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.
As a result of the recent Alibi festival in Slovenia, Renato Bratkovic interviewed me in the Slovenian newspaper Tednik Panorama.
Here’s a pic! It’s in Slovene.
“Noir is closer to Laurel and Hardy than it is to Agatha Christie”
At the recent Alibi noir festival in Slovenia. Here’s me on RTV 4′s arts programme, Glasnik, talking about noir to journalist Petra Skok. With Renato Bratkovič, Neven Skgratic, Eddie Vega, Andrej Predin and the impression of Richard Godwin.
More about the festival soooon …
In autumn 2012, the first seeds of the Slovenian protest movement were planted in my beloved hometown, Maribor. The goal was to kick the corrupt and arrogant mayor’s ass – whose attitude had pissed my people off – but the riots soon spread all over Slovenia, aimed at the mayors of other larger towns and also at the Slovenian government and the arrogant prime minister, who had the balls to call us zombies: “This is no protest movement, it’s the rise of the zombies!”. And he hadn’t even been elected, but had maneuvered himself into the government and managed to form a coalition of dividers.
He later added that we were a bunch of left fascists (what ever the fuck that means!), but “the zombies” beat him – he finally had to go (just like the mayor of Maribor before him), and is now on his way to the prison for two years. Well, we’ll need to see more of this happening to a bunch of his cronies too, of course!
Nothing has changed unfortunately – the protests never developed into a revolution, the corrupt politicians and greedy bankers weren’t flushed away, we never saw new faces, just the same stinking asses changing seats to keep them warm for the next four years (which they are now going to change, as the “new” government has also fallen apart after only a year, go figure).
We-ea-aa-aa-aaah, the sheep, are filling holes the “successful” businessmen drilled in our banks, so the sons of the bitches managing them can enjoy their ice cold champagne, oysters and fresh piece of ass on a yacht and laugh their asses off at how stupid we are – instead of providing us loans to move the economy forward. And we allow our incompetent higher-authority-obeying “rulers” to sink our grand-grand-grandchildren into the endless pit of debt, while my people are getting poorer and poorer, and those who help the poor get punished by the state, which created the perfect conditions for becoming poor.
“We can and we will!” Hell, yes – enjoy the party!
I’m angry! I’m mad! But at least in my story, The Tribe, things are going a different way – the revolution breaks out in the City, there IS a new face to disrupt the routine there, no matter what they do to him or where they put him in. The story is told by a cop, who had to fight the protesters and who’s supposed to nail Vladimir, the revolter professor, but …
… but I have a reason to be both proud and happy to have my work featured again in the line with such excellent writers (thank you, Paul), and my writing HAS a purpose, at last: the anthology’s mission is to raise awareness of (and some money for) the Marfan Foundation.
Bio: Renato Bratkovič is an advertising creative, fiction writer and blogger from Slovenia. He writes in Slovene and in English. He’s published a short story collection Ne poskušajte tega doma (Don’t Try This At Home) in 2012, his story High Midnight has appeared in Noir Nation 3 (VegaWire Media) and The Tribe is one of the Exiles: An outsider Anthology (Blackwitch Press) stories. He runs Artizan, his advertising agency and publishing house, with his partners.
Exiles: An Outsider Anthology is out now .
PDB: Could you tell us something about One Lost Summer?
One Lost Summer is very much a summer novel; it is also in many ways a Noir novel. Rex Allen loves star quality in women. He moves into a new house in a heat wave with few possessions apart from two photographs of his dead daughter. His next door neighbour, beautiful Evangeline Glass invites him over to one of her many summer parties, where he meets her friends and possessive husband Harry. Rex feels he knows Evangeline intimately. He starts to spy on her and becomes convinced she is someone other than who she pretends to be. When he discovers she has a lover, he blackmails her into playing a game of identity that ends in disaster.
One Lost Summer is a novel about obsession, love, memory and identity, and much more. It explores the things that make us feel we have an identity and what happens when those things are removed from us, as well as the extent to which we can know anyone, even ourselves. It also about how much we understand the irrational impulses that drive us.
Rex Allen, the protagonist, might say it is about what happens when you forget. Evangeline, his beautiful next door neighbour, might say it is about being trapped and the things you do to escape. Coral, the character around whom much of the drama revolves, might say it is about reality and how easy it is to manipulate it. Harry, Evangeline’s husband, might say it is about lies and liars.
PDB: Do you think One Lost Summer is specifically a ‘London’ novel, or could it be set in any city?
I think the events it describes could take place in any city or suburbia, since the themes that are central to the novel, identity, the nature of reality, the extent to which we can know anyone, obsession, voyeurism, and loss, are universal themes. I think One Lost Summer is a London novel because I have set it within the lifestyles of an affluent set of people living in Greater London.
PDB: One of the themes of the novel is people seeing what they think they see rather than what they actually see. Do you think self-deception is a common human trait?
