Wednesday, 20 July 2016

PUSH-UPS: Paul D. Brazill

Paul D. Brazill.
So, what you pushing right now?

What’s the hook?
A killer priest is on the rampage across London and an egotistical Hollywood action movie star is out for revenge when is his precious comic book collection is stolen. Meanwhile, gangster Marty Cook's dreams of going legit swiftly turn pear shaped when one of his bouncers accidentally kills one of his salsa club's regular customers. Razor sharp wisecracks, gaudy characters and even gaudier situations abound in Cold London Blues, a violent and pitch-black Brit Grit comedy of errors.’

And why’s that floating your boat?
It’s the follow up to my first book with Caffeine Nights Publishing, Guns Of Brixton. GOB was much more of an out and out farce - a couple of the characters were based on actors in the Carry On Films … with CLB I wanted to do something darker but also funnier. Equally absurd, of course. GOB was framed by The Clash’s songs and CLB uses Vic Godard’s songs.

When did you turn to crime?
I’d always liked crime films like The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Double Indemnity and Get Carter, for example, but when the splendid Charles Shaar Murray interviewed Elmore Leonard for the NME in the ‘70s, it was a revelation. Thanks to Hartlepool library, Swag and Stick were a great double bill. Here was writing that was both realistic and expressionistic, funny and dark, familiar and alien. After that Jim Thompson whose books were 35p in Woolworths at some point. 

Hardboiled or Noir, classic or contemporary? 
Well, I’ve peddled the line that crime fiction is about bringing order from chaos and noir is about bringing chaos to order and I’m definitely drawn to the chaotic. But I’m open to read anything. If I enjoy it then I do! 

And, what’s blown you away lately?
There is a lot of good stuff about but Ian Ayris’ April Skies, Nigel Bird’s The Shallows, and Quentin Bates’ Thin Ice. All are very much character driven novels and with a lot of heart in that Brit Grit.  

See any books as movies waiting to happen?
Telly is a better venue for crime writers, I think,  and Lesley Welsh’s Truth Lies Buried would make a great TV mini-series, as would Vincent Zandri’s Orchard Grove, although with very, very different approaches. 

Mainstream or indie - paper or digital?
All of the above to read but my stuff is surely and decidedly indie. 

Shout us a website worth visiting …
Paul Thompson’s British 60s Cinema is a rabbit hole well worth getting lost down.
Here’s the SP:
‘This website will celebrate the vitality and variety of British cinema in the 1960s (whilst straying back into the 1950s and on into the 1970s, and sometimes just covering interesting British films from any era). In general I have taken the definition of the 1960s from Dominic Sandbrook’s ‘Never had it so good’, which starts the era in 1956, and goes through to summer 1970. In cinematic terms, this is about right – although Room at the Top wasn’t released until 1959, the literary impetus for such films goes back a few years – and the early 1970s films such as A Clockwork Orange, Villain and of course Get Carter feel very different again.’

Finally, tell us any old shit about yourself …
When I was in the band Halcyon Days, I was told off by the management of Black Cats club is Stockton for telling a dirty joke on stage. The act the night before had been Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown.

Paul D. Brazill
 is the author of The Last Laugh, Guns Of Brixton, Cold London Blues, and Kill Me Quick! He was born in England and lives in Poland. He is an International Thriller Writers Inc member whose writing has been translated into Italian, German and Slovene. He has had writing published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Mammoth Books of Best British Crime. He has even edited a few anthologies, including the best-selling True Brit Grit – with Luca Veste. His blog is here.