Category Archives: short sharp interviews

Short, Sharp Interview: Scotch Rutherford

Scotch Rutherford headshot 1PDB: Can you pitch YOUR NEW BOOK in 25 words or less?

Switchblade Issue 1—the very latest no-limit crime fiction anthology. Featuring the very best in the business outside the big 5; a real steal for only $6.95

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

I wish I’d written the script for “Heat” (Michael Mann) A film that inspired the 1997 North Hollywood bank shootout, and was most famous for Pacino and Di Niro’s first scene on film together. It’s a brilliant piece of work, filled with pure style. The downtown LA shootout scene was probably the most accurate and dynamic depictions of combat on film, next to “Saving Private Ryan. Cast-wise it’s got everyone—except maybe for Michael Madsen. “Heat” is my top pick for contemporary film noir.

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

Well, being a fledgling author who’s yet to make the leap from short fiction to novel-length prose—I think any talk of scripts based on the novels I haven’t written yet is kind of putting the cart before the horse. However, I do have a finished short script adapted from my short story, “The Pareto Principle”, which appeared in Pulp Modern 10.

PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

You know, I just love the kind of authors who can take the reader to a pivotal plot point, and then switch gears completely, denying the reader of any possible dissatisfaction in knowing what’s going to happen next. Christa Faust does this flawlessly. I also love authors with a knack for humanizing unlikable protagonists—Jim Thompson does this very well, and so does Lawrence Block, whose “Hit Man” series is one of my favourites. I’m also a big fan of tech noir, and Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon series is one of the absolute best in that genre. If you haven’t read these books, they’re a little like PKD’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep thrown into a vat of hard boiled hydrochloric acid.

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

What do caviar and Michael Jackson have in common?

They’re both black and come on little white crackers. Okay, so that was a little off-color, but I’m not exactly known as a man of taste. Sadly, I can’t claim that one, it isn’t mine.

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

Megalomania by Black Sabbath, off of the Sabotage album. It’s a layered piece about religious deprogramming, and one man’s interior struggle between the ego, and the id. It’s incredibly melancholy for about the first two minutes, then Bill Wards percussion builds into a fist pumping tempo, and once Tony Iommi’s guitar kicks in it’s like the roar of a high performance muscle car, taking a sharp corner—practically going off the rails, before Ozzy even starts to sing. And then it gets really good.

switchbladePDB: What’s on the cards?

Failure—and then success. And isn’t that what we all want? Bad news before the good news.

PDB: Anything else?

Yes—check out Paul D. Brazill’s Brit-Grit flash fiction piece, Getting Away With It, between the pages of Switchblade 1 

Bio: Scotch Rutherford is an independent screenwriter and short fiction author, out of Los Angeles. His fiction work has appeared online and in print. He is the creator and managing editor of the quarterly noir anthology, Switchblade. 

Short, Sharp Interview: Henry Brock

vicious-dogsPDB: Can you pitch VISCIOUS DOGS in 25 words or less?

Derek Lasker, a broke and desperate PI,  foolishly takes a case that involves following a potential psychopath. It will cost him.

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

What books do I wish I had written? So many. In fact, when I am working on a book I have a difficult time reading fiction since I fear my work will not measure up by comparison or their prose will change my writing style somehow. That being said, some books that I wish I had written are “We’re All In This Together” by Amy Jones, “The Talented Mr. Ripley” by Patricia Highsmith, “Whale Music” by Paul Quarrington, “Hyperion” by Dan Simmons and what writer wouldn’t love to have written Marcel Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time”?

Films I wish I had written include: “Runaway Train”, “Citizen Kane” and “Plane, Trains and Automobiles”.

Television shows I wish I had written: “Mad Men”, “Orphan Black” and “Mr. Robot”.

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

I would love to see Lasker Investigations as a series with “Vicious Dogs” as season one. I started developing the idea for the book while working in the film business in Toronto, Ontario, so seeing the book brought to the screen would seem apropos. I also wrote a book about a 1980’s heavy metal band called Bastards of Destruction, which has been rejected by dozens of publishers (I like to think it is due to the graphic sex and rampant drug use and violence, but editors might just think it isn’t good enough…) but I think it would make a fantastic movie.

 PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

Like most avid readers, it’s hard to list a few for fear that I will forget someone important. But since you are twisting my arm here, Paul, I will list a few here: Jim Thompson, Philip K. Dick, John Irving, David Goodis, Michel Faber, Sarah Waters, Clive Barker, Robertson Davies, and Michael Crichton.

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

I don’t think I am a particularly funny person and am terrible at jokes, but here’s one for my UK friends:  Apparently someone in London gets stabbed every 60 seconds. Poor bastard.

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

So many faves…. but how about “The Blank Generation” by Richard Hell and the Voidoids.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

I am plugging away on book two of the Lasker Investigation series and once I am done my first draft I am going to cleanse my pallet before editing/re-writing by writing something completely different like a kids book or a book about Stephen Stills.

 PDB: Anything else?