I do. I believe it is extremely hard for people to see themselves. One of the things I look at closely is how much we know anyone. TS Eliot wrote ‘humankind cannot bear very much reality’.
I don’t think writing about a subject makes you akin to it. Writers watch and observe, voyeurism is a pathology that is linked to a compulsion to spy on others.
PDB: There are quite a few broken and dysfunctional rich people in One Lost Summer. Do you think the rich are condemned to be damaged?
I think damage exists at all levels of life. I think wealth can make people targets, I also think damage among the wealthy may have a dramatic element because they grant themselves licences other people may not.
PDB: What’s up next?
I’m off to the States for a book tour for One Lost Summer. Alexandra, the largest publisher in Hungary will, after some delay, be publishing Apostle Rising, my first novel, in Hungarian this December. I have signed a foreign rights contract with Artizan Press in Slovenia for Apostle Rising to be translated into Slovenian. I am writing the sequel.
I have just finished writing a Noir novel for Italian publisher, Atlantis. It will be published at the beginning of next year in both English and Italian. It is about a nomadic Gigolo called Paris Tongue who is the bastard child of a murderer and who gets on the wrong side of the Mafia when he sleeps with a Mafia boss’s wife. He is then hunted across Europe by hit men as he seduces his way from country to country, learning some strange facts along the way.
Paris Tongue is already featured in two novellas I have written for the publisher under their imprint Lite Editions, and The Secret Hour, in which he is introduced and The Edge Of Desire, the sequel, are available as E Books.
Bio: Richard Godwin is the critically acclaimed author of novels Apostle Rising,Mr.Glamour and One Lost Summer. He is a crime and horror writer as well as a produced playwright. He was born in London and obtained a BA and MA in English and American Literature from King’s College London. His stories have been published in many magazines and anthologies. He has 29 distinct works in print.
His Chin Wags At The Slaughterhouse are highly popular and unusual interviews he conducts with other authors and may be found at his blog
My first short story collection Don’t Try This At Home was just published a month ago, as a free eBook, by Genija, a Slovenian publishing house.
PDB: Which books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?
Well, I’ve been on vacation for two weeks, so I managed to read your Red Esperanto, which was a great read, Our Man On Terrain by Croatian writer Robert Perišić (his writing style is in my friend’s opinion similar to mine), God Save Us From Greater Evil by another Croatian author with a great sense of humour, Goran Tribuson, Mocking Desire by great Slovenian author Drago Jančar, White as Milk, Red as Blood by Italian Alessandro D’Avenia, The Caveman by Daniel Wiechmann, and two non-fiction books about advertising.
I’ve seen two great films, Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike, and Iron Sky, which was directed by Finnish director Timo Vuorensola, with the music by the greatest band from Slovenia – Laibach.
I almost never waste my time watching TV.
PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?
I guess it’s hard to be 100 percent objective, when you also try to write. The great story can drag you in so that you forget about the author’s style, unique use of words, or mastering the description and dialogue – but even then you can end up asking yourself, how come I haven’t thought of that?!
PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?
As an advertising creative I’ve written some radio and TV ads (and directed a couple of them).
As a student of Slovenian and English language and literature some twenty years ago I took part in a student screenplay contest, and I was an extra in a movie adaptation of Drago Jančar’s novel Ringing in the Head in 2001. I can’t be seen in the crowd, but I can be heard: I yell “Bravo, Keber!!!”, when Keber (the main character) breaks a TV set and causes the riot in the prison.
I’d like to write for film very much, yes.
PDB: How much research goes into each book?
As much as I feel it’s necessary. In the Don’t Try This At Home stories there was no research needed, I just wrote an outline and then followed it during the act of writing and editing.
Now I’m working on a novel (Catchaser), where rats are the main characters, so I am in the middle of the research about rats – did you know, that rats actually enjoy sex and like to drink beer? And religion – there are certain cult followers taking control over the rat’s society, so I found the need to research Catholicism and Islam and totalitarianism … but I shouldn’t reveal too much!
PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?
I mainly use Facebook and Twitter to promote my blog and writing, and to express my views and feelings about where this world – and especially my country – is heading to.
PDB: What’s on the cards in 2012?
Well, as I said I’m working on a novel about rats, which is going to be fun for me to write, and I plan to translate Don’t Try This At Home into English (an American e-publisher has already shown interest in seeing my work in English).
I would like to do more in the publishing field, too. In Slovenia it is hard time for books – there are only two million people speaking the language, maybe half of them are reading, and couple of hundred actually buying books. We have a Public Agency For Books, that provides financial help to publishers and is financed by the state, but it’s future is very, very uncertain. So I’d like to do more to promote good writing and to persuade young people, that reading is cool.
Right now I’m working on a series of literary work by artists, that made their name in music, film, painting, etc … The first book is Edward Bunker’s Stark and it needs to be published by the end of the year – Bunker was a great crime fiction, but many remember him acting as Mr. Blue in Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, or as Jonah in Konchalowky’s Runaway Train, amongst others …