PDB: Can you pitch SMOKE in 25 words or less?
NB: The Ramsay brothers arrange a dog-fighting tournament to help them escape Tranent. A teenager and a one-armed man aim to throw spanners into the works.
PDB: Which books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?
NB: Ishmael Toffee and Lost Thingsare tremendous novellas. Booze And Burn and What It Was are 2 top-notch novels. The Devil All The Time is amazing. The Great British Bake-off works for me on TV and usually makes me hungry. The Guard and The House In The Woods are very entertaining movies.
PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?
NB: I surely hope so. I think I only notice things from a writer’s perspective if they’re really badly done and thankfully it’s not that often.
PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?
NB: I did once write what I thought was a romantic-comedy for the screen. I wouldn’t set off on the path for script-writing, but if I were asked I’m sure I’d jump at the chance.
PDB: How much research goes into each book?
NB: As little as possible. None if I can get away with it.
PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?
NB: I really enjoy the social media and the links with people I’ve made through them. I’ve also been able to read a lot of good work (fiction or on the processes of writing) that I’d have missed if I wasn’t involved in social networks. It’s like having a great filter that saves surfing through lots of crap to find the gems.
In terms of my perception of my own work, experiencing a feeling of worth and of being cared for, it’s been wonderful and it’s the online friendships that are most rewarding. At Bloody Scotland
I met a number of folk whom I’ve only known online and it was wonderful – there was no need for long-winded introduction, it was just like meeting old friends.
PDB: What’s on the cards in 2012?
It’s been busy so far –Smoke, In Loco Parentis
and Pulp Ink 2
all up and running. I was made-up to have a story in Protectors
and in Both Barrels,
from Shotgun Honey
. I also have the first 6000 words of a novella on the shelves; I’ve been hiding from it, but it’s time to be brave and take on the next sections.