A powerful Noir short story collection edited by the Bukowski of Noir, Paul D. Brazill. Exiles features 26 outsiders-themed stories by some of the greatest crime and noir writers, K. A. Laity, Chris Rhatigan, Steven Porter, Patti Abbott, Ryan Sayles, Gareth Spark, Pamila Payne, Paul D. Brazill, Jason Michel, Carrie Clevenger, David Malcolm, Nick Sweeney, Sonia Kilvington, Rob Brunet, James A. Newman, Tess Makovesky, Chris Leek, McDroll, Renato Bratkovič, Walter Conley, Marietta Miles, Aidan Thorn, Benjamin Sobieck, Graham Wynd, Richard Godwin, Colin Graham, and an introduction by Heath Lowrance.
In my novel SHOT IN DETROIT, the protagonist is a photographer trying to find a project that will succeed artistically and financially. When an opportunity fortuitously presents itself, she comes up with the idea of photographing the dead clients of her mortician boyfriend. All her portraits will be men under forty. Aside from her aesthetic and economic concerns, her interest has always been to reflect the city she lives in.
But she also worries, and others will confront her over the course of the novel, about whether she is exploiting these men. Is she bringing needed attention to the deaths of black men in Detroit or is she merely looking for a good subject?
As I have been preparing to talk about this book, it occurs to me more and more that photographers are held to a different standard in their subject matter due to their portrayal of live (or dead) people. One only needs to think of Sally Mann and the criticism she came in for from photographing her half-nude children. Diane Arbus took pictures of what we then, politically incorrectly, called freaks. Shelby Lee Adams made his name photographing the impoverished (and often deformed) peopled of Appalachia, Roger Ballen took pictures of the mentally ill in South Africa. Robert Mapplethorpe was notorious for capturing sado-masochistic poses of gay men.
Whether these subjects are appropriate for photography or not is in the end in the eye of the beholder. I began to think hard about what other genre of art was held to these standards. What impressionist-era artist was critiqued for painting a beautiful landscape or city scape when just out of sight was the teeming masses of impoverished Parisians, the day-laborers in vineyards harvesting crops for pennies with bleeding hands.
A photograph has the ability to display truths about our society more cogently than any other form of art. Look away if you must but think hard before denying it a place on the wall. Artists can be faulted for what they don’t paint or sculpt just as credibly as what they do.
Translated into Polish by Antoni Kaja. (Krakow photo by Kasia Martell.)
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)
My latest Brit Grit Alley column over at Out Of The Gutter online is all about how I came to write Guns Of Brixton.
‘Well,you know what they say: ‘When a one armed man chops down a tree in the forest, a butterfly claps’. No, really. The thing is, everything is connected, it really is. And Kevin Bacon is only six friends away from you, even though he isn’t on Facebook.
Anyway, it was a while back. I’d been writing flash fiction for about a year and I had this vague notion of writing something with interconnecting stories. One city. One night. You know the score.
I really liked this idea and I thought – even though everyone told me it was dead hard to do – that I’d give it a go.’
My comic crime caper Guns Of Brixton (published in by Caffeine Nights Publishing) is out NOW as a paperback and as an eBook. You can get it from from loads of places including Barnes & Noble, Caffeine Nights Publishing, WHSMITH, Waterstones, Foyles, Amazon and Amazon UK.
In the spring of 2011, we let an apartment in Paris for two weeks. It was in the Marais district and delightful in every way except it was four flights of very uneven stairs to get to it. After a long day of seeing the sights, we would often arrive home, dead on our feet, around dusk. Each night, in the flat across the very narrow street, we would spot what looked like giant wings at the window.
And every night my husband would find a benign and ordinary explanation for the wings and I would seize on something more dramatic. Since I suffer from insomnia, my late night excursions into the front room allowed my mind to roan further still.
This story began as a flash fiction challenge on my own blog and developed into a longer piece from that.
Bio: More than 100 stories by Patti Abbott have appeared in print and online. Her two ebooks, MONKEY JUSTICE and HOME INVASION) were published through Snubnose Press. She is the co-editor of DISCOUNT NOIR. Her first novel, CONCRETE ANGEL, will debut in early 2015 through Exhibit A Books. You can find her blogging at pattinase.blogspot.com
Where mystery and Halloween collide…
Celebrate Halloween with this collection of Halloween short stories by bestselling, award-winning authors and emerging new talent. Deadly Treats features witches, zombies, vampires, food critics, crazy writers, dumb criminals, interfering ghosts, ex-cops, suburban housewives, swamp monsters, and aliens.
