Saturday, 23 March 2013

PUSH-UPS: Leon Steelgrave

So, what you pushing right now?
Cocoa Psycho Killer, the first of my Europa City One-shots - a series of stories between 10,000 and 20,000 words designed to be the book equivalent of a single.

What’s the hook?
Science Fiction pulp action featuring a pole-dancing contract killer - what’s not to like?

And why’s that floating your boat?

In part because the character of Cocoa is tremendously fun to write, and in part because it came about largely by accident after a few offhand comments, and I like happy accidents.  The original Cocoa Psycho is the name of a beer made by my favourite brewer.  Someone suggested it sounded like an exotic go-go dancer, and someone else asked when I was writing the story.  The rest, as they say, is history.

When did you turn to crime?
As far back as ’93 when I tried, unsuccessfully, to earn a commission for writing a Judge Dredd novel for Virgin Books.  Prior to that I wanted to write scripts for 2000 AD itself, but once I made that move to prose I never really found my way back to script work.

Hardboiled or Noir, classic or contemporary?
I very much have my cake and eat it with this one.
Hammett and Chandler were definite influences on my first novel White Vampyre, which is essentially hardboiled Sci-fi.  I’m also a huge fan of the Bogart film versions of The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep.
In terms of contemporary, I very much support the home team in the form of Ian Rankin and Stuart MacBride.

And, what’s blown you away lately?
I have just finished reading le CarrĂ©’s The Spy Who Came In From The Cold for the first time.  A masterful novel that pays due respect to the reader’s intelligence and delivers a fantastic pay off at the end.

See any books as movies waiting to happen?
I think Stuart MacBride’s Logan McRae has excellent film potential.  If nothing else, I’d like to see a movie made in my former hometown of Aberdeen.

Mainstream or indie - paper or digital?
Although I’m an Indie writer publishing digitally, I don’t see why there has to be a choice.  The world is big enough to support all of the above.  I love the convenience of eReaders when I’m on the move, but in the comfort of my home I prefer a physical book.

Shout us a website worth visiting …
As the sign says, Your turntable’s Not Dead!
This is Jack White’s record label, which puts out a wonderful array of vinyl.  You can’t fondle a CD the same way you can an album, plus you can see the artwork.  If you love music and enjoy rock, particularly with a blues slant, this is the place for you.

Finally, tell us any old shit about yourself …
Desperate to get the Tories out, I voted for Tony Blair in ’97.  It wasn’t a mistake I made again.  Tactical voting - not always all it’s cracked up to be!