Monday, 23 March 2015

PUSH-UPS: Michael Malone

Michael Malone.
So, what you pushing right now?
Beyond the Rage, a contemporary crime thriller set in Glasgow.

What’s the hook?
The blurb ... Even though he's a successful criminal, Glasgow villain Kenny O'Neill is angry. Not only has his high-class escort girlfriend just been attacked, but his father is reaching out to him from the past despite abandoning Kenny as a child after his mother's suicide. Kenny is now on a dual mission to hunt down his girl's attacker and find out the truth about his father... but instead he unravels disturbing family secrets and finds that revenge is not always sweet. An intelligent, violent thriller shot through with dark humour, Beyond the Rage enthrals and disturbs in equal measure. With an intricate plot, all-too-believable characters and perfectly pitched dialogue, this is a masterclass in psychological crime fiction writing.

And why that's floating your boat?
In my first two crime novels the main character was DI Ray McBain and Ray happens to have a bessie mate who is a bit of a gangster, Kenny O'Neill. In BtR Kenny takes centre stage and Ray makes a cameo appearance. It was great fun to throw off the constraints of a pesky legal system and just take a character wherever the hell he wants to go.

When did you turn to crime?
It was an accident, honest, guv. I didn't think I had the plotting skills to write a crime novel, but when a dream I had became the opening chapter to Blood Tears, I went with it and discovered that with lots of hard work and thinking time (see me staring into space ignoring everyone around me) that it was possible.

Hardboiled, noir, classic or contemporary?
BtR has a touch of noir but leans more to the contemporary. I think. I'm not much one for labels. I just write what I write, read as widely as I can and let people more clever than me get on with the categorisation.

What's blown you away lately?
I've just read John Connolly's new one  A Song of Shadows (out in April) and he's bang on form. (He never loses it to be fair). And a couple of really excellent debuts - The Abrupt Physics of Dying by Paul E. Hardisty and Graham Smith's  Snatched from Home. Both are well worth your hard-earned.

See any books as movies waiting to happen ...
I know I'm biased but I think my last book The Guillotine Choice would be a cracking movie - and we're in Papillon territory here, so what's not to love? Based on a true story it has everything - adventure, incredible courage and the best and the very worst of humanity.

Mainstream or indie - paper or digital?
I tend to read mostly mainstream simply because I work in publishing and I need to read a strong selection across my client publishers. Having said that I am in the process of judging a self-published novel competition for the Scottish Association of Writers and there's a handful there that would sit comfortably on any publisher's list.

As for paper vs digital it's paper every time. Reading a book from a screen feels (to me) like I'm reading an unfinished manuscript (which I do from time to time) so I find it difficult to turn off my critical reader. It takes something outstanding for me to relax and just go with it. Whereas when it's already in book form, my only expectation is that I'm going to be entertained. And it takes some poor writing and editing for me to switch on my inner critic. It's a subtle change in mental approach that I can't seem to control but means paper wins every time. AND books are such lovely things aren't they? A row of gadgets on a shelf just doesn't have the same aesthetic appeal.

Shout us a website worth visiting …
CrimeSquad - monthly updates with some of the best new crime and thriller fiction out there. 


Author of the Month for March is Peter Swanson who burst on the crime scene in 2014 with his debut, The Girl With a Clock for a Heart.

Preview by Yahoo

Finally, tell us any old shit about yourself …
I've just bought a new coffee bean grinder. You can't beat freshly brewed coffee to kick start your morning. (Unless it also comes with a warm croissant.)

:: Michael Malone blogs at