Thursday, 21 May 2015

Enjoy a Twisted Fate in Los Angeles California with Tony Bulmer

Los Angeles, California. Everyone knows the City of Angels is a crazy town. It also happens to be my town. Tottering on the edge of fire & insanity, the fault lines of my world stretch from the endless Pacific, to the wild swirling canyons of Hollywood legend. I live on Mulholland Drive, the snake-back spine of the city, but it wasn’t always this way, hell no.

Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, Michael Connelly. There is a distinct tradition of L.A. crime writing. I guess I am one too, but like the writers I just mentioned I am an outsider. I wasn’t born here. I ended up in L.A. quite by accident after series of disasters and coincidences. 

I spent close to 25 years in London England working a long succession of publishing gigs for the likes of Fleetway Comics and Dennis Publishing. I started writing crime as an antidote to the loathsomely mundane nature of my day job. I lived in a bad-assed area of North London back then and had to run a gauntlet of drug-addled maniacs just to get to work and back. Shootings, stabbings and screaming psychosis of every kind were daily gifts. One day I walked out the door and cops with machine guns were storming the house across the street. It was that kind of neighborhood.

Crime writing is an antidote to such things. Not just for the writer, but for the reader also. Crime writing intellectualizes the horror and danger of the world in which we live and raises the possibility of justice, redemption and salvation. 

For me, the very best crime writers, like Ross Macdonald, not only provide answers to the question of crime, they also raise questions about society’s big issues—poverty, abuse of power, social injustice of every kind. These are questions that concern me also, for whilst I am deeply influenced by writers such as Chandler, Fleming, Charteris and Robert Crais, I also love writers such as Steinbeck and Orwell. I am driven to provide a sense of social conscience in my work, that might in some small way make the world a better place—or at the very least, put social issues into a context that will empower the reader, so they might more easily deal with seemingly intractable bullshit that confronts us all on a daily basis.

Social conscience? What about the sex & violence and car chases? I hear you say. 

Noel Coward, once opined, “The theatre is a wonderful place, a house of strange enchantment, a temple of illusion. What it most emphatically is not and never will be is a scruffy, ill-lit, fumed-oak drill hall serving as a temporary soap-box for political propaganda.” This also applies to the popular novel. Entertainment is what this gig is about. I am an entertainer. And as such I am obsessed with taking the fun-filled fast-talking world of the Chandleresque protagonist to newer and ever greater heights. I have written smart-mouthed investigators, Sherlockian know-it-alls, and a whole bunch of bad-assed villains, as endearing and empathetic in their vileness as they are in the erudite nature of their after-dinner conversation—you will dig them all, I just know it.

Like Chandler and fellow Brit Lee Child, I was raised in England, but have spent many years in America; this has given me a unique understanding of both cultures. I get the in jokes, but I am also enough of an outsider that I can still delight in the picayune details that so many miss. I strive to capture those details, of course, and relay them with a wit, humor and humanity that will have you treasuring my books alongside those of your favorite writers. 

You should read my books. I have written ten. My latest, Twisted Fates, Twelve Tales of Murder and Redemption is a book of short stories with deliciously unexpected endings, set in and around Los Angeles, California. By the time you read this my latest high-concept crime thriller Manhattan Takedown will also be available—CIA shenanigans; corporate malfeasance and a politically incorrect talk radio DJ who might just turn New York into a post apocalyptic wasteland. Relentless twists, endless double-dealing and a mystery so intense it will have you guessing to the very last page. But you would expect that, wouldn’t you my pulp-loving pals?

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