Short, Sharp Interview: Donna Collins

Book 1 Sacrifice

PDB: What’s going on?

I have my debut trilogy launching on 5th January 2018 and to say I’m excited is an understatement.

These three books: The Sacrifice, Resurrection, and The Undoing, have been years in the making, kicking off when my Aussie friend Natalie Joppich asked me to write a screenplay with her. Fast-forward many LA trips and meetings later and the HUNTED novels were born.

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

Depends. It is very difficult to listen to Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On while I’m trying to torture and butcher a character to death. But when I do listen to music, it has to be an eighties tune. Give me a bit of Wham! Or Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up any day of the week. If I’m happy my characters survive another chapter.

Book 2 ResurrectionPDB: What makes you laugh?

Everything makes me laugh: Brian Conley, the Rush Hour films, Fawlty Towers, Greg Davis’s Taskmaster, my Pug. In fact, just a good, dirty sense of humour will bring a smile to my lips.

Apparently, according to my friends, I laugh like Harriot Potter from the Carry on Camping film – something I strongly disagree with.

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

Ha! Is there one? If there is, I’ve never found it.

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

Book 3 The UndoingEither Fowey or Polperro in Cornwall, Yosemite, or somewhere in Australia.

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

Oh yes. I have a long bucket list. Cage diving with sharks in Guadalupe, hiking (crawling) the Inca Trail, Exploring the Amazon, travelling the Australian Outback, doing a cattle drive in Montanna…the list in endless.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

Now the HUNTED series is done, I can move back to my original novel, which I started back in 2012. It’s a London-based thriller where a forensic scientist tries to help a woman who’s been left with amnesia after a mugging goes wrong. Of course, nothing is as it seems.

PDB: Anything else?

I may pop across the pond for the ITW conference this summer, and I’ve had an idea for a story buzzing around in my head for a few years now, so maybe that will be my fifth novel. Beyond that, it is just promoting the HUNTED and non-stop working.

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Bio: Donna Collins was born at home in Romford, Essex, England. Five minutes later, she was one-hundred-per cent a bookworm. Her favourite novel, Enid Blyton’s The Children of Cherry Tree Farm, was a gift from her parents and now the most worn book on her bookshelf.

It was this book, and her love for 70’s and 80’s TV shows such as Hart to Hart, Charlie’s Angels, Hunter, and Dempsey and Makepeace, that lured Donna to the dark side of mystery and thriller writing. Since then, Donna has racked up many favourite authors, including Paula Gosling (A Running Duck is the second most worn book on her bookshelf), Jonathan Kellerman, Patricia Cornwell, and A. J. Quinnell.

Although Donna loves to write, she also loves crime – and her career proves it. Having founded her school magazine, her professional career includes not only working at OK! Magazine but also for Essex Police, Ormiston Prison Services, and Essex Offender Services. With publishing credits for freelance and commissioned magazine articles under her belt, Donna has now turned her attention and imagination to what she is best at -– storytelling.

In her spare time (what spare time?), Donna loves anything scary that will get her adrenaline pumping, including storm chasing, fright nights, zombie-infested shopping malls, and séance panic rooms – with her all-time goal involving the open sea, a cage, and a whole heap of great white sharks. Donna also proudly boasts finishing the 2010 London Marathon, but you’ll have to ask nicely if you want her to tell you where she was placed and who overtook her.

Website: www.donnacollins.co.uk

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Short, Sharp Interview: Jack Strange

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PDB: What’s going on?

Right now I’m heavily into promoting my latest book – a noir crime thriller called Manchester Vice.

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

No, I prefer silence and the view out the window. Plus the occasional low groan from the victims I keep chained up in my cellar.

PDB: What makes you laugh?

The scrapes I get myself into – but only when I’ve gotten out of them. Like my near head-on collision with a truck in Spain a month ago. Brought me out in a sweat while it was happening, but afterwards I laughed a lot, and so did the Mrs.

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

Getting another hangover.

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

Where I live right now –  Huddersfield. I love my hometown and the close friends I have here. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I guess I’m just a homeboy at heart.