Though I have been writing all of my life, I am new to crime fiction and I need to say that I absolutely love it. I would like to thank everyone who supported my along the way and thanks to all of those who have read Vicious Dogs and have reached out to me to let me know how much they have enjoyed it. As you know, Paul, writing is a solitary task, so hearing from readers makes all the difference.

henry brock

Bio: Henry Brock is the author of “Vicious Dogs” which is the first Lasker Investigation. He worked for ten years in the Toronto film industry, where he sidelined as a copy editor and musician. He currently lives with his wife and twin 8 year olds in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Short, Sharp Interview: Kevin Berg

indiference

PDB: Can you pitch Indifference in 25 words or less?

An emotional gut-punch that sweeps through the dark lives of a homeless vet and the people who ignore him every day. GraphicViolent meets SexyFun. 

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

Audition, both the book by Ryu Murakami and the film directed by Takashi Miike. Great stuff, and that takes care of two with one answer. I don’t watch much television (I guess I am THAT guy), but honestly the stereo and television are usually occupied by a cartoon or a song that has something to do with a damn princess anyway. Some arguments are easier to win when they are avoided, especially with a four-year-old. That comes from experience.

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

Indifference would make one hell of a disturbing indie movie, hopefully banned early on and later downloaded illegally, or streamed online somewhere.

PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

People that push the limits to entertain me, and don’t bore me with the average bullshit. After finding that most good reading these days comes from indie authors, the list continues to grow, and this has already been a great year in reading – Ryan Bracha, Mark Wilson, Jason Michel, Shervin Jamali, Lee Goldground, J. David Osborne, Gabino Iglesias, Robert Cowan, and Brendan Gisby. Different styles, different stories, but all badass. And that’s just in the past couple of months. Still nine to go, and then I can start again. Every day or two is a new book, and another chance to find a new favorite author.

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

Okay, this one took some research. I am not the best with jokes, or even the right times to relay the funny one I just heard, but I was lucky enough to run one through a filter of twelve seasoned authors and three coworkers to determine that it is, in fact, highly inappropriate. And I am pretty sure I am getting some sort of writeup at work now. So here are a couple of good replacements I have borrowed to give you an answer:

For the trendy readers, “I was vegan for a while. I lost 6lb, but most of that was personality.”

For the brainy ones, “Let me tell you a little about myself. It’s a reflexive pronoun that means ‘me’.”

For the bleeding hearts, “What’s black and white and red all over? A racially motivated hate crime, which is not a laughing matter and a sign of the awful times we live in.”

And finally, for the ladies, “What’s the difference between a woman and a fridge? The fridge don’t fart when you take your meat out.”

I do have several more, but I can’t take up all your space with the wit of others. I mean, we are here to talk about me, right?

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

Don’t know if it counts as a favorite, but I have had Dr. Demento’s “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!” stuck in my head since the eighties. Glad it pushed out “Baby Beluga” from Raffi, but a conference call while working from home has forced me to convince my boss that the instrumental version of “Let it Go” is tops. Seriously too many songs to choose only one, but if it is good, I bet it sits idle on the iPod in my car.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

I plan to keep learning and grow as an author. This year I will be working on my second book, planning my third, getting some more shorts published, and improving every step of the way. In a couple of months, I will have a piece in a novel which is definitely one of my favorites so far. My short is called “Pieces Forgotten,” coming up in a collection of stories from myself and twelve excellent authors, all tied together and due for release in May. The Thirteen Lives of Frank Peppercorn. See you there, sir.

kevin bergPDB: Anything else?

Thanks to everyone for the guidance with the joke, and to you Mr. Brazill, thanks for the opportunity.

Bio: Kevin Berg lives at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains with his amazing wife and two kickass daughters. He has published a debut – Indifference – and found a home for some of his shorts out there with Pulp Metal Magazine and Near To The Knuckle. He has some interesting projects coming up with some of the best in the game, so stay tuned. Find him on Goodreads and Facebook, let him know what you think.

Short, Sharp Interview: Paul Heatley

Author photo 3PDB: Can you pitch FATBOY in 25 words or less?

Latino barkeep Joey attempts to regain his family and exact brutal revenge upon the racist businessman that hassles him, all at the same time.

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

Music-wise, anything by Mark Lanegan or Nick Cave. In terms of wordplay and mastery of language, Saul Williams. Books – The Clown by Heinrich Boll, The Lost Weekend by Charles Jackson, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. For songs, see anything by the above. And the Beach Boys! Love the Beach Boys… Films – The Wrestler, Taxi Driver, Rocky, Sicario, The Nice Guys. Television – The Leftovers, The Wire, Fargo, the first four seasons of Dexter…

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

MW Front CoverI think The Motel Whore could make a decent indie feature. TV-wise, there’s potential in a crime series set in Newcastle featuring characters from An Eye For An Eye, which is a world I’m hoping to expand upon at some point in the future.

PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

James Ellroy, Jim Thompson, Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Zadie Smith, Harry Crews.

