News: An Interview and A Few Reviews

All Due Respect, Bristol Noir, Col's Criminal Library, Interviews, Man Of The World, Paul D Brazill, Reviews, Susan Hampson

MOTW x2

Colman Keane interviewed me over at Col’s Criminal Library.

Did the end result mirror your expectations at the start of the process, or is it a very different book to what you imagined?

Yes, it has the balance of violent, vivid pulp fiction and sixties Britcom that I wanted. I also wanted more gaudy characters and packed in as many as possible. But, as always, I just started writing until it seemed like the right time to stop.

 

He also reviewed Man Of The World.

‘Seatown, London, aging, health issues, family, old friends, old enemies, long memories, gangsters, cops, guns, death, booze, pubs, cafes, kebabs, jukeboxes, ciggies, cocaine, a secret Ministry, Thatcher, Bowie, Ripley and Highsmith, AC/DC, Carol Vorderman, Camden Market, Donna Summer, Elton John, Warsaw, and an intended retirement that just won’t stick. A busy book and one I thoroughly enjoyed.’

SusanHampson reviewed Man Of The World at Books From Dust Till Dawn.

‘The violence is lightened with the dry rugged humour that is embedded on every page along with music classics from yesteryear where it makes for an unforgettable melody of cracking entertainment. I always read these books twice to make sure that I don’t miss any the first time around because Paul Brazil has a subtle sense of humour that I sometimes miss. After all, I am still wrapped up in something that tickled me a couple of sentences back.’

And Bristol-Noir also took a gander at Man Of The World.

There are rich characters, pithy dialogue, giggles, fights and seediness galore throughout…

But, if you want it, there’s more here…a whole lot of layers to be peeled back and devoured.’

Thanks to all!

Tim O’Mara interviews me at The Big Thrill

All Due Respect, Down and Out Books, Interviews, Man Of The World, Paul D Brazill, The Big Thrill, Tim O' Mara

‘Paul Brazill’s newest novella, MAN OF THE WORLD, features aging hitman Tommy Bennett, who has left London and returned to his coastal hometown, hoping for a peaceful retirement. It isn’t long before his past catches up with him, sending him running back to London—only to find that mayhem awaits him there as well.

I asked Brazill if it’s really possible for someone who’s made a living as violently as Tommy has, to ever retire.

“Tommy Bennett is an archetype, really,” Brazill said. “He’s like the Western gunslinger trying to hang up his Colt .45: a man who has done bad things and has started to doubt himself.’

READ THE REST HERE.

the big thrill

 

Updates! A new interview, a few reviews and a Portrait …

BRIT GRIT, Danny Farnham, Dr J, Gumshoe Blues, Interviews, Mermaid In These Jeans, NFReads, Paul D Brazill, Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer, Punk Noir Mgazine, Reviews, seaside noir, Seatown, Tony Eames

Bits and bobs have been going recently, so I’ll give you a brief update, if you’re that way inclined …

I have an interview with Tony Eames up at NFReads

‘What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?

I draw a lot from real-life: actual incidents, people, names. My most recent publication, Gumshoe Blues, is about a private eye called Peter Ord. He’s named after one of my friends from my hometown of Hartlepool, and a lot of the scrapes he’s involved in are based on things that have happened to me or my friends – or friends of friends. Usually the most absurd things, as I’ve no interest in reading about the mundane and can’t imagine that anyone else does either.’

You can read the rest here.

GUMSHOE BLUES has been picking up some more than decent reviews …

Blogger MERMAID IN THESE JEANS said:

‘Gumshoe Blues is a clever, humorous piece of work and in Peter Ord you have an endearing if perpetually hapless central figure who you can’t help finding yourself rooting for.’

Over at Amazon.co.uk, DANNY FARNHAM said:

The author never lets the book get too dark, as it is peppered with razor sharp wit and one-liners that had me giggling like a schoolgirl. I’ll definitely read more by this author..’

And Dr J said:

‘I recently had the chance to read Gumshoe Blues by Paul Brazill. It was a lyrical and engaging example of detective fiction.’

PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A  CONSUMER was a regular feature in the New Musical Express back in the ’70s and‘80s where musicians listed favourite books, films etc. I always enjoyed it, so I thought I’d rip off the idea and revive it for PUNK NOIR MAGAZINE.

I recently did one myself.