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

No bucket list: I just aim to do good things right away rather than putting them off until some imagined better time comes along. Me and my wife have an agreement: whatever we want to do, we do it now – because we might not be around tomorrow.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

A large glass of red wine and a toast to future sales of my new book Manchester Vice. I do hope you’ll join me!

PDB: Anything else?

Well, now you come to mention it, there is something: I’m giving away a book free on Kobo. It’s called Dirty Noir and it’s packed with the sort of good stuff that crime fans love. You can get it here:  https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/dirty-noir

Bio: The mysterious Jack Strange hails from the town of Huddersfield, in West Yorkshire, England. He’s a man with a checkered past, having worked in a morgue, been a labourer, and a salesman. He’s dug holes… professionally (to what end, he refuses to say – sales? corpses? possibly both?),  even more terrifying – he’s a former Lawyer. He enjoys parties and keeps himself fit (the kind of fit that makes you think he may engage in fisticuffs with Vinnie Jones on a semi-regular basis, or possibly drink stout with both hands while also throwing  a perfect game of darts.) He is allegedly married with two adult daughters. They have yet to be located for comment.

Short, Sharp Interview: K S Hunter

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PDB: What’s going on?

I’ve been busy becoming K.S. Hunter. That’s not my real name. As myself, I’m an international bestselling author and I’ve written three novels. I’m typically a crime thriller writer, so when a new avenue made itself apparent, K.S. Hunter was born.

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

Absolutely. I tend to choose a song that helps me feel a certain mood that is necessary for a scene or a novel in general. It’s a great tool for atmosphere building. With my latest novel, Just One Time, which is about a woman who becomes obsessed with a man and ultimately tries to destroy him, I listened to ‘Poison’ by Alice Cooper again and again.

PDB: What makes you laugh?

The sitcoms of the past. Even though I’ve seen some so many times, they never fail to lighten me up. I’m thinking of shows like Fawlty TowersOnly Fools and Horses and Keeping Up Appearances. I also love 3rd Rock from the Sun.

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

Drink more.

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

San Francisco. It’s the only place I’ve ever truly felt at peace. Gorgeous green mountains in the near distance, a beautiful bay and a bustling city. It has everything.

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

Take a cruise somewhere glamorous and travel to the Far East and Australia.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

I’m preparing for the release of my ‘first’ novel, Just One Time, which will be out on December 7th. It’s a steamy psychological thriller about a woman who won’t take no for an answer from an unsuspecting man she meets at the theatre in London. She pursues him to New York, where she reveals she’ll only leave him alone if he sleeps with her, just one time.

PDB: Anything else?

If Just One Time is a success, K.S. Hunter will return with another novel, which I’ve already started. But if things don’t work out, I think that story will become a sequel to my international bestseller. Time will tell…

Bio: K.S. Hunter is the pseudonym of an international bestselling author. The identity of the author, who lives in the United Kingdom, will remain a mystery.

Short, Sharp Interview: Lawrence Kelter

back to brooklynPDB: What’s going on? Hi, Paul, I’ve written Back To Brooklyn, the literary sequel to My Cousin Vinny, one of the most beloved film comedies of all time. Bringing Vincent LaGuardia Gambini and Mona Lisa Vito back to life was the most fun I’ve ever had sitting in front of a keyboard. I have high hopes for this book. After all, I love the characters and the backstory—not to mention the two years have invested in the project. But where it goes from here…

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work? I need to be alone in my head while I write. I rarely listen to music while in the creative phase. It is music, however, that keeps me going through the drudgery of editing. Without it… I’ve got a NAD power amp connected to a pair of Dahlquist speakers in my office. I’m a diehard rock fan. Clapton, Mick, John, Paul, and George have prevented me from taking my life many times (while editing that is—a suicide watch is not needed).

PDB: What makes you laugh? People make me laugh—not at them but with them. There’s nothing better than getting together with friends (mates for you Brits) and hoisting a few (or many). If you’ve read any of my stuff you’ve probably suspected that I’m a frustrated comic. My work is full of comedy—can’t seem to pass up a chance to level a gnarly antagonist with good helping of sarcasm whenever the occasion arises.