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

I’m bad with jokes, I don’t store them. There’s a chef at work always tells the same cheese joke and I can never remember the punch line. Right now I’m struggling to remember the build-up, too… I watch comedians, though – Eddie Izzard, Bill Hicks. The latter’s bit on Jack Palance in Shane has always been a favourite and is worth looking up on YouTube. Pick up the gun…

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

‘The Sound of Silence’ by Simon and Garfunkel.

An Eye For An Eye CoverPDB: What’s on the cards?

Well, I’m keeping busy! I finished a novel at the start of this year which I’ll soon start the edits on, along with two more novellas I wrote shortly after that, and I’m working on a third that I’m hoping to have finished by the end of this month (March). After that there’s a whole slew of new projects I’m looking to plan, write, and edit, and hopefully they’ll see the light of day at some point.

PDB: Anything else?

Fatboy will be available May 1st, published by All Due Respect. In the meantime (or afterward, depending on when you’re reading this), An Eye For An Eye is available for Kindle, published by Near To The Knuckle, and I recently made The Motel Whore & Other Stories, and Guns, Drugs, And Dogs available as paperbacks.

Bio: Paul Heatley’s stories have appeared online and in print for a variety of publications including Thuglit, Crime Syndicate, Spelk, Horror Sleaze Trash, and Shotgun Honey, among others. He is the author of The Motel Whore & Other Stories, An Eye For An Eye, Guns, Drugs, and Dogs, and the forthcoming Fatboy. He lives in the north east of England.

Short, Sharp Interview: Gerald M O’Connor

benjamin-hacketPDB: Can you pitch THE ORIGINS OF BENJAMIN HACKETT in 25 words or less?

GMOC: On discovering the truth of his adoption, 18-year-old Benjamin Hackett hunts down his parents in a country determined to keep them a secret.

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

GMOC: Music: Anything by American composer Philip Morris Glass, especially from his album Metamorphosis. The melodies and structures are simple and repetitive, and yet the mood it creates is haunting. It takes sheer genius to write such basic scores and still have profound depth to the music. He’s Hemmingway-esque in his minimalism and equally effective.

Books: Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. His novel is the perfect mix of literary and story. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read it. Apparently, it takes the him ten years to write his novels. Time well spent, in my humble opinion. Some say he has the odd opaque moment when the prose strains the eye, but the sheer ingenuity of that book continues to mesmerise me.

Films: Whenever I hear Maximus’ speech to Commodus in the Colosseum, my inner child leaps out and shrieks. If you want an example of the Hero’s Journey done to absolute perfection, then look no further than Gladiator in all its gladius waving glory.

Television: The Killing (Dutch version) Such a multi-layered show. Made me a sucker for Scandinavian Noir from the off. Sofie Gråbøl was imperious. True Detective (Season 1) would be my other must-mention. Those scriptwriters were on fire throughout. Definitely worth another weekend binge.

Songs: The entire back catalogue by the master of cool, David Bowie. His cut-up technique is intriguing to me as a writer. You’d imagine there’d be this strange randomness to his lyrics, yet no matter how awkward his word combinations read, when they gelled with his music their intent was obvious.

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

GMOC: The Origins of Benjamin Hackett. I have been told it has a certain cinematic bent. It has oodles of dialogue and a linear plot, lending itself nicely to a Big Screen production.

PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

GMOC: I imagine Paul D. Brazill and Les Edgerton could hold their own in the rarest of company. Besides these two, George Orwell and Cormac McCarthy possess much of my kindle real estate. I did flirt with Joyce for a while, but I’ve since gotten over it.

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

GMOC: Heard this one today, and as is the way with jokes, it’s now my new found favourite: “Why is it hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs? Because they always take things literally.”

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

GMOC: Ashes-to-Ashes is my favourite ‘stop-shuffle-and-repeat’ song. It’s Bowie in all his pomp and glory.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

GMOC: Today, I’m still in the afterglow of my debut, so I’m busy with promotion and blog tours and my new fascination—split-testing Facebook ads (Odd, I know, but it’s kind of like ethical gambling) Only last week, I added the final touches to my second novel, The Tanist. Now that it’s all buffed and preened, I’ve that pre-release nervousness building once more. By the end of 2017, it should be free to terrorise the world.

 PDB: Anything else?

GMOC: Only to thank the host for having me over. Love what you’ve done with the place, Paul!

gerald o connorBio: I’m a Corkman, reared in the village of Blarney. I studied dentistry in University College Cork and spent 18 years working in the UK. I live in Dublin now, along with my long-term partner, Rosemarie, and our three children. I write character-driven novels of various styles ranging from fantasy to black comedy and contemporary literature. I enjoy sci-fi films, spending time with my family and being anywhere in sight of the sea. My first novel THE ORIGINS OF BENJMAIN HACKETT was released on the 6th of February 2017 by DOWN AND OUT BOOKS. I am currently working on the final draft of my second novel THE TANIST—a Celtic thrill-fest set in the pagan world of 15th century Ireland.

