests. I always used to have the radio on, BBC 6Music or Radio X, but I can’t stand the chat while I work. These days I tend to go with some sort of live performance on YouTube, I’ve been reliving a lot of MTv unplugged sets, things like Nirvana and Pearl Jam. My friend Stu has also got me back into the blues recently so I’ve been streaming a lot of blues mixes on YouTube too.

PDB: What makes you laugh?

When people full over. That’s horrible right? But I can’t help myself, when I see someone go down I’m uncontrollable. I blame Fools and Horses and that bar scene, I was taught by that, at a very early age, that falling over is funny

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

10 years ago I’d have said exercise. These days I’m good for nothing for a few days after a proper session, I just have to ride it out, sofa, sugary tea and a film I’ve seen a thousand times before

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

San Francisco, incredible place. There’s something for everyone there. That said I’d miss going to Southampton home matches.

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

No, I’m 37, I don’t think people my age do. But thinking about it now I’ve done many of the things that I guess would be on it, there are a few bands I haven’t seen I’d like to, but I’ve seen most of the ones I love. I want more tattoos, I want to get fitter again, I want to write more books, I want to see Southampton FC not just in a cup final but win one, I want to keep travelling to different places… So it’s more a continuation of things than a must do list

PDB: What’s on the cards? 

I haven’t written an original word in 2017, but I’ve still been working on the writing. On new years eve 2016 I typed ‘the end’ on my novella, Rival Sons (another music inspired title, inspired by the band of the same name). I’ve spent free moments this year editing and polishing that trying to get it ready for publication. I had my editor and publisher for When the Music’s Over, Chris Black, at Number 13 Press give it the once over and it’s looking good. I’ve knocked together a synopsis and pitched it around a few indie publishers and I’ll see what comes of it, I’ve had a couple of nibbles asking to see the full manuscript so you never know, but I ain’t holding my breath

PDB: Anything else?12814622_10154001046965850_1354014591552990923_n

No, I think I’ve taken up enough of your time, Paul. Thanks for the interview, always a pleasure dealing with you Mr Brazill

Bio: Aidan Thorn is from Southampton England. You can find his short fiction and poetry in numerous collections and widely across the Web. He has three books with his name on the cover and is the curator and editor of the charity anthology Paladins.

 

Recommended Read: Tales From The Underbelly by Aidan Thorn

tales from the underbellyAidan Thorn’s Tales From The Underbelly is a collection of hard-hitting, interconnected crime stories, and is pure Brit Grit. The collection kicks off with a fistful of short, sharp jabs of flash fiction and ends with a couple of longer pieces which really show Thorn’s strengths.

A Sporting Chance is the story of a local football star who returns to his home town after a stint in the Premier League and has a fateful encounter with local gangster Tony Ricco. The final story, Worst Laid Plans, is a knockout punch telling the tale of a group of young lads whose lives soon spiral out of control after a night out. Worst Laid Plans is an absolute belter of a tale, full of dark humour, sharp twists and turns and great characters.

If you enjoyed Thorn’s cracking novella When the Music’s Over then you should most certainly grab a copy of Tales From The Underbelly.

99p eBooks!

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N2TK

My NEAR TO THE KNUCKLE novellas are now only 99p each!

TOO MANY CROOKS

Too Many Crooks is a blackly comic Brit Grit romp from the author of Guns Of Brixton and Kill Me Quick! When high-class fence Leslie Hawkins meets Peter Rhatigan in a sleazy London pub, he offers her the chance to get her hands on the Totenkopfring, a legendary piece of World War Two memorabilia. However, after a violent encounter with a member of a biker gang, things soon spiral wildly and dangerously out of control. Meanwhile in Poland, Dr Anna Nowak finds an amnesiac Englishman half-dead in the snow…

A CASE OF NOIR

In snow smothered Warsaw, Luke Case, a boozy English hack with a dark secret, starts a dangerous affair with a gangster’s wife. Case escapes to the sweltering Spanish heat where he meets a colourful cast of characters, including a mysterious torch singer and a former East End villain with a criminal business proposition. While in stormy Toulouse, he encounters a blast from the past that is positively seismic which forces him to return to England and confront his past.

BIG CITY BLUES

London Detective Sergeant Ronnie Burke and Polish cop Jola Lach are on the trail of a serial killer, and New York private eye Solitaire is sent to Spain to track down a missing rich kid. See how their lives intertwine in Big City Blues. British coppers, an American private eye, London gangsters, international spies, and a serial killer known as The Black Crow all collide violently and hilariously in Big City Blues, another fast-moving and funny Brit Grit novella from Paul D. Brazill.

 

And you can still also grab 13 SHOTS OF NOIR and KILL ME QUICK! for less than a quid, too!

Martin Stanley Reviews Kill Me Quick!

kill me quick cover
Kill Me Quick

Over at Amazon.co.uk, Martin Stanley reviews Kill Me Quick!