PDB: What’s the best cure for a hangover? Don’t be jealous but I rarely get hung-over. I seem to be blessed in that regard. Not that I drink until shitfaced, but I somehow manage to cut myself off before I pass the point of no return.

PDB: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? No doubt there are fabulous locales in the world I’m selling short, but for my money there are few places in the world as perfect as Tuscany. I was only there once but my days there just seemed to float along in such relaxing manner that it’s forever etched upon my mind. Sitting around, drinking local wine and marveling at the beauty of the countryside … I’m under Tuscany’s spell just thinking about it.

PDB: Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s on it? Yes and no. There are so many things I want to do, but I don’t have a formal (or even semiformal) list: places to visit, people to meet. Some are practical and others pie in the sky. I’d like to meet Eric Clapton because I’ve been listening to him since I was thirteen and still have my original vinyl copies of Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire. I’d like to chat with some of the great thinkers and visionaries of our time, and see parts of the world I’ve not yet visited. Mostly, I’d like to live long enough to watch my grandchildren grow up and prosper.

PDB: What’s on the cards? If you’re asking me to look into a crystal ball, I’d rather not. I like each day to be a surprise. Book wise there are many projects in the hopper. I just released a gritty police procedural, which I penned in tandem with Frank Zafiro. It’s called Fallen City, and visits NYC in the eighties when ruthless Dominican drug gangs were on a rampage. There’s more Vinny and Lisa in work as well, a novelization of the film coming this spring with new scenes, more laughs, and insights into the characters backgrounds. Later on in the year Gambini and Vito will return in an all-original new story. Stephanie Chalice is coming back as is Chloe Mather. Several new one-offs are in various states of completion, each vying for my attention.

20900837_10155694496264413_5031558669142335757_oPDB: Anything else? The publishing business is changing at breakneck speed and what my place in it will be is the $64,000 question. I love writing and hope to always feel that way. There’s a list of story ideas on my desk that grows longer and longer everyday. I’ll keep writing as long as the ideas keep coming.

Bio: I never expected to be a writer. In fact, I was voted the student least likely to visit a library. (Don’t believe it? Feel free to check my high school yearbook.) Well, times change I suppose, and I have now authored several novels including the internationally best-selling Stephanie Chalice Thriller Series.

Early in my writing career, I received support from literary icon, Nelson DeMille, who reviewed my work and actually put pencil to paper to assist in the editing of the first book. DeMille has been a true inspiration to me and has also given me some tough love. Way before he ever said, “Lawrence Kelter is an exciting new novelist, who reminds me of an early Robert Ludlum,” he told me, “Kid, your work needs editing, but that’s a hell of a lot better than not having talent. Keep it up!”

I’ve lived in the Metro New York area most of my life and rely primarily on locales in Manhattan and Long Island for my stories’ settings. I try very hard to make each novel quickly paced and crammed full of twists, turns, and laughs.

Short, Sharp Interview: Will Viharo

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PDB: What’s going on?

You got me.

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

Always. Mostly classic jazz and moody film scores. Currently both soundtrack albums for “Twin Peaks: the Return.”

PDB: What makes you laugh?

Zombies.

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

Sex. Clears your sinuses. Brush your teeth first.

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

I’m already here (Seattle).

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

Apparently my bucket had a hole in it, so my list got lost somewhere along the way.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

More gambling-on-dreams debt.

PDB: Anything else?

Hopefully.

Bio: Will “the Thrill” Viharo is a pulp fiction author, B movie beatnik, lounge lizard at large, cat daddy, dog walker, and lucky husband. Swing by his cyber-pad anytime for a TMI cocktail.

www.thrillville.net

Short, Sharp Interview: Nick Triplow

getting carter

PDB: What’s going on?

On the eve of the Hull launch of GETTING CARTER: Ted Lewis and the Birth of Brit Noir, my book about the life and work of the author best known for his novel Jack’s Return Home, adapted as Get Carter in 1971.