Books: amazon  | Web: geraldmoconnor

Short, Sharp Interview: Matt Neal

bay of martyrs coverPDB: Can you pitch BAY OF MARTYRS in 25 words or less? 

A sexy, funny thriller set along south-eastern Australia’s Shipwreck Coast. Someone called it the Aussie True Detective. I won’t argue.

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

The entire oeuvres of XTC and The Beatles, The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, The Muppet Movie and the first 12 or so seasons of The Simpsons.

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

I’ve only written (co-written actually) one book, Bay of Martyrs, so that one. But I have written a screenplay which is a sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit which I am desperate to get made (I’m not even kidding).

 PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

Aside from my co-writer Tony Black, who I am forever indebted to, my two favourite writers are Hunter S Thompson and Terry Pratchett, may they both rest in peace.

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

Donald Trump is President of the United States of America.

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

Today, I think it’s Television’s Marquee Moon. Yesterday it was XTC’s Books Are Burning. Tomorrow it will probably be Ween’s If You Could Save Yourself, You’d Save Us All.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

I’m balls deep on the sequel to Bay of Martyrs, which is currently titled The Cutting -named after another local landmark in my little patch of Australia.

untitled-43.jpg

PDB: Anything else?

Did you know the outro to Hey Jude is longer than the rest of the song?

Bio:  Australian journalist, film reviewer, musician, songwriter, and international author Matt Neal was born and raised in south-west Victoria. He’s been writing for The Warrnambool Standard for 15 years, is a prize-winning songwriter and a film reviewer for Australia’s ABC Radio. His first book Bay Of Martyrs – a crime thriller set in south-west Victoria – has been co-written with Scottish “tartan noir” novelist Tony Black. A sequel is due out in 2018.

Short, Sharp Interview: Chris Bell.

faces-in-things-coverPDB: Can you pitch FACES IN THINGS  in 25 words or less?

“My second story collection, all written in New Zealand, a variety of genres including food, music, science fiction, fantasy and magical realism, 13 previously unpublished.”

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

Music: Anything by Thelonious Monk because you can’t argue with the man who said, ‘The piano ain’t got no wrong notes.’ A piece of music I don’t so much wish I’d written as often wish I had playing while writing is the David Sylvian (of Japan) and Holger Czukay (of Can) collaboration ‘Plight and Premonition’. It’s full of the spiralling of winter ghosts and Czukay’s virtuoso twiddling of radio dials lends the promise of creative potential lurking behind the ambience and bursts of interference.

Book: ‘Pilgermann’ by Russell Hoban, for its sheer audacity of vision and the fact that it was (in my view unjustly) overshadowed by his post-apocalyptic Huck Finn, ‘Riddley Walker’. ‘Pilgermann’ is a magical realist’s history of the Crusades as if from the palette of Hieronymus Bosch. It so vividly depicts ancient Antioch that I once dreamt I was an owl flying over its ruins.

Film: Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’ is my favourite film and an important inspiration. It takes true genius to make a funny dystopia, and Gilliam’s interpretation of Tom Stoppard’s screenplay is so detailed and multi-faceted that I never tire of watching it.

Songs: Justin Currie’s ‘No, Surrender’ (part one: https://youtu.be/-4b_dBMfBf0 part two: https://youtu.be/BVmtie4JlPQ) and ‘The Fight To Be Human’ (https://youtu.be/S3jJg3oqlu0 – audio only), which between them encapsulate pretty much everything I wish I’d said about modern life and then some.

TV: ‘Fargo’. I was sceptical before watching a TV extrapolation of a classic film and didn’t expect to enjoy it (in fact, the first time I saw the Coen Brothers’ film I was underwhelmed by it, but Carter Burwell’s theme and musical score crept up on me slowly over the years and eventually the film lodged itself in my consciousness). Season One of the TV show was superbly written and cast. Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman and Allison Tolman gave such extraordinary performances that now I’m sceptical about the prospect of Season Two – could the producers possibly pull it off again?”

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

“I wrote a screenplay version of my first novel, ‘Liquidambar’ (http://amzn.to/2cDKzM3) – which is set in the world of 12 of Edward Hopper’s paintings – and years ago had talks about it with Weta Digital’s Richard Taylor and Gayle Munro. Richard kindly offered to make a show reel at no cost if I could interest a producer. I tried but needless to say failed.

“My latest novel, ‘Songshifting’ (http://amzn.to/2e1PUu8) – a dystopia set in an alternative world of touring bands gigging under a repressive regime headed by a shadowy impresario – also has filmic potential, but I imagine most writers say that about their most recent work because if it doesn’t come alive in their own heads they haven’t done a good enough job of imagining it.”

PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

“In chronological order of reading: Stephen King for ‘The Stand’, ‘The Shining’, ‘Christine’, ‘Cujo’, ‘The Dead Zone’ and ‘Different Seasons’; Russell Hoban for every one of his novels; Richard Brautigan for ‘Sombrero Fallout’ and ‘So The Wind Won’t Blow It All Away’;

Russell H. Greenan for ‘It Happened In Boston?’; J. P. Donleavy for ‘A Fairy Tale of New York’ and ‘The Ginger Man’; Martin Amis for ‘London Fields’; Thomas Pynchon for ‘Inherent Vice’; Graham Greene for everything of his that I’ve read; Evelyn Waugh for ‘Scoop’; Richard Price for ‘Clockers’ and ‘Lush Life’; and W. Somerset Maugham for ‘The Narrow Corner’.

songshifting-jacket

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

It would probably be one of Tommy Cooper’s. How about, “This man knocks at his neighbour’s door and the neighbour’s wife answers. ‘Hello,’ says the man, ‘is Charlie in?’ The woman says, ‘I’m sorry but Charlie died last night.’ The man says, ‘Oh. He didn’t say anything about a can of paint?’”

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

“Inevitably this changes over time – music is indispensable to me while working; as my protagonist Rarity Dean says in ‘Songshifting’, ‘A day with no soundtrack is a wasted day.’ I’ve always loved Elvis Costello’s ‘Shipbuilding’, and I even love all the different cover versions of it – from Robert Wyatt’s (https://youtu.be/MoZiOOD0HRU) to Suede’s (https://youtu.be/KDPa6AJMQkw) and tRANSELEMENt’s (https://transelement.bandcamp.com/track/shipbuilding), as well as Elvis’s recording with the late Chet Baker’s trumpet solo (audio: https://youtu.be/pIzcqfvi8RI). Who’d have thought you could write a pop hit about the Falklands War?

“But my favourite song is currently another Justin Currie beauty called ‘Little Stars’ (https://youtu.be/4u_Z1_3i2K4) about the pathos and wonder of weddings. As I’ve said elsewhere, no one writes about love and loss better than the former Del Amitri frontman. He’s a pop Leonardo da Vinci – without the long beard and with a better accent.”

PDB: What’s on the cards?

“I’m almost halfway through the first draft of the second part of my ‘Songshifting’ trilogy, which has the working title ‘Requiem For Stage Diver & Bass Guitar’. ‘Songshifting’ plays against the scuffed backdrop of an oppressive regime and is set in an alternative present or a skewed future in which hats are back in style and musicians have developed what seem to be supernatural abilities – during their concerts they levitate, disappear or induce extreme physical reactions among the punters. The impresario has prohibited recordings and home entertainment, meanwhile administering a drug called Sentimental Hygiene at gigs as a secret form of crowd control. I’ve been told this is implausible by people who apparently haven’t noticed what’s going on in the world right now.

“The second book will be a murder mystery in the same setting and with some of the same characters.”

PDB: Anything else?

“My homage to the ghost stories of the 1920s, ‘Shem-el-Nessim’, is set to appear in Eric J. Guignard’s US anthology ‘The Five Senses of Horror’ this year.”

There’s a ‘Songshifting’ website – a kind of wiki for all the bands and characters that appear in the novel – here: http://bit.ly/2kRAY8r and the rest of my stuff is here: http://amzn.to/23A8gVt

chris-bellBio:  Chris Bell was born in Holyhead, North Wales. After working as a musician, a messenger for a small London record company, a freelance music journalist and as editor of Soundcheck!, he moved to Hamburg, Germany where he was employed by a guitar company and an independent music publisher before emigrating in 1997 to New Zealand. His short stories have appeared in The Third Alternative; Postscripts; Grotesque; The Heidelberg Review; TransVersions; Not One of Us and Takahe, as well as on the internet. His short story ‘The Cruel Countess’ was anthologised in The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror (10th Annual Edition), in which his collection The Bumper Book of Lies received an honourable mention. ‘Shem-el-Nessim’ appeared in This Is The Summer of Love, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 21 and That Haunted Feeling. His poetry has been published in Workshop New Poetry; Snorkel; foam:e and the New Zealand Listener. His first novel, Liquidambar, won UKAuthors’ ‘Search For A Great Read’ competition.

Short, Sharp Interview: Tom Leins

wu-tang-antho-coverPDB: Can you pitch This Book Ain’t Nuttin to Fuck with: A Wu-Tang Tribute Anthology in 25 words or less?

Tremendous hip-hop inspired collection edited by Christoph Paul and Grant Wamack. My story, INCARCERATED SCARFACES, is a Paignton Noir remix of Van Damme’s Death Warrant!

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

Music: Mule Variations by Tom Waits, and Hold On in particular. That song and album introduced me to his work back in ’99, and remain firm favourites.

Book: The Road by Cormac McCarthy. An absolutely devastating piece of work. If I were to read it again since becoming a father it would probably destroy me!

Film: Pulp Fiction. Most of my nominal ‘Top 10’ movies would probably be drawn from the 1990s, back when video shops still ruled the roost. Tarantino has plenty of detractors nowadays, but the Reservoir Dogs-Pulp Fiction one-two punch still excites me.