‘5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining crime caper
By M Stanley on 6 Feb. 2017

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

You can always rely on Paul Brazill for a nifty turn of phrase, a superb one-liner, or a nice piece of description. He also delivers cool plots and memorable characters and Kill Me Quick is no exception. When an aging two-hit wonder musician gets his hand busted in London he returns to a seedy town on the northeast coast (basically Hartlepool in everything but name) and gets caught up in all manner of nefarious hijinks. It’s short tale with plenty of meat on its bones and more entertainment per page than many writers in an entire book. If you haven’t read Brazill yet then what the hell are you waiting for. A cracking comic thriller from a master of the form.’

Ryan Bracha Reviews Kill Me Quick!

kill me quick cover
Kill Me Quick

Over at the Amazons and Goodreads, Ryan Bracha says:

‘Paul Danger Brazill is a writer’s writer. Universally respected throughout the literary scene. He writes with a nostalgia that I haven’t seen anywhere else, and up to now I haven’t read a thing of his that, however short it may be, wasn’t magnificent.

Kill Me Quick! is another fine addition to his arsenal.

Mark Hammonds is a former musician who’d achieved minor success with his band, but has hit hard (and mostly unsuccessfully criminal) times, returning to his home town, Seatown. Immediately on his return he is back in with his old friends, in his old haunts, doing his level best to remain as drunk as possible, living a quiet and easy life. Unfortunately for Mark, he just cant seem to stop stumbling into other people’s trouble.

Brazill’s USP is his ability to use his writing as a character in itself. It oozes sleazy personality and wit in every paragraph, every pun-filled comeback, and every criminal act. Where it works best is when he uses it against a backdrop of the lawless Seatown. It’s like Sin City starring Sid James instead of Mickey Rourke. Kenneth Williams instead of Bruce Willis. It’s Sid City. It sounds horrific? It’s not, it’s an absolute joy to behold.

Five very easy stars. Get it and read it.’

Kevin McNamara Reviews Kill Me Quick!

kill me quick cover
Kill Me Quick

Over at Amazon.com he says:

‘I very much liked this book by the fine author Paul Brazill. A former rock musician returns to his hometown after an injury. He quickly finds himself entangled with the mob, a motorcycle gang, a double crossing ex-band mate and a number of interesting characters from his past. Mister Brazill’s fine writing ties all of this together with a touch of humor for good measure. I enjoyed this trip to Seatown very much and I look forward to his next book.’

Lee Sykes Reviews Kill Me Quick!

kill me quick cover
Kill Me Quick

Over at Amazon.co.uk. ace crime writer Lee Sykes gives Kill Me Quick! a five star review and says:

‘Brazill delivers us a black comedy crime romp through Seatown. A place with grim surroundings, lashings of one liners and great dialogue.Typical Brazill offerings, and if you don’t know what that means I suggest you go and find out for yourself. A great read that I flew through. Recommended.’

Kill Me Quick! is only 99c / 99p !

 

CLIP: Kill Me Quick!

cropped-20160219_112120.jpg‘He changed stations and found a phone in talk show. The host and callers were discussing the upcoming Seatown elections. It was getting pretty heated.

‘One of my old teachers is standing in this election,’ said Mark. ‘A bloke called Pike.’

‘Aha,’ said Roy.

He slowed at a zebra crossing and drummed his fingers on the steering wheel as an old woman with a tartan shopping trolley doddered across the road.

‘I don’t follow politics myself,’ he said. ‘Which party is he in?’

‘GBIP,’ said Mark. ‘Not that I know much about them.’

‘They’re a bunch of tossers, I think,’ said Roy.

‘Aren’t they all?’

‘Probably. People put too much faith in politicians to sort out their lives.’

‘Aye. Life’s all about playing a bad hand of cards well,’ said Mark.

‘True, true Barney Mcgrew. Was he a decent teacher?’ said Roy.

‘A bit of a tosser, as I remember.’

‘Should do alright as a politician, then.’

‘Yep. A smooth career transition, that.’’

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? 20160219_112120

Grab KILL ME QUICK! at Amazon.com , Amazon.co.uk and some other joints.

More Top Reviews!

kill me quick coverKevin S. Cummings reviews Kill Me Quick! over at his blog. He says:

‘Kill Me Quick! by Paul D. Brazill is #12 in a 13 series list of quality crime novellas published by Number Thirteen Press. The latest Brazill offering goes down like two Alka-Seltzers and spring-water in a crystal  tumbler during day two of a three-day hangover.’

Check out the rest here.

last laugh new (1)Meanwhile, Graham Wynd reviews The Last Laugh and says:

‘From the first to the last you won’t know whether to laugh or wince more but you’ll keep turning the pages until you get to the end and then start badgering the man for more.’

Check out the rest here.

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.

Mark Hewitt reviews Kill Me Quick!

kill me quick coverOver at Amazon.co.uk

5.0 out of 5 starsPulp if you want it to be but deep if you think about it.

on 24 April 2016
It is quite an art to write a short book that lasts so long in the memory.
First taste is of the instant gratification of junk food but the later lingering after taste is of a very fine wine.
Paul’s books don’t have the life of them polished away like so many, they have a raw edge that allows you to connect and be absorbed into the story.’

Chris Black is down Brit Grit Alley

number 13 pressNumber Thirteen Press publisher Chris Black is down Brit Grit Alley:

Number Thirteen Press – The End? 

So 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.’

Read the rest here.