A powerful Noir short story collection edited by the Bukowski of Noir, Paul D. Brazill. Exiles features 26 outsiders-themed stories by some of the greatest crime and noir writers, K. A. Laity, Chris Rhatigan, Steven Porter, Patti Abbott, Ryan Sayles, Gareth Spark, Pamila Payne, Paul D. Brazill, Jason Michel, Carrie Clevenger, David Malcolm, Nick Sweeney, Sonia Kilvington, Rob Brunet, James A. Newman, Tess Makovesky, Chris Leek, McDroll, Renato Bratkovič, Walter Conley, Marietta Miles, Aidan Thorn, Benjamin Sobieck, Graham Wynd, Richard Godwin, Colin Graham, and an introduction by Heath Lowrance.
I was delighted to be asked to appear in Exiles: An Outsider Anthology. I guess a lot of my writing is about outsiders, but Boxing Day in Muros seems to fit the bill perfectly. The story first appeared on the Dogmatika website, then in my own collection Blurred Girl and Other Suggestive Stories. So, like its main character Rab, it has been around a bit.
In fact, Boxing Day in Muros was initially the title of a chapter in my book, The Iberian Horseshoe – A Journey. Muros is a real town in Galicia, North West Spain, near Finisterre, which means ‘Land’s End’. Galicia claims a Celtic heritage and its rugged coastline is often said to resemble Ireland. Muros is about as far removed from a typical Spanish holiday resort as you can get.
I was attracted to the place when I first visited in the late 90’s, little knowing I would later spend a number of summer holidays around there. Initially, it reminded me of some small towns in the Western Highlands of Scotland. I became interested in the idea of a character with a desire to escape so far from home that he finishes up running out of land, staring out at the Atlantic vastness.
Rab has had a stroke of luck in winning five numbers on the national lottery. He goes to London and, and with enough money still in his pocket, he presses on to the exotic sounding Santiago de Compostela, which he has seen as a destination on the front of a bus at Victoria Station.
Rab ends up in Muros where he has time and space to reflect on recent events in his life. Although people speak a different language, the landscape is strangely familiar and the world globalised enough for him to pick up some of his favourite food and drink in a supermarket. But his journey isn’t yet done …
Bio: Steven Porter was born in Inverness, Scotland, in 1969. He is temporarily ‘exiled’ in Italy. “Boxing Day in Muros” was previously published online by Dogmatika and appeared in Steve’s collection Blurred Girl and Other Suggestive Stories. His short fiction has appeared in other anthologies such as Byker Books Radgepacket series, True Brit Grit and Off The Record 2 – At The Movies. He also wrote the script for Beyond The Haar, a Grand Jury Prize winner at the 2013 Amsterdam Film Festival. In addition, he has published two collections of poetry: Shellfish & Umbrellas and 16 Poem(a)s, as well as the travelogue The Iberian Horseshoe – A Journey and the novel Countries of the World. Details of how to get hold of these can be found at Steve Porter’s World of Books blog at http://stevenjporter.wordpress.com/.
And all proceeds go to charity.
Find out more in my latest Brit Grit Alley column which is, as usual, over at Out Of The Gutter Online.
Looking tasty, eh? Great cover by Steven Miscandlon. More info and cast list at Luca Veste’s Guilty Conscience.
Q5. What was Byker Books involvement in the publication of Countries Of The World?
Q6. Your previous book was The Blurred Girls & Other Suggestive Stories. Could you tell us something about that?