James Newman Reviews Big City Blues

Big City Blues
Big City Blues

And says:

‘Brazill has a way with words and, yeah, he uses them here wisely. The character building is solid in all his books, the locations are real enough to touch and smell, and the humor is omnipresent. This man’s books are laugh-aloud hilarious simply because Brazill is a wickedly smart humorous writer who never misses a trick. Great stuff. Read it. Spread it. Enjoy the infection.’

Grab Exiles: An Outsider Anthology for only 99p/ 99c!

exiles artizan

To celebrate the latest ALIBI  noir festival in Slovenia, EXILES: AN OUTSIDER ANTHOLOGY is currently only 99c / 99p!

A powerful Noir short story collection edited by the Bukowski of Noir, Paul D. Brazill. Exiles features 26 outsiders-themed stories by some of the greatest crime and noir writers, K. A. Laity, Chris Rhatigan, Steven Porter, Patti Abbott, Ryan Sayles, Gareth Spark, Pamila Payne, Paul D. Brazill, Jason Michel, Carrie Clevenger, David Malcolm, Nick Sweeney, Sonia Kilvington, Rob Brunet, James A. Newman, Tess Makovesky, Chris Leek, McDroll, Renato Bratkovič, Walter Conley, Marietta Miles, Aidan Thorn, Benjamin Sobieck, Graham Wynd, Richard Godwin, Colin Graham, and an introduction by Heath Lowrance.

Recommended Reads: April 2017

Some recent faves …

The Things I Love Will Kill Me Yet by Rob Piercethe things i love

Rob Pierce is surely the noir Raymond Carver. In this brutal and brilliant short story collection you’ll find a veritable cornucopia of tightly written and gritty tales of people living on the razor’s edge of life.

Highly recommended.

Fun City Punch by James Newman fun city punch

James Newman’s latest spin on the private eye novel is a potent piece of futuristic noir. Fun City Punch is winding and twisting tale that vividly blends Beat poetry and pulp prose to create something quite special.

A Man With One Of Those Faces by Caimh McDonnell

a man with one of those facesFast-moving and hilarious, McDonnell’s knockabout crime caper is a joy from start to finish. Great characters, fantastic dialogue and full of twists and tuns, I bloody loved it.

A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps by Nick Kolakowski a brutal bunch of heartbroken saps

Kolakowski follows up his cracking debut short story collection with a full-on slice of hard-boiled pulp fiction. Blackly comic, violent and jam-packed with richly drawn characters, A Brutal Bunch Of Heartbroken Saps  is a hell of a read.



James A. Newman Reviews A Case Of Noir

A Case Of Noir

‘Paul D. Brazill’s world here is one of peroxide Berliner blondes wearing PVC raincoats with blood red lipstick smeared across their lips.  Barbarous gangsters and shyster scam artists, drunken literary agents and pop producers shelter in cities ruined by war and Vodka, drenched by decadence, spent of hope, driven by desire.’

Read the rest of the top crime writer’s review here.

Exiles Guest Blog: Pacific Coast Highway by James A. Newman

exiles artizanThe story behind Pacific Coast Highway is quite simple. My friend literary critic and blogger Kevin Cummings would often tell me these stories that related back to his youth back in the States, we were both transplanted to Bangkok – Him from California, me from just outside London. We’d both been living in the Far East for over a decade and hung out at bars and seedy nightclubs where plastic flamingos were lit by 1950s floor-standing lamps. Real classy, you understand.

The story he told that night was about a beautiful airline hostess he had driven home from the airport in his 1964 Dart.That night, the story fresh in my mind I wrote a short flash fiction piece set in San Francisco with the same ’64 Dart. I changed the airline hostess for a male hitch-hiker and the driver of the Dart who was some Hill Billy type cooked up from some Deliverance-inspired nightmare.

Sent the story the next morning to Kevin and then as chance would have it…. ….We both duly forget about it.

Well, forget about it until Kevin mentioned that he’d been asked to contribute to a charity anthology called Exiles and asked me, of all people, if I could help.

“Sure, use the Dart story,’ I said with a chuckle.

Well, why not? for a start we had both deleted the story and due to the beer drank that evening it was difficult to recall clearly. I tried the drunken recall trick (drink a couple of beers and you’ll remember what you did drunk) and yeah, it came back. Sort of. I rewrote the short piece from dazed memory and that’s how it came to be included here in Exiles.

Pure luck, really.

Bio:  James A. Newman is exiled in Bangkok where he writes dark pulp fiction and short bizarre short stories across many genres. He best known for the Joe Dylan detective series, the latest of which The White Flamingo ruffled a few feathers in the crime noir charts. Newman is also the founding editor of Spanking Pulp Press and host of ceremonies at the Bangkok Night of Noir crime literary fest. This short flash fiction piece was inspired by a tale told by friend and blogger Kevin Cummings who may or may not have been the hitcher on the Pacific Coast Highway circa ‘78.

Short, Sharp Interview: James A. Newman

the white flamingoPDB: Can you pitch your latest book in 25 words or less?