This delightful collection includes stories by:
Bill Cameron, David Housewright , Jason Evans, Heather Dearly, Julia Buckley, Kelly Lynn Parra, LK Rigel, Marilyn Victor, Mark Hull, Leandra Logan, Pat Dennis, Patricia Abbott,PAUL D. BRAZILL, Michael Allan Mallory, Shirley Damsgaard , Stephen Blackmoore, Lance Zarimba, Paula L. Fleming, Daniel Hatadi, Theresa Weir, and Anne Frasier.
And all proceeds go to charity.
Find out more in my latest Brit Grit Alley column which is, as usual, over at Out Of The Gutter Online.
’41 stories. One cause: PROTECT 100% of proceeds go to PROTECT and the National Association to Protect Children – the army fighting what Andrew Vachss calls “the only holy war worthy of the name,” the protection of children.
We’ve rallied a platoon of crime, western, thriller, fantasy, noir, horror and transgressive authors to support PROTECT’s important work: lobbying for legislation that protects children from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.
Powerful stories from George Pelecanos, Andrew Vachss, Joe R. Lansdale, Charles de Lint, Ken Bruen, Chet Williamson, James Reasoner, Charlie Stella, Michael A. Black, Wayne Dundee, Roxane Gay, Ray Banks, Tony Black, Les Edgerton and 16 more, with 100% of proceeds going to PROTECT.
PROTECTORS includes a foreword by rock critic Dave Marsh, and fiction by Patti Abbott, Ian Ayris, Ray Banks, Nigel Bird, Michael A. Black, Tony Black, R. Thomas Brown, Ken Bruen, Bill Cameron, Jen Conley, Charles de Lint, Wayne D. Dundee, Chad Eagleton, Les Edgerton, Andrew Fader, Matthew C. Funk, Roxane Gay, Edward A. Grainger, Glenn G. Gray, Jane Hammons, Amber Keller, Joe R. Lansdale, Frank Larnerd, Gary Lovisi, Mike Miner, Zak Mucha, Dan O’Shea, George Pelecanos, Thomas Pluck, Richard Prosch, Keith Rawson, James Reasoner, Todd Robinson, Johnny Shaw, Gerald So, Josh Stallings, Charlie Stella, Andrew Vachss, Steve Weddle, Dave White, and Chet Williamson.
Among PROTECT’s victories are the Protect Our Children Act of 2008, which mandated that the Justice Department change course and design a new national nerve center for law enforcement to wage a war on child exploitation, the Hero to Hero program, which employs disabled veterans in the battle against child abuse, and Alicia’s Law.
Join the fight, with 41 stories by top writers. Be a Protector!
41 stories. One cause: PROTECT
Trade Paperback: Createspace. Soon from online retailers and bookstores.
E-Book: Amazon Kindle Amazon Kindle UK Smashwords Barnes & Noble Kobo Bookstore Smashwords (all formats, and read the book in your web browser) Apple iPad (coming soon). Direct Purchase.’
More information HERE !
Looking tasty, eh? Great cover by Steven Miscandlon. More info and cast list at Luca Veste’s Guilty Conscience.
The Killing Of Emma Gross by Damien Seaman. Blasted Heath are simply one of the best publishers around. And this is one of the best books that they’ve put out. Maybe the best.
In Germany, before the war, a serial killer is on the loose – nicknamed The Ripper or The Vampire Of Düsseldorf. Detective Thomas Klein manages to get the main suspect-Peter Kurten- to give himself up in a Catholic church. But Klein himself is arrested when his rival, Inspector Ritter, turns up with a squad of armed cops.
The Killing Of Emma Gross is Seaman‘s brilliantly twisty debut novel. A gripping, powerful story that is full of clammy atmosphere and uses the historical setting to tell an involving tale of dark, complicated people doing very dark things. The cast of quirky characters, especially Klein are wonderfully drawn and , definitely deserve a second outing. Highly recommended.
Ask the Dice by Ed Lynskey. Tommy Zane is a poetry writing, jazz loving hit man who is starting to feel as if he’s had enough of the killing game. He is even becoming allergic to his gun.However, when he’s framed for the murder of his gangster employer’s niece, his main aim is to survive.
Ask The Dice is smashing, smoothly written slice of hard-boiled. The fast-moving story is interspersed with Zane’s beat poetry and ruminations, so that it works well as a character study as well as a gritty crime story.
Monkey Justice by Patti Abbott. The e-book explosion has seen a deluge of short story and flash fiction collections, some decidedly better than others. But Patti Abbott’s Monkey Justice stands head and shoulders above almost all short story collections out there, e-book or not. This is a mature and assured collection of brilliant stories that show us a great deal about the lives of the wide range of characters. Personal favourites include ‘The Instrument Of Her Desire’, ‘Georgie’ and ‘The Squatter’ but there really isn’t a duff story in this fantastic, brilliantly written collection which spans noir, crime, slice-of-life, gothic and just- ace – writing.
