So, what you pushing right now?
Black Cradle. It's another of my drug-fuelled stories set around the bars and nightclubs of mid-eighties Birmingham. It's a book that people with a dose of Aspergers in them might understand. The coldness, the isolation. Seeing everyone moving around you but feeling no connection with any of them. You're only observing events. Black Cradle is how life feels to someone who cannot find love, cannot unearth the feelings buried deep inside them, and life becomes like staring at a blank television screen.
What’s the hook?
Billy Zero walks out of hospital after trying to kill himself at the age of 23. The story backtracks the series of brutal events, fused with the grim omens of his childhood that led to his suicide attempt.
And why’s that floating your boat?
It doesn't float my boat at all. Although there's fiction in it, the book, like all my stories so far, is a visceral and demented autobiographical document. I am an outsider. I was an outsider from the start. I write for 3 things: to be accepted, to be understood, to be loved. But when the oyster opens up the crab takes its meat. It's the same being a writer. You open yourself up and the world takes its pound of flesh and each time you open up you become weaker and weaker. But you can't do anything else; much like the oyster, you open up by nature.
When did you turn to crime?
Oh, I've been arrested a few times. I did see in the papers once a report damning the cells in Birmingham's Steelhouse Lane police station. I have to disagree. I mean, credit where it's due; I found them to be amongst the most comfortable police cells I've ever been in! Though I would describe Black Cradle as more of a Noir aesthetic. But there isn't much separation between my life and the book. There's no plot-line. I am essentially a memoirist, that's why all my stories are ugly at times. I've lived an ugly life and I'm not here to entertain people, I'm here to tell them the truth about the world I have seen and lived in. What I write is never going to be marketed by mainstream publishing houses -- it has to be slipped in via the back alley. u.v.ray is a brand name but it's not a brand that wants to teach the world to sing like Coca-Cola. My intention was always to write blistering, raw stories that are like 2 minute punk songs. I thought people might like them but I suppose no one likes looking at their own dirty laundry.
Hardboiled or Noir, classic or contemporary?
Contemporary Noir. Hard as it gets. Derek Raymond's Factory series of books are pretty hard-core.
And, what’s blown you away lately?
Blown away is a high bar. But I really enjoyed Tyler Keevil's Fireball. And Arthur Nersesian's The Fuck-Up. Two very entertaining books. Such books provide me with a respite from my own work and neurosis.
See any books as movies waiting to happen?
I wish someone would make a good film of Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero. Great work of modern literature but no one has made a worthy film adaption yet. And Chuck Palahniuk's Survivor should be made into one.
Mainstream or indie - paper or digital?
Indie. Paper. Obviously.
Shout us a website worth visiting …
I don't know. Get yourself down the boozer, for Christ's sake.
Finally, tell us any old shit about yourself …
I started drinking at the age of 8. My parents sold me off to a travelling circus where I gained employment in a drinking booth. A little bit like the old circus boxing booths where anyone out the crowd can challenge you to a contest. I was billed as Ursulas Raymondo -- the Marvellous Drinking Child.
:: Visit u.v.ray's website at: www.uvray.moonfruit.com
:: Or direct from Murder Slim Press: www.murderslim.com