Aging Beauty queen The White Flamingo hires heroin-addicted P.I Joe Dylan to investigate a Ripper copycat killer in vice-riddled Fun City.

PDB: Which music, books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?

I’m reading, watching and listening to stuff generally produced in the last century. I don’t keep up to date with any new television series although my friends tell me I’m missing out on a lot of great stuff. Movie-wise I’m catching up on some old French noir titles and also some Korean and Chinese crime movies. Music-wise I’m entrenched with 60’s 70’s and 90’s tracks. Television, Lou Reed and the Velvets, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Luke Haines, The’ Faith Healers. Book-wise James Crumley’s The Last Good Kiss made a big impact when I found a copy in a dusty second-hand bookstore last December. The latest volume of William Burrough’s letters Rub out the Words I keep coming back to. For a pure pulp fun thriller fix James Hadley Chase hits the spot. I reread Bukowski probably too much for my health.

PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?

Nope, not for me it isn’t. Nor can I be an objective watcher of movies, television, animation or an objective listener of music. If I watch an animation movie I’ll break down the plot – huge amounts are money are spent on each frame so each frame is essential. Good way to learn plot is to watch animation or read comic books. I learned a lot from Herge. In music I’ll wonder what guitar pedal is being used and what chemical the lead singer is using while delivering an acceptance speech. I’m a vulture picking out every trick and technique across all media. But occasionally, very occasionally, I’ll lose myself a bit and ‘go with the flow’ when I know a great director or writer is at the wheel I enjoy the ride because you never know where they are going. There is no real sense of audience in much of what they do. The audience /reader comes along for the ride for the sheer hell of it rather than being led by the hand and promised there’s a house made of candy at the end of the forest. “The woods are full of wardens” Kerouac once wrote. The greatest writer’s trick in his toolbox is to fool readers and other writers by switching direction along the trail to that sugar-coated cottage. Take me somewhere strange. I like it.

PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?

Yes. I co-wrote a television series that has yet to be marketed and have been rehearsing a comic play of the same name – The Natives – about expat English teachers working in Asia. I’ve also tried my hand at directing but am not really energetic enough to fill that role. Directing is tough. Give me a blank page any day. I enjoy writing for the screen or stage but acting and directing is tough, although I had some training in college.

PDB: How much research goes into each book?

james a newmanWell, I’ve written two books based around the Whitechapel murders of 1888, so a hell of a lot of historic research went into that. And I mean HELL! The book I’m just finishing The Black Rose part four in the Joe Dylan detective series features s a gypsy community in England so I had to learn some of the language and codes of living of the travelling community, but I had a lot of that already as a Romany gypsy community lived near to where I grew up. There’s also a drug deal involved so I had to research that thoroughly, not by taking the stuff, by asking what’s on the market and prices etc. But research for me is generally just living, hitting the concrete, bars, galleries, meeting new people, especially other artists and writers. I went back to London last October and spent days walking the city. A lot of material comes from those days walking. Dreams help too. Not sure if that is research. Not sure what it is. But it helps open up a novel. If you are really working on a book it’s on your mind the second you fall asleep and you can get entire scenes during sleep. You wake up and the alpha brain waves are flowing. The best time to write is the morning or the middle of the night. It’s essential to have a notepad near the bed at all times and obviously a notebook with you as you walk around any city in the world.

PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?

I truly believe word of mouth is the most powerful tool. In a small but thriving artistic community like where I live in Bangkok I would advise writers to go to art galleries, reading events, meet people and be friendly but not overbearing.  Social media is good up to a point and I enjoy using it and it has helped sell more than a few books. The down side is that writers tend to over-use or abuse it. Social media is a wonderful tool that I try to use sparingly rather than tweet like a budgerigar on amphetamine. Facebook is a bit addictive. Like most addictive substances its a good slave but a bad master. Use it don’t abuse it, kids.

PDB: What’s on the cards for 2014?

My publishing house Spanking Pulp Press has a new website to be launched soon and about twenty pulp fiction thrillers in the pipeline. I have two of my novels coming out next month. One called Itchy Park with Blood Moon Press in Canada. And The Black Rose with Spanking Pulp Press. I have another two novellas coming out one as a double book with John Brunni – Undead cargo. The other is about lizards taking over a city and is called predictably enough Lizard City. Plus editing and hosting reading / signing events. A lot on the schedule but always have time to chat with Paul D. Brazil. Cheers, mate.

Bio: JAMES A. NEWMAN began writing fiction when he came out of rehab. He was addicted to pulp fiction. There was no cure. Before that he played guitar and sang in neu-gazer bands in London. Newman moved to Bangkok in the year 2001 and began writing fiction. He lived in ten-dollar hotel rooms and survived on chemical whiskey and raw luck. Newman has published over fifty short stories in various publications all over the world; most recently for Big Pulp Magazine. He has been included in many anthologies. His novel BANGKOK EXPRESS appeared in 2010. The sequel RED NIGHT ZONE was published shortly after. His latest novel THE WHITE FLAMINGO has hovered around the Amazon crime Noir charts peaking at the top spot since its release in July last year. He has been nominated for two awards but won neither.