And…

About to kick off the main weekend of Hull Noir Crime Fiction Festival. Along with Nick Quantrill and Nikki East, it’s been a long time coming, a lot of hard work, and an ambition realised to bring some of the most important writers of crime fiction currently working to the UK City of Culture 2017.

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

I go through stages. For a long time, it was nearly all old soul music, then cheesy 70s pop, and at the moment I seem to be listening to nothing at all. Or film soundtracks. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’s music for The Assassination of Jesse James has a broad, sweeping hypnotic quality and plenty of space. Which probably says more about where my head is at than the writing I’m doing.

PDB: What makes you laugh?

Alfie Solomons, fucking Biblical mate.

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

Currently trialing two methods: 1) a pint of water before bed with a healthy splash of good apple cider vinegar; and 2) not going to bed.

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

Crantock, North Cornwall.

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

I refer the honourable gentleman to my previous answer. Oh, and a Martin 000 acoustic (left-handed) if anyone’s offering.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

Post Hull Noir – a darkened room, a bottle of something decent and a bunch of books, music and DVDs. And then making space to reinstate a writing regime and bring together ideas for a new novel and some stories I’ve had on the to-do list for too long.

PDB: Anything else?

I’ll still be promoting GETTING CARTER. And as this seems to be ongoing research, picking up leads around Ted Lewis that have emerged since the book came out. Perhaps taking time to pursue offshoots – there was much about the development of British Noir in fiction and film that I’d like to have explored further. And seeing where my writing can take me in 2018 …

Guest Blog: NINA by Nick TriplowBio: Nick Triplow is the author of the crime noir novel Frank’s Wild Years and the social history books The Women They Left Behind, Distant Water and Pattie Slappers.

2017 sees the publication of GETTING CARTER: TED LEWIS AND THE BIRTH OF BRIT NOIR, his long awaited biography of British noir pioneer, Ted Lewis.

Nick’s acclaimed short story, Face Value, was a winner in the 2015 Northern Crime competition. His stories have also appeared in the Off the Record and True Brit Grit crime anthologies and on numerous websites. Originally from South London, Nick now lives in Barton upon Humber.

Getting Carter: Ted Lewis and the Birth of Brit Noir is published by No Exit Press. Available in bookshops or online: http://www.noexit.co.uk/index1.php?imprint=1&isbn=9781843448822

Short, Sharp Interview: Mike Craven

PDB: Can you pitch YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK in 25 words or less?

Commander Sam Vimes ends up in his own past, trying to stop a revolution whilst keeping his twenty-one-year-old self safe at the same time.

PDB: Which music, books, films or television shows do you wish you had written?

Music: Powerslave by Iron Maiden, Long Live Punk by the Anti-Nowhere League, Complete Control by The Clash

Books: Anything by Michael Connelly, Carl Hiaasen, Chris Brookmyre, Terry Pratchett or Mick Herron.

Films: Michael Mann’s Heat.

Television shows: The West Wing, Breaking Bad.

PDB: Which books do you think would make great films or TV series?

Mick Herron’s Jackson Lamb series. Extremely funny but they’re also very clever and relevant spy capers.

PDB: Can you tell me a joke?

What’s brown and sticky?

A stick.

PDB: Who are the great British writers?

Chris Brookmyre, Mick Herron, Terry Pratchett, Tom Sharpe, Arthur Conan Doyle.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

I signed a two-book deal with Little, Brown in March this year. The first in the new Washington Poe series, The Puppet Show, is out in hardback next June.

A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless.

When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of.

Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant, but socially awkward, civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.

As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive . . .

The German rights have been sold and we’ve also been meeting with a major TV production company and hope to be making an announcement on that soon.

PDB: Anything else?

I’m 50 next year so this is a fair warning for people to start saving now I suppose . . .

Bio: Although he was born in Cumbria, Mike Craven grew up in the North East before running away to join the army as soon as he was sixteen. After training as an armourer for two and a half years (that’s an army gunsmith to you and I), he spent the next ten travelling the world having fun. In 1995 he left the army, and after a brief flirtation with close protection and bodyguarding, decided on a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. In 1999 he joined Cumbria Probation Service as a probation officer, working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later, he took the plunge and accepted redundancy to concentrate on writing full-time, and now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals.

