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.
Over at Amazon.com , The Big Bratkovsky says:
‘When you grab a new book by Paul D. Brazill you never know what to expect – you do know, however, that you can expect a great deal of fun, excellent writing and funny characters. Cold London Blues is no different – a strange mix of characters and great dialogue and descriptions in a nicely written narrative won’t let you go until you get to the last page. You’ll find some great jokes, anecdotes and metaphors you’ll use in your pub conversations with friends and after that you’ll want some more Brazill.’
The all new version of Exiles: An Outsider Anthology – now published by Artizan– is out now!
‘A powerful 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.‘
It’s All True (although it may not have happened) by Slovenian writer Renato Bratkovič is a short, sharp story collection that views the world askew.
Stand out stories for me are ‘Fat Fatale’, ‘High Midnight’ and ‘Bicycle Thieves’.
Like a strange hybrid of Gogol and Frederick Brown, It’s All True (although it may not have happened) blends noir, horror, black comedy and absurdity.
After a successful ten books run with a major publisher (Hodder), I’m about to embark on a scary new route with my Joe Hunter thriller series. Although I have amicably split with my publisher, and a few smaller publishers were keen to pick up the reins, I have decided to bite the bullet and use my own indie publishing arm to publish the next Joe Hunter thriller. It is called ‘No Safe Place’, and this time sees Hunter in the familiar role of protector, but he also gets an opportunity to exercise his detective skills this time out. After a violent home invasion, where his mother is killed, young Cole Clayton is now under threat by hostile forces, and Hunter agrees to protect the boy. But it’s soon apparent that Andrew Clayton, Cole’s father, knows more about the killer than he’s letting on, and his silence soon places the boy in the killer’s sights. The book will be released simultaneously in hardback, paperback and ebook on 31st May 2016.
Up next will be the second in my Tess Grey and Nicolas ‘Po’ Villere series, due for publication by Severn House Publishers on 28th August 2016, and this time finds the mismatched pair hunting for a missing woman who – while trying to avoid one danger – has fallen into a worse situation.
BIO: Matt Hilton is the author of the high-octane Joe Hunter thriller series, including his most recent novels ‘The Devil’s Anvil’ – Joe Hunter 10 – published in June 2015 by Hodder and Stoughton and Blood Tracks, the first in anew series from Severn House publishers in November 2015. Joe Hunter 11 – No Safe Place – will be published by Sempre Vigile Press May 2016; Tess and Po 2 – Painted Skins – will be published by Severn House in August 2016. Matt’s first book, ‘Dead Men’s Dust’, was shortlisted for the International Thriller Writers’ Debut Book of 2009 Award, and was a Sunday Times bestseller, also being named as a ‘thriller of the year 2009’ by The Daily Telegraph. Dead Men’s Dust was also a top ten Kindle bestseller in 2013.
ALIBI is the first Slovenian festival of Crime&Noir literature in idyllic Gora pod lipo. It’s organised by Gora, Artizan advertising agency and publishing house (concept and communication), Hotel Jakec (lodging for guest writers) and Tednik Panorama(media sponsor).
And I’ll be there at the end of September, along with Richard Godwin, Eddie Vega, Andrej Predin, Neven Škrgatić.
Od Lune pijan / Drunk On The Moon
My original Roman Dalton – Werewolf PI yarn has now been translated by Slovenian noir writer Renato Bratkovič
Available at all other Amazon’s, too.
The Djma el Fnaa is Marakech’s central square. By a linguistic quirk, its name can be translated as either ‘the Mosque of Nowhere / Nothing’ or ‘the Place / Assembly of the Dead’. It was too good a title not to use for a story, and several people have indeed beaten me to it in the 25 years since I thought of it, and done that. It’s a market place by day, but at night turns into a circus of a place, full of performers, storytellers, hustlers, vendors, snake bullies – they don’t charm them at all – musicians, dancers, pickpockets, some plying their trade only because of the tourists, and some just because they always have. As noted in my story, our guide book described it as ‘the most exciting place in all of Africa’, a ridiculous claim that I make a character address briefly, and somewhat flippantly.
My first wife and I spent five weeks in Morocco in July and August 1989. I’d been there about two weeks before I got to Marakech. I was used to the hustlers by then, which didn’t make them any less wearying. They didn’t want all your cash, just some. They weren’t bad people, just hungry, jobless – just bored, maybe. They weren’t begging; you couldn’t cut to the chase by paying them to go away. None of this stopped it being tedious, though, especially when you knew that you would extricate yourself from it only for it to start up again a few minutes later, a different bloke, same spiel.
A friend of mine had travelled in Morocco the previous year. He’d lost his rag with a hustler in some small town, told him to fuck off. After that, the man and his pals followed him around for the rest of his stay, saying, “You don’t say ‘fuck off’ in this town,” and making slit-your-throat gestures at him. They camped in his hotel lobby, occupied tables in every restaurant he went to. They said, “See you later, alligator,” each time he managed to get away, or when they had to go home for their tea. They were probably just having a laugh, labouring a point, or really had nothing else to do. When my friend gave up on that town, this entourage escorted him to the bus station. It was their last chance to slit his throat. Though he’d got used to it as a charade of sorts by then, a performance, he was glad to get on the bus. An old man boarded, shuffled and wheezed up the aisle and sat down, turned to my friend and grinned and said, “See you later, alligator,” not knowing it was a goodbye and not a greeting; it was just some stray English, offered in friendship. It only freaked my friend out a little, I think.