You can read it here.

gumshoe blues

I’m Interviewed by Jason Beech at The Flash Fiction Offensive

BRIT GRIT, Close To the Bone, Gumshoe Blues, Interviews, Jason Beech, Jesse Rawlins, Jim Shaffer, Last Year's Man, Mick Rose, Out Of The Gutter, Paul D Brazill, Punk Noir Mgazine, The Flash Fiction Offensive

The Brit Grit Addiction.JPEG

Born in legendary England, but having sojourned in Poland for some time, Brit-Grit author Paul D. Brazill typically pens what he calls “screwball noir.” His writing has been translated into Italian, Finnish, Polish, German and Slovene. His work has also been published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Mammoth Books of Best British Crime.

Back in the day, Mr. Brazill graciously provided content for Out of the Gutter Online’s Brit Grit Alley—bringing diehard readers news about British crime fiction’s notorious booze and blood-soaked alleyways.
Mr. Messy Business Jason Beech—himself both born and forged in Sheffield, England (before audaciously making the move to Yank-filled-New Jersey-USA to teach a game that he calls “football—but which parts of the world call SOCCER) decided to corral Mr. Brazill for a little tête-à-tête.
We hoped to bring you video footage … but the content proved way too graphic. So we’re sharing this heavily-edited transcript instead. Of course we had to kill the stenographer afterwards …. But that’s Life in The Gutter, eh.
Hi Paul. I’ve just finished Close to the Bone’s excellent short story anthology, A Time for Violenceedited by edgy U.S. crime writers Andy Rausch and Chris Roy. What attracted you to the anthology?
 
PDB: Really, just because the editors kindly asked me. I also wanted to write another story featuring Tommy Bennett from my book Last Year’s Man and thought it might work to put him in a story with very little violence. The story title—”Baby’s Got A Gun”—is from an old Only Ones LP.

I’m Interviewed at Dr J Reads.

BRIT GRIT, Close To the Bone, Dr J, Gumshoe Blues, Interviews, Paul D Brazill, Peter Ord
‘I recently had the chance to read Gumshoe Blues by Paul Brazill. It was a lyrical and engaging example of detective fiction. Here is an interview with the author:

1.     Please tell us about your work.

My books include Last Year’s Man, Guns Of Brixton, Too Many Crooks, A Case Of Noir, and Kill Me Quick. I like to think of them as black comedies, though not everyone shares my sense of humour, I’m sure! Someone described me as a Brit Grit P.G. Wodehouse, which is far too flattering but a great compliment.’

Read the rest here

Gumshoe Blues

I’m Interviewed by Romanian filmmaker and poet Andreea Boyer

Andreea Boyer, Interviews, Julia 17, Paul D Brazill

 

andreeea

Andreea Boyer, the director of the feature film JULIA 17, recently asked me a few questions.

Andreea Boyer: What can you tell us about your best experiences and what moments in your career as a writer have been the most influential and significant ones for you?

Paul D. Brazill: For sure meeting people online who liked similar stuff to me. Writers, publishers, bloggers, and more. And getting stories published in three editions of Maxim Jakubowski’s Best Book Of British Crime alongside Ian Rankin, Lee Child, and the like. And just being published.’

You can read the rest of the interview here at Mabig Movies.

My interview with Arco Van Ieperen. 

Arco Van Ieperen., Elbląg, Exiles, Festiwalu Literatury Wielorzecze, Interviews, Nick Sweeney, Paul D Brazill, Poland, Polski Noir, Radek Obuchowski

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On Saturday 22 September, I took part in the Festiwalu Literatury Wielorzecze  in the town of  Elbląg here in Poland. Nick Sweeney and I were interviewed by Arco Van Ieperen.   Radek Obuchowski translated. Here is a version of that interview that I thought some of you might enjoy.

Why did you choose the genre of Crime Fiction for your novels and short stories?

Well, maybe the genre chose me? I started writing regularly in 2008, after discovering online flash fiction sites – most of which were crime fiction focused. A Twist Of Noir, Powder Burn Flash, Beat to A Pulp. That said, it’s also an area of writing I’ve always enjoyed. Crime fiction covers a multitude of fictional sins and – outside the mainstream – allows for odd character studies – from Jim Thompson to Patricia Highsmith to Damon Runyon and more.

What are the difficulties in getting short stories and novels published nowadays? It is different from, say, twenty years ago in your opinion? Do you think it’s easier to get published in a major language such as English than in a less popular language like Polish?

I’d never even considered writing – well, never finished anything – in the good old bad old days of publishing, but my scattershot attempts at storytelling conveniently coincided with the rebirth of indie publishing – most of which is in English. It looks like it’s even harder to get published by the Big 6 these days. Publishing is a business, after all.  And business doesn’t like risk. If you write in Polish, you’re only going to get published in Poland in the beginning. But the success of Scandi Noir shows that it’s possible to do well when translated into English. I’m not sure why Polish writers haven’t cracked that market, to be honest.