Between leaving the army and securing his first publishing deal, Mike found time to keep a pet crocodile, breed snakes, get married, and buy a springer spaniel named Bracken. He lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne, where he tries to leave the house as little as possible. Mike is also one third of Crime Ink-Corporated, a trio of northern writers who take writing out to the community and host events such as England’s first ever Noir at the Bar.

Mike’s first DI Avison Fluke novel, Born in a Burial Gown (D. I. Avison Fluke), was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award. He is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association, the International Thriller Writers’ Association and the Society of Authors.

mike craven

Short, Sharp Interview: Richard Prosch

PDB: What’s going on?

I live in the country, so every season brings a new slate of activity. Between checking fences for winter and bringing in wood for the furnace, I’m working on the third story in my Dan Spalding crime series.

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

I do, but can’t listen to vocals. So it’s jazz from any era with some rock guitar here and there. Bebop, fusion, contemporary—as long as its instrumental.

PDB: What makes you laugh?

Not a lot. But when I do, I blame Larry David or vintage 60s/70s comedians.

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

Ice water and Karate katas.

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

Wyoming. Preferably on a patch of ground surrounded by a thousand square acres of nothing. Lived there for a couple years long ago and have been working my way back ever since.

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

See the previous question.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

Two Dan Spalding entries are out in November: a short story and a novel- Answer Death (Dan Spalding). I’ll also have aspaldings_groove_kindle_promo collection of three hard-boiled western novellas out before the end of the year. And there’s some flash crime fiction coming too.

PDB: Anything else?

I’ve started sharing a music-related tweet or two on Twitter, @richardprosch #spaldingsgroove.

Thanks for hosting me here, Paul!

richard proschBio:  Richard’s crime and western fiction captures the fleeting history and lonely frontier stories of his youth where characters aren’t always what they seem, and the windburned landscapes are filled with swift, deadly danger. His crime fiction has appeared at BeatToAPulp.com and several anthologies including Protectors 2, edited by Thomas Pluck, which was nominated for an Anthony Award. Richard won the Spur Award from Western Writers of America for short fiction in 2016. Visit him on the web at www.RichardProsch.com.

Short, Sharp Interview: K A Laity

PDB: What’s going on?

THE BLOOD RED EXPERIMENT! A new magazine that serialises neo-giallo novellas by me, Richard Godwin, Tom Leins, Kevin Berg, Mark Cooper, Jack Bates and James Shaffer, brought together by the combined efforts of Jason ‘Pulp Metal Magazine’ Michel and Craig ‘Near to the Knuckle’ Douglas. My novella is Madonna of the Wasps (swiped that title, of course from Mr Hitchcock) which features an ancient knife, weird rituals and some art students.

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

I used to always; I’ve been so manic lately, jumping from one project to another that I never seem to settle on anything unless it’s something in the background like BBC Radio 3. But I have some concentrated writing time coming up and the soundtrack will be very folk horror oriented.

PDB: What makes you laugh?

You do [laughs]. Also lots of things. Georgette Heyer, Peter Cook, Kathy Burke. I introduced a friend to the Four Yorkshiremen sketch the other day and she was delighted.

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

Cheap Mexican food [the kind you can only get in L.A.] and gallons of tea.

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

Everywhere: I’d want a free pass to any hotel anywhere so I could mix it up and travel around and not have to ever clean or cook or do anything but idle and write.

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

Pfft. If I want to do something I make plans to do it. Life is short. Don’t assume there’ll be enough of it.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

Looks like The Tower. Better draw again… Actually I have an essay on grifters and Chaucer coming out in November. I am trying to draw together a collection of women’s travel writing which has had to be done in odd moments because for some reason I decided to do too much this semester despite promising myself I wouldn’t, so I’m an idiot.

PDB: Anything else?