TV show: Breaking Bad. Such a smart, multi-faceted show. Excellent storytelling, and great attention to detail.

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

I would love to see a Paignton Noir TV series one day. Regional voices have always done well in the UK cop-show world, and I would like to see my shabby seaside town given the same treatment. It would be great to shine a light on the sun-blurred beaches, dilapidated caravan parks, murky amusement arcades and time-ravaged pubs that are this town’s stock-in-trade. I’m working on a ten-book series, starting with ‘Boneyard Dogs’, so there is plenty of scope for small-screen action. (Of course, I need to get the actual books published first…!)

PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

Far too many to mention, so I will namecheck the writer I have been reading back-to-back in recent weeks: Adrian McKinty. I thoroughly enjoyed his Dead trilogy years ago, but his Sean Duffy series – set in 1980s Northern Ireland – sees him raise his game to dizzy new heights. The volatile backdrop provides extra frisson, and the mysteries themselves are impeccably put together. Plus, anyone who uses Tom Waits lyrics as book titles is worthy of our attention, right?

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

My literary career!

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

To answer this question properly would take me weeks of contemplation and research, so I will defer to the all-time most-played track on my iPod: ‘Unchained (The Payback/Untouchable)’ by James Brown and 2Pac, as featured on the Django Unchained soundtrack.

tomleins-2017-bwPDB: What’s on the cards?

My story THE STOOGE is in the first issue of the brand new California crime magazine Switchblade, edited by Scotch Rutherford. It is one of the nastiest stories I have ever written, and has little in common with anything else I have ever published. After that, my story HERE COMES THAT WEIRD CHILL features in ‘More Bizarro Than Bizarro’, the new anthology from Bizarro Pulp Press, edited by Vincenzo Bilof. It is Paignton Gothic rather than Paignton Noir – a slight departure from my regular stuff. In terms of flash fiction, I have a new batch of wrestling noir stories in the pipeline, which I hope people dig.

PDB: Anything else?

Thank you for having me, Paul!

Bio: Tom Leins is a disgraced ex-film critic from Paignton, UK. His short stories have been published by the likes of Akashic Books, Shotgun HoneyNear to the KnuckleRevolution John and Spelk. He is currently working on a novella called Boneyard Dogs. Get your pound of flesh at https://thingstodoindevonwhenyouredead.wordpress.com

Short, Sharp Interview: Lesley Welsh

20160524_195220PDB: Can you pitch TRUTH LIES BURIED in 25 words or less?

Female ex-solder with dodgy past saves savvy dead gangster’s kid from vengeful step-mother and deadly villains.

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

Songs. For Free by Joni Mitchell, or I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Rait. But especially any of the lyrics of Lorenz Hart.

Books. Crow Road by Iain Banks.

Films. Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead or The Guard.

TV Shows. Mash, Deadwood or Traffic.

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

Mine.

PDB: Who are the great British writers?

I think that Paul D Brazill is rather spiffing.

PDB: What’s the ex-pat life like for you?

I have met and mix with lots of people here in Spain from all walks of life, most of whom I would never have met in the UK. For example, one friend was a prison governor in England, others were police officers and one was in close security work. I exploit their expertise mercilessly for research purposes and they get a mention in acknowledgments and a free copy of the book in return. A bargain all round I think.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

A couple of years ago, I wrote a dark and disturbing (or so they tell me) tale of a serial killer and now have a new publisher for that. The title is still to be finalised but they like ‘The Serial Killer’s Daughter,’ so we may go with that. I have just signed a two book contract with that publisher and they want another in the same genre delivered in by May. Gulp!!!

PDB: Anything else?

I am currently finishing off a novel of the hard-boiled variety for Thomas & Mercer who published Truth Lies Buried and hope they’ll give that the green light too. But, of course, there are no guarantees.

lesley-welsh_croppedBio: Lesley Welsh was born in Strawberry Filed children’s home and raised on a notorious council estate in Liverpool. Later she moved to London where she studied English and Drama and worked as a freelance writer specialising in alternative lifestyles. Her articles appeared in Cosmopolitan, Marie Calire, Red, Bite, Time Out and many others before she established Moondance Media, a magazine publishing company. Her dark and compelling short story Mrs Webster’s Obesssion was turned into a film. She now lives and works in Spain.

SHORT, SHARP INTERVIEW: Jame DiBiasio

bloody-paradisePDB: Can you pitch BLOODY PARADISE in 25 words or less?

Trav lands on the Thai resort island of Samui with a broken hand, a bag full of cash and a triad boss on his tail.

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

When I was fourteen, the answer would have been the Bond books. Good enough.

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

BLOODY PARADISE has the right blend of succinctness, big-screen backdrop, and suspense for a popcorn movie. Rated R.

PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

Jim Thompson, Yoko Ogawa, Lawrence Osborne, David Mitchell, Raymond Chandler, Homer.

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

I asked the hawker in the wet market how he prepares his chickens. He said it’s simple: “I just tell them they are going to die.”