So I knew not to tell the hustlers to fuck off, even though I wanted to sometimes. I said I was not interested in making a financial contribution to their ventures, at that moment – maybe I’d bore them into going away. But Moroccans are polite and patient, mostly. (One man was the exception, aggressively accused my wife of acting like ‘a Jew’. “There’s a very good reason for that,” she informed him, somewhat dangerously, but her actual Jewishness was beside the point he was trying to make. He was a carpet seller, though, a breed apart.)
It sounds like I had a bad time in Morocco, but in fact I enjoyed most of my time there – you can’t spend five weeks anywhere and have every single moment be a joy. I’m reminded of a scene in Nicolas Roeg’s 1980 film Bad Timing: a couple in a fractious relationship are in the Djma el Fnaa, and the woman chides the man for his petty obsession over some aspect of their life together. “Look at where we are,” she reminds him. I’ll probably never go back to Morocco, so I’m glad I didn’t let anybody, even an anti-Jewish carpet seller, spoil it for me. Why am I talking about all this, then?
The answer is that a story isn’t made up of the nice things in life. I’m also not a travel writer, and any guide book can describe the brilliance of Morocco better than I can – just as a postcard seller can supply a better photo of its monuments than I’ll ever take. I’ve tried to reflect Marakech’s atmosphere in The Place of the Dead, but it’s not a story about Moroccans. Think of the crowded streets I show in my tale; most of the people in them were unaware of us, and if they were aware, they were leaving us alone. As per the brief of this anthology, the story is about foreigners, outsiders, and how they might behave out of their comfort zones.
The couple in my story is not based on me and my first wife, nor on any of the many people we met. A few of the incidents described happened, such as the frustrating, lengthy journey at the opening of the story, the conversations with hustlers, the sunglasses that attracted a pint-sized opportunist, the constant assumption that we’d want an English newspaper, and watching that exciting ending to the 1989 Tour de France, a race that is often done and dusted in its last few days, and like watching paint dry. They are all only background, though. None of them make a story. The heart of the story is the people in it, and how they conduct themselves when faced with certain choices, and how their lives will be affected by those choices, and by their actions and reactions.
You can see more of my short stories on my website, The Last Thing the Author Said. Laikonik Express is my first novel, published by Unthank Books, and is a comic look at friendship and a quest, a road novel on rails, a sober look at the world of post-1989 Europe through a shot glass full of vodka.
I was delighted to be asked to appear in Exiles: An Outsider Anthology. I guess a lot of my writing is about outsiders, but Boxing Day in Muros seems to fit the bill perfectly. The story first appeared on the Dogmatika website, then in my own collection Blurred Girl and Other Suggestive Stories. So, like its main character Rab, it has been around a bit.
In fact, Boxing Day in Muros was initially the title of a chapter in my book, The Iberian Horseshoe – A Journey. Muros is a real town in Galicia, North West Spain, near Finisterre, which means ‘Land’s End’. Galicia claims a Celtic heritage and its rugged coastline is often said to resemble Ireland. Muros is about as far removed from a typical Spanish holiday resort as you can get.
I was attracted to the place when I first visited in the late 90’s, little knowing I would later spend a number of summer holidays around there. Initially, it reminded me of some small towns in the Western Highlands of Scotland. I became interested in the idea of a character with a desire to escape so far from home that he finishes up running out of land, staring out at the Atlantic vastness.
Rab has had a stroke of luck in winning five numbers on the national lottery. He goes to London and, and with enough money still in his pocket, he presses on to the exotic sounding Santiago de Compostela, which he has seen as a destination on the front of a bus at Victoria Station.
Rab ends up in Muros where he has time and space to reflect on recent events in his life. Although people speak a different language, the landscape is strangely familiar and the world globalised enough for him to pick up some of his favourite food and drink in a supermarket. But his journey isn’t yet done …
Bio: Steven Porter was born in Inverness, Scotland, in 1969. He is temporarily ‘exiled’ in Italy. “Boxing Day in Muros” was previously published online by Dogmatika and appeared in Steve’s collection Blurred Girl and Other Suggestive Stories. His short fiction has appeared in other anthologies such as Byker Books Radgepacket series, True Brit Grit and Off The Record 2 – At The Movies. He also wrote the script for Beyond The Haar, a Grand Jury Prize winner at the 2013 Amsterdam Film Festival. In addition, he has published two collections of poetry: Shellfish & Umbrellas and 16 Poem(a)s, as well as the travelogue The Iberian Horseshoe – A Journey and the novel Countries of the World. Details of how to get hold of these can be found at Steve Porter’s World of Books blog at http://stevenjporter.wordpress.com/.