Everybody should be reading RESPECTABLE HORROR in fact all Fox Spirit Books titles! I have a new fairy tale novel MANGLED coming out next year from them and I know that Mr Graham Wynd will have a novella + short stories called LOVE IS A GRIFT out sometime in 2018, too. Oh, and I don’t know when but at some point my comic novel HIRE IDIOTS. And probably other things that I’ve forgotten because I have a head like a sieve lately.

kalaityBio: KA. Laityis the award-winning author of How to Be Dull,White RabbitDream Book, A Cut-Throat BusinessLush Situation, Owl Stretching, Unquiet Dreams, Chastity Flameand Pelzmantel, as well as editor of Respectable Horror, Weird Noir, Noir Carnival and Drag Noir. She also writes historical fiction as Kit Marlowe and crime as Graham Wynd.

The Blood Red Experiment (Series Book 1)

Short, Sharp Interview: Keith Nixon

Dig 2 GravesPDB: What’s going on?

A new series of books out with Cologne based publisher Bastei Lubbe starting with Dig Two Graves on the 10th October. I’ve been signed for two more afterwards. The great thing is I get to work with the genius who’s Al Guthrie

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

Nope, too distracting unfortunately. Though songs and lyrics sometimes generate ideas which I work on late.

PDB: What makes you laugh?

On social media – Martina Cole.

Elsewhere Peter Kay. The latest series of Car Share, particularly the monkey in the back of the car, was genius…

PDB: What’s the best cure for hangover?

I wish I knew! As I get older it takes less beer to get drunk and the hangovers increase proportionally. But possibly coffee, bacon sandwich (with brown sauce, please) and a Berocca.

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

Italy. Fabulous country, great people, great weather, great wine and food.

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

A few things – see the Northern Lights in Iceland, escape the earth’s atmosphere, own an Aston Martin, meet Ian Rankin, live to 100.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

Books two and three in the Gray series. Book two is in final edits (hopefully) and book three is taking shape…

PDB: Anything else?

keith nixonGet the children grown up and through the front door…

Bio: Keith Nixon is a British born writer of crime and historical fiction novels. Originally he trained as a chemist, but Keith is now in a senior sales role for a high-tech business.

 

Keith currently lives with his family in the North West of England. His novels are published by Bastei Lubbe, Caffeine Nights and Gladius Press.

Short, Sharp Interview: Dietrich Kalteis

DSC01654CropLG300DPI copy 2PDB: Can you pitch your latest book in 25 words or less?

Zero Avenue is a crime novel set to the cranking beat and amphetamine buzz of Vancouver’s early punk scene.

PDB: Which music, books, films or television shows do you wish you had written?

Dietrich: I listen to music all the time when I’m writing, and I read a novel or two every week and watch a lot of films, so I could come up with a long list for each. I don’t wish that I’d created any of it, but what I do read, listen to and watch sure inspires me to create my own.

I have a broad appreciation for music, but if I have to narrow it down, I’m partial to anything by Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Neil Young. One of the best books I’ve read so far this year was Razor GIrl by Carl Hiaasen. I laughed all the way through it, it’s terrific. And there are a couple of classics that I recently reread and still love: The Last Good Kiss by James Crumley, and Miami Blues by Charles Willeford. For movies, the Coen Brothers’ Fargo and The Big Lebowski top the list, and for a series I’ll go with Six Feet Under, Breaking Bad, The Wire and Better Call Saul.

PDB: Which books do you think would make great films or TV series?

Dietrich: The Force and The Cartel, both by Don Winslow will make awesome films. The film rights have been purchased for The Force, and The Cartel is in pre-production. While I’m looking forward to both, I can’t help but think since they’re such epic tales that they each would make a better mini series than a feature film. There’s just so much great material there.

And naturally I’d love to see my own work up on the screen. It would be incredible to watch my own characters come to life and see and hear actors speak lines that I wrote. I visualize chapters in movie scenes when I write, and while any of my stories could work, I think my fourth novel House of Blazes is particularly cinematic. It’s set during the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco and the special effects alone would be pretty terrific to watch. And yup, I’m totally open to offers.

PDB: Who are the great Canadian writers?

Dietrich: There are a lot of literary greats in this country like Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Mordecai Richler, Leonard Cohen, Alistair MacLeod, Farley Mowat, and the list goes on. In the mystery/crime genre there are internationally recognized authors like Louise Penny, Peter Robinson, Anthony Bidulka, William Deverell and Linwood Barclay.