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

Once everybody’s liquored up, I do a mean karaoke rendition of “Sweet Child of Mine”.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

More international pulp thrillers.

PDB: Anything else?

Download some free chapters at my website, www.jamedibiasio.com!

Bio: Jame DiBiasio is the author of BLOODY PARADISE, as well as GAIJIN COWGIRL (Crime Wave Press) and the non-fiction THE STORY OF ANGKOR (Silkworm Books). He was born in the US and lives in Hong Kong.

Short, Sharp Interview: Sally Pane, translator of Red-handed in Romanée-Conti, by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen.

red-handed-in-romanee-contiPDB: Can you pitch Red-Handed in Romanée-Conti in 25 words or less?

Amid blackmail and betrayal, a murder victim is discovered in the ruins of an abbey as a catastrophic hailstorm threatens Burgundy’s prized vineyards.

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

Daphne du Maurier’s “Don’t Look Now, or Nicholas Roeg’s film adaptation of it. I recently sleuthed around Venice to find the filming locations for the movie and still get chills down my spine from this compelling psychological thriller.

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

Actually, the Winemaker Detective series, including Red-Handed in Romanée-Conti, has been adapted for a TV series in France. The French TV versions differ sometimes in plot, but it’s delightful to see scenery of the myriad vineyards and wine-growing areas of France on display.winemaker-detective

PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

Iris Murdoch, Nabokov, Thomas Hardy, Patricia Highsmith, Geoff Dyer

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

My own: I must admit, I tend to blame my mistakes on other people, but I get that from my mother.

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

Starman [David Bowie], Beeswing [Richard Thompson], It’s been a long time coming [Sam Cooke]

PDB: What’s on the cards?

Now that Red-Handed in Romanée-Conti has been released, I’m working on translating another Winemaker Detective mystery about Chateau d’Yquem. Believe it or not, it isn’t based on the LVHM take-over, although you’ll definitely understand how these things can happen the more you read these mysteries. After that, I am translating an intriguing story involving a famous French actor who, while trying to create a great vintage, faces a heart-breaking tragedy.sally-pane

 PDB: Anything else?

Thank you, Paul!

Bio: Sally Pane has translated several books in the Winemaker Detective series [written by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen] for Le French Book, including Nightmare in Burgundy, Deadly Tasting, Cognac Conspiracies, Mayhem in Margaux, Flambé in Armagnac, Montmartre Mysteries, Late Harvest Havoc and Tainted Tokay.

 

Short, Sharp Interview: Ryan Bracha

ryan-bracha-jeebies

PDB: Can you pitch Phoebe Jeebies and The Man Who Annoyed Everybody in 25 words or less?

Borderline sociopath struggles to differentiate between comedy and nastiness as he tries to impress a girl with how he came to irritate people for money.

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

The list gets smaller and smaller all the time for this. Music gets worse, films get worse, telly gets worse, the older and less with it I get. Books don’t, books get better. That said, anything by Tom Waits I wish I’d written, really digging Goin Out West and Hell Broke Luce just now. Films, I dunno, I wish I’d written maybe This Year’s Love. I like a great concept done well. TV shows has to be Black Mirror. Charlie Brooker has a remarkably similar outlook on life to me as far as I can tell. He just worked harder than me. Book will always be The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta. I’ll echo my earlier statement about a good concept. For me, this has the best.

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

My books? I think The Dead Man Trilogy has a lot of scope for a three series run, especially with the current political climate edging my fiction closer and closer to reality. I wrote The Switched as intentionally unfilmable (unless the French wanted to have a go), so I couldn’t see that working unless it was toned right down. I’m working on adapting Phoebe Jeebies and The Man Who Annoyed Everybody as a three part series as we speak, so you never know. I’ve got my wishlist of actors; Chanel Cresswell, Nicholas Hoult, Cumberbatch, Vic Reeves. I’d probably get Dean Gaffney and Natalie Cassidy.

PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

Traditionally published writers are Irvine Welsh, Hubert Selby Jr, Chuck Palahniuk. Guys who push boundaries and tell stories on their own terms. At the minute, however, Welsh is losing my respect a little, because he won’t just leave his old characters alone, and they’re becoming tiresome parodies of themselves. My favourite indie writers are the ever impressive Mark Wilson, Martin Stanley, and Craig Furchtenicht. I really like J. David Osborne’s style, too. He’s probably going to go on to great things.

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

How many racists does it take to change a light bulb? One; he’s an electrician, he just has strange funny ideas on life.

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

At present, Goin’ Out West by Tom Waits. He’s got hair on his chest and he looks good without a shirt. I don’t need anything else from a song other than a hirsute man with an iron throat. Looking good topless, of course.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

Very busy year planned. Alongside the adaptation of Phoebe Jeebies and The Man Who Annoyed Everybody (and the inevitable failed attempts to get it made), I have the second book from my After Call Work series to release in early 2017, titled Gross Misconduct. Also, I wrote Phoebe Jeebies from the point of the view of the annoying man, so I’d like to write a similarly cynical romance novel from a female perspective, then I’ll rest for a bit whilst I plan the third After Call Work book. I have just less than three years to write a further six books for the fifteen novels I told Sandi Toksvig I’d write before I hit 40, and I haven’t let Tokkers down for anything yet.