Humour is an important element in your novels and short stories – what is the function of humour in your work?

I write about people. People in extreme situations. People at odds with life, their frailty. As Charlie Chaplin said. “Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.”

You mainly write short stories and novellas. A Case of Noir, although it has the same protagonist throughout the book, reads like a series of short stories. Do you prefer shorter forms of fiction to longer novels, or is it only a question of time before you write a longer work?

I started writing via Six Sentences- tell a story in six sentences – and the stories got longer, so a novel is probably on the horizon.  A Case Of Noir is indeed a series of short stories that I did for a now defunct Italian publisher but they’re stitched together with a rusty needle and a loose thread.

 In an interview with David Nemeth you said that you “have already written more than most people need.” Do you think the crime fiction market is saturated or and does that discourage you from writing more, or do you give in to the constant need to write more?  

I was joking- a bit- in that I’m well aware that my stuff has little chance of mainstream success. You’d think that the crime fiction market would already be saturated but reports of its death have clearly been exaggerated. I’ll keep plodding on doing my own thing, whatever.

Your work is readily recognisable as British fiction, regarding vocabulary, slang and subject matter. What makes British fiction different from its American counterpart in your opinion?

Maybe our sense of absurdity. It’s something we relish in many ways. American’s are sometimes chastised for lacking irony but I think it’s just that they can be painfully sincere.

 I’ve read that you played the bass in a number of bands in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Your work is filled with references to music, musicians and lyrics. How important is music for you and what role does it play in your fiction?

It’s probably because I’m too idle to stretch to far outside the parameters of my own experience. But life always has a soundtrack, doesn’t it?

I know it’s a tedious question as I’ve been asked myself hundreds of times but: Why Poland?

Unlike Groucho Marx, I’ll join any club that will have me as a member! After I finished my TEFL course, I applied for lots of jobs in lots of places and a school in Poland were on of the first to answer. It seemed churlish to say no.

Has living abroad affected your writing in any way? Is it easier to write about your home country from a distance?

For sure it’s a view askew. Discombobulation is its own reward.

 I truly enjoyed your novel Last Year’s Man, which of course is this year’s book. Could you tell us something about the story and how it came about, without providing too many spoilers, of course?

The big influence was the British comedian Tony Hancock, and also Takeshi Kitano.  A sense of resignation to time moving on. An existential shrug of saying – ‘Stone Me, What A Life!’ And the fool’s errand of nostalgia.

Alcohol and drugs play a significant role in your work. Characters are often drunk or hungover, or drinking to stop being hungover. Do you think it reflects the crime scene and/or the ex-pats scene, or is it more of a Marlowian mood setting that you aim for, a wink to the noir from the forties and fifties?

Well, it’s never a great stretch! For sure the shadow of those tropes is cast, but it’s more about writing about people I know and situations I’ve known or know of. And most heavy drinkers are hopelessly deluded. Unholy fools. Which is great for absurdist noir fiction. As I’ve said before, crime fiction is about bringing order to chaos and noir is about bringing chaos to order.  So ….

I’m Interviewed at My Book Place

BRIT GRIT, Interviews, My Book Place, Paul D Brazill, Small Time Crimes, Writing

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Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I write as and when I can, in an ad hoc and slapdash manner. It’s a pretty good reflection of how I live my life, really.

What authors, or books have influenced you?
Damon Runyon because he created his own world. Allan Guthrie because he showed a darkly humorous view of the world that fit mine. Graham Green’s Brighton Rock and Gerald Kersh’s Night and The City. Jim Thompson and Elmore Leonard. Patricia Highsmith. Les Edgerton.’

You can read the rest HERE.

David Nemeth interviews me at Do Some Damage

BRIT GRIT, David Nemeth, Do Some Damage, Humour, Interviews, Jason Michel, Last Year's Man, Music, Paul D Brazill, Poland, Punk, punk fiction, Small Time Crimes, Spain, TEFL

MY XMAS NOIR AT DO SOME DAMAGE

David: I enjoyed one of your latest books, “Last Year’s Man” which displays the wit in your writing. So, what makes Brits funnier than Americans? Kidding. A bit of a safer question, what is it that makes the English so damn funny?

Paul: I think the Brits revel in our own ridiculousness, we know that life and people are absurd. After all, there are two types of people in the world and they are both preposterous. The most preposterous are the ones that don’t know they are, of course.’

Rear the rest of the interview over at DO SOME DAMAGE.

