PDB) Your new book is called Made Of Stone. What’s it all about, Charlie?
Made of Stone starts with Blake wanting to go on holiday. He has his eye on a caravan up on the corner (belonging to someone else but never mind), and decides the best vehicle to pull it would be a hearse. And he just happens to know where there is a nice Mk.3 Granada one. He duly steals it, only to prang it into the back of a fast food van owned by one Jock “the burger man” McCrae. Now, Jock has been grieving of late after the death of his son, who fell from the roof of Rockefellers nightclub. But Jock is convinced that he was pushed – by members of the East European immigrant community which has recently settled in Mangel. Not only that, but Jock believes he has uncovered their secret. They are vampires.
Armed with this “knowledge”, a couple of Tesco bags full of wooden stakes and a seemingly endless supply of Bells, Jock sets about trying to rid the town of this menace. And he manages to rope Blakey into joining him.
PDB) Is Royston Blake a madman or a genius?
Definitely a genius. If you look at what he has achieved over the previous four books, we are talking about a man of serious capabilities here. This is not some young buck who wants to impress everyone with fancy long words and progressive ideas. This is a real man, who wants to impress everyone with the size of his pectorals. And progressive ideas about what Rocky III actually *means*. But like all good geniuses, he is also a bit of a madman.
PDB) Your books have been translated into a few languages. Are you surprised that Blakey’s world view travels so well?
Well, they have been translated into French, Italian, Spanish and Russian. I have known violent nutters from all of those countries. So to answer your question, not really.
Just a rumour. Not that I’d be in a position to confirm or deny if it were true.
PDB) How do you think Blakey would get on in The Expendables?
Even though I haven’t seen The Expendables, I know Blakey would have some problems there. From the moment he joins that group, he will not see be able to see beyond the fact that he is in a room with Rocky Balboa. *The* Rocky Balboa, heavyweight champion of the world and inspiration for some of Blake’s finest moments… such as picking up a whole engine and chucking it through a wall in Deadfolk. I hate to say it but I think Blakey would be overawed. Until, of course, Rocky pisses him off.
PDB) Have you ever wondered which of the tiger’s eyes the Rocky song is on about?
It’s the right one. If you look at this clip here they are focusing on Rocky’s right eye, casting the other in shadow. That right eye clearly does not have the eye of the tiger, and that’s what Apollo is talking about. He wants to put the eye of the tiger in Rocky’s right eye via whatever means necessary. Swimming, skipping, formation dancing, running and hugging on the beach. Even eye surgery if it comes to it.
PDB) What’s on the cards for the rest of 2013?
I’m planning on getting some of my short stories out there as an eBook. Short stories is where it started for me. First one I had published was in 2000. A lot of them were horrorish back then but often skirting on the outer suburbs of crime. A big moment for me was hearing that a story of mine was going to be in The Third Alternative (a magazine now known as Black Static). I went out to celebrate with a take-out grande Americano from Caffe Nero, grinning at the other bemused punters in the queue and thinking “Yeah, you heard it right – I’m gonna be in The Third Alternative!” That story was Some Help From Stanley, and it will be in the little collection I have coming out some time soon.