 PDB: Anything else?

Have I told you lately, that I love you?

Bio: Ryan Bracha is the author of nine novels and a collection of stories. He has topped some of the most obscure charts that Amazon has to offer, including Humour – Lawyers and Criminals, Fiction Mashups and Humour – Satire. He has had more number ones than Afroman, East 17, Pato Banton, Feargal Sharkey and Limp Bizkit combined, and with a reputation for highly original and subversive fiction, he’s probably going to die as an unknown genius. Phoebe Jeebies and The Man Who Annoyed Everybody is his latest, genuinely his greatest, and probably most commercial novel yet. He lives in the literary capital of the north- Barnsley -with his wife and daughter.

 

SHORT, SHARP INTERVIEW: Jason Beech

moorlandsPDB: Can you pitch  your latest book in 25 words or less?

JASON: 22 shorts, novelettes, and a novella, featuring violence, rotten goings-on, smart-arses, dumbos, and a dodgy inn-keeper, all with dirty hands and stress-addled minds.

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

JASON: I wish I’d written Ellroy’s American Tabloid, Iain Banks’ The Crow Road, Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars, and Ray Banks’ Matador. I’d beam with pride if I’d come up with Faith No More’s Angel Dust, Nirvana’s Nevermind, Radiohead’s The Bends, and Super Furry Animals’ Fuzzy Logic. I’m sure there’s been good music since.

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

JASON: Ray Banks’ Matador would make a brilliant film. I think I’d sweat and squirm as much as I did watching Breaking Bad. Ryan Bracha’s After Call Work: Verbal Warning would make a great Happy Valley-style TV series.

 PDB: Who are the great British writers?

JASON: Charles Dickens, Graham Greene, Iain Banks – but I’m struggling here because I read far more American authors than Brits.

PDB: What’s the ex-pat life like for you?

JASON: I love it in the United States. There’s nothing like being able to go for a wander round New York or Philadelphia whenever you fancy it, though I wish they had better boozers outside of the big cities. The idea of jolly Americans and cynical Brits doesn’t ring true, though.  There are a lot of very cynical people over here, and it seems a lot stronger than back home. However, they’ll invite you into their homes at the drop of a hat. We met a couple in Vermont once who we hit it off with. Ended up in the shed in their back garden that very night, which they’d converted into a bar. Had a great time. Just don’t bring up politics.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

JASON: I’m working on the next novel, City of Dens, which I hope to have ready by next summer.

jason-beechPDB: Anything else?

JASON: I’ve recently released my novel, Moorlands, which spiked and sold a ton in the last few weeks, and I’m hoping Bullets, Teeth, & Fists 2 gets a few more readers.

I’ve just read Ed Chatterton’s Remission, which is great. I’m looking forward to The German Messenger by David Malcolm and Chastity Flame by K.A. Laity.

Bio: Jason Beech grew up around the flattened bricks of post-industrial Sheffield in the UK. He now lives in New Jersey with his wife and daughter. His novel, Moorlands, and the Bullets collections are available on Amazon now.

Short, Sharp Interview: Richard Wall

fat-man-bluesPDB: Can you pitch FAT MAN BLUES in 25 words or less?

RW: After a deal at the crossroads, an English blues-man travels to 1930s Mississippi Delta and soon discovers the harsh realities behind the music he loves.

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

RW:       Book – Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Music/Song – Anything on Exile on Main St. by The Rolling Stones

Films – Blues Brothers

TV Show – Breaking Bad

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

RW: Fat Man Blues

PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

RW: Elmore Leonard, James Lee Burke

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

RW:       1. Knock Knock

  1. Who’s There?
  2. The Interrupting Cow
  3. The Interrupting Co…
  4. Moo

 PDB: What’s your favourite song?

RW: Down the Dirt Road Blues by Charley Patton

PDB: What’s on the cards? 

RW: Well, I’ve written a screenplay adaption for Fat Man Blues, which is being considered by the agent of an A-list Hollywood actor, so there’s that… I’m also currently writing the sequel to Fat Man Blues, the working title is ‘Alabama Charlie.’

PDB: Anything else?

RW: I’ve had an idea for a collection of short stories based around a used-car lot in the boondocks of Texas.

Bio: I was born in England in 1962, and grew up in a small market town in rural Herefordshire before joining the Royal Navy. After 22 years in the submarine service and having travelled extensively, I now live in Worcestershire, where I work as a freelance Technical Author.

I’ve had a keen interest in writing since childhood, and I’ve had poems published in magazines and newspapers and have appeared several times at Ledbury Poetry Festival.

My first stab at prose writing produced the short story, “Evel Knievel and The Fat Elvis Diner”