ITW Roundtable discussion July 23-29

Crime Fiction, International Thriller Writers, Interviews, Last Year's Man, Paul D Brazill, The Big Thrill

itw_logo_members_wbI’m over at The Big Thrill taking part in the ITW Roundtable discussion July 23- 29:

“How do you choose your character’s names?”

‘With ThrillerFest firmly in our rearview mirror and our writing bucket full of inspiration, we turn to ITW Members Alan JacobsonDani PettryPatrick OsterJay BrandonRobert J. StavaPaul D. BrazillKim AlexanderSarah SimpsonWilliam BoyleDavid Orange and Lisa Black as they discuss how they choose their character’s names.’

Check it out and JOIN IN!

A Short Interview and A Few Tasty Reviews

A Case Of Noir, All Due Respect, David Nemeth, Interviews, Jack Strange, Kevin McNamara, Last Year's Man, Near To The Knuckle, Paul D Brazill, Reviews, seaside noir, Seatown, Small Time Crimes

cropped-gazeta-wb-43.jpgOver at Unlawful Acts, Indie Crime Mastermind David Nemeth takes a look at Last Year’s Man and says:

‘“Last Year’s Man” is a one-sitting book, so grab a pint or two or maybe some whiskey, sit back and enjoy.’

Read the rest here.

Over at Amazon.com, Kevin McNamara also reviews Last Year’s Man and says:

‘Mr. Brazill is a master in this genre. A story about an aging hitman set both in London and Seatown. With a broad cast of characters, this book has action, wit and suspense. Highly recommended.’

Jack Strange reviews A Case Of Noir over at Goodreads and says:

‘The whole is greater than the sum of the parts – although the parts are so good you’ll savour them individually, as you work your way through them.’

Meanwhile, over at Near To The Knuckle, I say a few words about my forthcoming short story collection, Small Time Crimes.

NTTK: Thieves, killers and cannibals – the stories in your latest collection, Small Time Crimes, are brutal and dark. But they are also, at times, comic, and that fun factor really grips. What’s the trick to getting readers to laugh about crime and murder?’

Check it out!

I’m Interviewed by Tony Black

All Due Respect, BRIT GRIT, Carry On, Chris Rhatigan, Down and Out Books, Ealing Comedy, Humour, Interviews, Last Year's Man, Paul D Brazill, Tony Black, Tony Hancock

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Over at Pulp Pusher, I talk to the Tartan Noir kingpin about Last Year’s Man and gangster films.

We haven’t had a Q&A at Pulp Pusher for quite some time. So, I thought we should so something about that. 

We’ve asked the one and only Paul D. Brazill along to tell us about his latest tome, LAST YEAR’S MAN.
TB: I just read the blurb for LAST YEAR’S MAN, and fuck me, it sounds a bit tasty … I’m hearing echoes of Get Carter in there. Tommy Bennet is an assassin with a hard paper-round, and he’s getting on a bit. What appealed about bringing him to life? 
PDB: For sure, the shadow of the Brit comedy of my youth hangs over Last Year’s Man. The ghost of Galton and Simpson and especially the Tony Hancock of ‘Too many things went wrong too many times.’ Tommy’s had enough. He’s looking for respite. Takeshi Kitano’s sad-sack persona was also an influence – especially Sonatine and the end of Zatoichi.’

Check it out here!

I’m Interviewed By Chris Rhatigan

A Twist Of Noir, All Due Respect, Beat To A Pulp, Chris Rhatigan, Down and Out Books, flash fiction, Interviews, Last Year's Man, Paul D Brazill, Powder Burn Flash, Spinetingler Magazine, The Flash Fiction Offensive, Thrillers Killers n Chillers

cover-brazill-last-years-man-5

Chris Rhatigan interviews me over at the All Due Respect blog:

‘Paul D. Brazill is one of the most entertaining and original voices in the independent crime fiction community. I recently spoke with him about Last Year’s Man, his latest book through All Due Respect about ageing hit man Tommy Bennett.

— When I first learned about the online crime fiction scene about ten years ago, you were one of the first writers I started following. How have things changed since then?

Those were great, fun times, weren’t they?

There seemed to be oodles of cool ezines out and about: Powder Burn Flash, Pulp Pusher, A Twist Of Noir, Beat To A Pulp, Thrillers, Killers n Chillers, Thuglit, Plots With Guns, Spinetingler, Death By Killing and more. What treasure troves! There seemed to be lots of strange voices telling stories with nodules and spikes. I’m sure I would never have started writing without them.’

Read the rest HERE.