The danger in coming up with any such list is leaving off someone who’s very deserving. So, while I haven’t read all the talented Canadians authors currently working, I’ll mention a few I have recently read.

William Deverell needs no introduction to most of us. He’s given us eighteen terrific novels to date, from the multi award-winning Needles, to his ongoing and best-selling Arthur Beauchamp series. I recently read Sing a Worried Song, and I am looking forward to his upcoming Whipped. Then there’s the late Marc Strange who gave us the Joe Grundy books, as well as Follow Me Down and Woman Chased by Crows, any of which are great mysteries. And John McFetridge’s A Little More Free, the latest in his Eddie Dougherty series. Then there’s Owen Laukkanen’s The Forgotten Girls, a book I found impossible to put down, as well as Linda L. RIchard’s When Blood Lies. I’ve got a few more by Canadian authors on my book shelf that I’m hoping to get to soon: Sam Wiebe’s Invisible Dead, Ian Hamilton’s The Princeling of Nanjing, Bob Kroll’s The Hell of it All, and David Whellam’s The Verdict on Each Man Dead.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

Dietrich: My next novel Poughkeepsie Shuffle is due for release in 2018 by ECW Press. The story’s set in Toronto in the mid-eighties and centers on Jeff Nichols, a guy just released from the Don Jail. When he lands a job at a used-car lot, he finds himself mixed up in a smuggling ring bringing guns in from Upstate New York. Jeff’s a guy willing to break a few rules on the road to riches, a guy who lives by the motto ‘why let the mistakes of the past get in the way of a good score in the future.’

Dietrich: I have a short story that will be included in the upcoming Vancouver Noir, part of Akashic Books’ Noir Series, edited by Sam Wiebe.

PDB: Anything else? 

ECW-Kalteis-ZeroAvenue

 

I’ve got a couple of new novels I’m currently working on. The first story is set in Dustbowl Kansas and focuses on a couple who comes up with interesting, although not legal, ways to hang onto the family farm during some very tough times.

Then I’ve got the first draft of another novel written out in longhand. This one’s set in modern time, and it’s about a guy escaping with the girlfriend of a gangster who’s hot on his trail. The story will take readers on a chase up through northern British Columbia and into the wilds of the Canadian Yukon.

Bio: Dietrich Kalteis is an award-winning author of five novels and over fifty short stories. His latest novel Zero Avenue will be released on October 3rd, and his fourth House of Blazes recently won an Independent Publishers award for best historical fiction. Publishers Weekly called his third novel Triggerfish high-octane action that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Crimespree Magazine said it satisfies the need for all things dark and leaves the reader breathless. The National Post called The Deadbeat Club a breakout for Kalteis, and his debut novel Ride the Lightning won a bronze medal for best regional fiction in the Independent Publishers Awards, and was hailed as one of Vancouver’s best crime novels. He lives with his family in West Vancouver, British Columbia.

Short, Sharp Interview: Tom Pitts

american static

PDB: What’s going on?

Other than signs of the apocalypse flaring up in the headlines every day? I’m out there hitting the circuit, promoting my new novel American Static.

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

Fuck no! I can’t do it. I think perhaps I could when I was younger, but these days my attention span is terrible. I’ve been known to stuff toilet paper in my ears so I can focus. I see writer’s talking about playlists for their novels, and I think, wow, my playlist is silence. No, actually, mine is the dream of silence. I’ve got barking dogs, loud neighbors, sirens, and squealing tires.

PDB: What makes you laugh?

Just about anything. I’ve had a long history of whistling through the graveyard. Making the horrific hilarious is my favorite coping mechanism.  When they say laughter is the best medicine, they might as well say it’s the best opiate too.

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

Easy, more booze. Even as I write this I’m comforting myself with a medicinal beer.

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

Hell of a question to answer honestly. I think right now that’d be L.A.. I’m doing my damnedest to bust into the movie business and it’s the only place to be for that. Christ, a San Franciscan admitting he wants to live in Los Angeles? They might throw me outta this town!

