Tuesday, 23 August 2011

PUSH-UPS: David Belbin

So, what you pushing right now?
BONE AND CANE, first in a series about two ex-lovers, one a new Labour MP, the other a convicted dope grower just out of prison.

What’s the hook?
My protagonists get tangled up with a convicted double murderer called Ed Clark, who Sarah Bone helped get released on appeal. Then, when she refuses his sexual advance, he tells her that he really did it. Oh, and Nick Cane starts dating the killer’s ex-girlfriend.

And why’s that floating your boat?
The past is never really the past, is it? Everything that ever happened to us is still happening, right now, and we try to make sense of it.

When did you turn to crime?
In 1992 I got asked to write for a Young Adult series called Point Crime and ended up doing twenty titles over the next seven years, twelve of them in my own Nottingham based series, ‘The Beat’. But ‘Bone and Cane’ is my first crime novels for adults, and has very adult content.

Hardboiled or Noir, classic or contemporary?
I read everything from hard boiled graphic novels to artsy fartsy ‘literary’ fiction. Arnadlur Indridason is a favourite of mine. And Larry Block. Ed McBain was a big influence when I started out. I read more new stuff than old, but rereading is often the best reading. I think it might be time to reread Ira Levin’s ‘A Kiss Before Dying’ soon.

And, what’s blown you away lately?
‘Truth’ by Peter Temple is a great crime novel. Paul Wilson’s new novel, ‘The Visiting Angel’ is a terrific, thought provoking read.

See any books as movies waiting to happen?
‘Bone and Cane’ is set in 1997, still a pretty easy period to fake, but would probably fit better on TV. Several people have said that my first adult novel, ‘The Pretender’ would make a great movie. It’s a hit in Germany, so maybe some director over there will pick it up.

Mainstream or indie - paper or digital?
After twenty years when I’ve mostly been with major presses (Scholastic, Hodder) I’m now firmly with indies, Five Leaves in Nottingham for YA stuff and Tindal St Press in Birmingham for my adult fiction. Both are brilliant. I read a lot on screen but don’t yet have an eReader. The kindle version of ‘Bone and Cane’ is on introductory offer of £1 and it’s currently in the top ten Fiction eBook chart on Amazon and number three in ‘Mystery’! So get it while it’s still cheap!

Shout us a website worth visiting …
www.davidbelbin.com is one of the oldest author blogs on the web and every Saturday I put up a song or two to download. On September 3rd, I'll be honoured to present a guest blog by my favourite living crime writer, Lawrence Block.

Finally, tell us any old shit about yourself …
I’m a music obsessive and go to gigs most weeks, endlessly collect CDs, 7” singles, bootlegs, you name it. My first show was Pink Floyd in 1972, previewing a new set of songs later called ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’. The older I get, the more I go to. I sometimes review gigs for the Nottingham Post. However, there are limits to my endurance. Last week, I had a freebie to see The Monkees. It seemed like a good idea at the time because I loved the TV show when I was a kid. But they only have eight good songs and there were forty in the show, which lasted two and three quarter hours. It was a very long night.

David Belbin appears at the Edinburgh Book Festival this Sunday at 6.45pm