Monkey Justice is published by the splendid Snubnose Press, as is Les Edgerton’s Gumbo Ya Ya. Les Edgerton is one of my favourite writers – his novel The Bitch is a masterclass in character driven fiction, let alone crime fiction – so it’s no surprise that Gumbo Ya Ya is a knockout. The stories in the collection have a very autobiographical, authentic feel and focus on the harsh sides of life : broken relationships, the death of a loved one, life in prison. The standout story is the lyrical and moving ‘The Death Of Tarpons’ but ‘Pit Stop’ and ‘The World’s Fair’ are also faves. Gumbo Ya Ya also includes a couple of essays, including a cracking one about the dangers of censorship which was written more than ten years ago but is very pertinent today.
So, there you are. Every one a gem! Get stuck in there!
(pic by Walter Conley)
Patti Abbott is a writer of brilliant short stories.One of her stories was recently featured in the anthology Between the Dark and the Daylight along with Joyce Carol Oates, Scott Phillips and other big shots.
Her blog Pattinase is an essential port of call in this cluttered blogosphere.
PDB) How did you get into the writing game?
Patti) I was always a voracious reader, but I didn’t write until a course I signed up for on the American Indian (around 1998) had too many books on the syllabus. I was working full-time and taking several course so it just wasn’t possible to read a book a week for one course.
The only other course that fit the times I had available was in poetry writing. I had an encouraging instructor and wrote poetry for about two years-even getting a chapbook and several dozen poems published in lit journals. But more and more, editors would write back, “well, yes, but this is really a story more than a poem.” So I took a few of the poems, and darn if they weren’t blueprints for stories.
I never looked back–and my poetry collection gathers dust still. I took four writing workshops and then joined a writing group, which I still belong to today. Writing saved my life-I never knew I could do anything more than shuffling papers until then.
PDB) Are you part of the writing world’s version of The Osmonds?
Patti) Megan always wrote. As a child, she also illustrated all of her own stories. And if she were to allow me to put them on my blog, I could show you stories that were as noirish as what she writes today. Stories she wrote at 10 years old. Very dramatic stories, influenced by the movies she continually watched as a kid. Never new movies, but old ones from the thirties and forties. For years she was working on her Ph.D. During that period, I got a jump on her with publications, but it was a temporary one. She was born to it; I wormed my way in. She filled a steam trunk with her writing. When she went off to college, we thought we’d take a peek, but it was empty. I wonder where all those stories went?
PDB) Salford. I like Lowry myself but … why?
Patti) My husband taught politics a the University of Salford 1995-96. His university here has an exchange program. We loved living in England—even if it was the north. We lived in a 16th century miner’s cottage in Worsley. It was one of the loveliest years of our lives. A great woods was behind us and we walked there and along the canal—the place the industrial revolution began, went to the pub, traveled around the north country, went to London regularly (the train was cheaper then) read a thousand books, wrote letters and indulged in the BBC.
A year later, we went on a Fulbright to Amsterdam and that was fun, too. But my heart remains in northern England. And I do like Lowry. You had to if you lived in Salford. And Robert Owens. I did a paper on him while in Salford, too. A lot of his papers were housed at the University.
PDB) Has writing changed how you read and what you read?
Patti) Yes, despite my early writing teachers telling me as we mature as writers, we are less likely to pick up styles, I still do. Especially if the style is distinctive so I have to be careful who I read. As I have drifted into writing crime stories almost exclusively, I read more of them. When I look at what I read 20 years ago (I kept a journal) I only read about 20% crime. Now I’d say it was 75%. I am certainly a more critical reader now too. But that may be age. I discard many books after ten pages. Not for the usual reason, that it’s too slow. If the voice doesn’t grab me, I put it aside.
PDB) Have your travels influenced your writing?
Patti) Yes, travels have very much influenced my writing. I have set stories in Croatia, Amsterdam, northern England, California, New Jersey, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Spain, etc. That is half the fun for me. Digging up the memories and the books and letters to recreate a place–and certain people–certain foods.
PDB) Do your family read your work and what do they think of it?
Patti) My husband reads everything I write and declares it all wonderful. He’s the perfect first reader and then I take it to my writing group. Megan has read some of it, especially early on, but I rarely send her a story since she doesn’t particularly care for short stories. She has read both my attempts at novels.
My son has read a bit of it but I think he finds it difficult. He’s a prosecutor and sees enough of that stuff in his work. My mother, before she died, read all of it. She always said she wished I saw the world a little more favorably. She was waiting for an uplifting book or story from either Megan or me.
It never happened.