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

I don’t. I feel like a bucket list would only bring me closer to kicking the bucket.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

I’ve got two more novels edited and ready to submit. I guess I have sit down and start another. It’s been nearly a year since I’ve actually done any new writing—as opposed to editing and rewriting. I’m looking forward to getting lost in that world again.

tom pittsPDB: Anything else?

Yes, American Static. Buy it, love it, review it. And thanks, Paul. It’s always a pleasure.

Bio: Tom Pitts received his education on the streets of San Francisco. He remains there, working, writing, and trying to survive. He is the author of American Static (Down & Out Books) HUSTLE (Down & Out Books) and the novellas Piggyback (Snubnose Press) and Knuckleball (One Eye Press.) Find links to more of his work at: TomPittsAuthor.com

Short, Sharp Interview: Nigel Bird

southsiders 1-3

PDB: What’s going on?

In terms of the business of writing, I feel very busy.

I’ve just released the latest Southsiders novel, By The Time I Get To Phoenix. I was really sad to see publisher Blasted Heath come to an end. They did a fine job of editing and putting covers to the Southsiders books, but only managed to put out the first two. They generously handed the covers over to me, leaving me the relatively easy job of putting them out. I’m holding back on book four, the final one in the series, after this latest one has bedded in.

I’ve also just finished a novel that I’m rather proud of. I’ll say more about it when the time is right. I worked hard on the edits and feel it’s in tip top condition at this point.

In case I didn’t have enough on my plate, I’m also involved in a new role as Editorial Consultant for the massively impressive All Due Respect. It’s a grand title for what I do – reading submitted manuscripts, making notes and comments and suggestions and passing them on – but I’ll take it. The role may adapt over time and I’ll be happy to take on the changes if and when they arise. When Chris Rhatigan asked me to do this I didn’t have to give it a second thought. Life may be busy enough, but if you’re going to be overwhelmed, it might as well be while doing the things you love. I was proud to be asked and delighted to accept. Chris and I worked together on the Pulp Ink books and he took on a short story of mine for the ADR anthology a while back. We also put a story together that was published in Needle Magazine. I met him in the summer when he came to Edinburgh and it was great to get to know him better. He’s a star in so many ways and as a writer he excels (check out his books when you can, they’re terrific).

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

If it’s there. I don’t make an effort to play anything particular and would most likely have the wonderful Radio 6 on as much as anything else. I’m also partial to a musician going by the name Long Hat Pins and I do play his tracks to get me into the groove by distracting me from anything else.

PDB: What makes you laugh?

I’ve been recording episodes of Fraser daily for a month or so now. There are so many of them that my memory is almost used up. I see it as filling up a bank with happiness for days when I feel a bit low.

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

I’ve not had one of those since I last had a drink just over twelve years ago. From memory, the best cure is another drink with a couple of Gregg’s cheese and onion pasties.

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

Rather than pick a spot, I think I’d change world geography. Mostly I like it where I am on the Scottish coast. The attraction is the beauty of the area and the low density of humanity. I guess I’d really like to live by the sea in an area of outstanding beauty where the weather is warm and dry much of the time, there aren‘t many people around and there’s easy access to a wonderful city (I can tick most of those boxes here in Dunbar what with Newcastle and Edinburgh within range, but the weather one definitely contains a cross).

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

I get confused by this concept. To me a bucket list sounds like the place you put all the things you really don’t want in your life. That’s probably just showing my age.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

More reading for All Due Respect.

I’m also letting my mind marinade an idea for a prequel for the novel I’ve just finished.

nigelbirdPDB: Anything else?

If this gets out in time, the three Southsiders books will be free over the weekend of the 23rd and 24th September. If not, I think I’ve said enough.

Bio: Nigel is the author of a number of acclaimed novels, novellas and short story collections including The Shallows, the Southsiders series, Mr Suit, Smoke and Dirty Old Town. He is currently an editorial consultant for the publisher All Due Respect books.  As well as writing, he is a Support for Learning teacher in a number of schools in East Lothian.

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.