Recommended Read: Southsiders -That’s All Right by Nigel Bird

southsiders 1 nigel bird.Scottish teenager Jesse Garon wakes up one day and finds a note on the fridge from his father saying that he has left home to get work in Belfast.  Later that day, Jesse gets an email from his alcoholic mother telling him that she has also left home. So Jesse is forced to fend for himself.

That’s All Right is the first of Nigel Bird’s Southsiders books. There are three novellas in all.  This is a great slice of kitchen sink drama that is full of well-drawn and sympathetic characters. That’s All Right is touching as well as gritty and I look forward to reading the next in the series.

Short, Sharp Interview: Nigel Bird

southsiders 1-3

PDB: What’s going on?

In terms of the business of writing, I feel very busy.

I’ve just released the latest Southsiders novel, By The Time I Get To Phoenix. I was really sad to see publisher Blasted Heath come to an end. They did a fine job of editing and putting covers to the Southsiders books, but only managed to put out the first two. They generously handed the covers over to me, leaving me the relatively easy job of putting them out. I’m holding back on book four, the final one in the series, after this latest one has bedded in.

I’ve also just finished a novel that I’m rather proud of. I’ll say more about it when the time is right. I worked hard on the edits and feel it’s in tip top condition at this point.

In case I didn’t have enough on my plate, I’m also involved in a new role as Editorial Consultant for the massively impressive All Due Respect. It’s a grand title for what I do – reading submitted manuscripts, making notes and comments and suggestions and passing them on – but I’ll take it. The role may adapt over time and I’ll be happy to take on the changes if and when they arise. When Chris Rhatigan asked me to do this I didn’t have to give it a second thought. Life may be busy enough, but if you’re going to be overwhelmed, it might as well be while doing the things you love. I was proud to be asked and delighted to accept. Chris and I worked together on the Pulp Ink books and he took on a short story of mine for the ADR anthology a while back. We also put a story together that was published in Needle Magazine. I met him in the summer when he came to Edinburgh and it was great to get to know him better. He’s a star in so many ways and as a writer he excels (check out his books when you can, they’re terrific).

PDB: Do you listen to music when you work?

If it’s there. I don’t make an effort to play anything particular and would most likely have the wonderful Radio 6 on as much as anything else. I’m also partial to a musician going by the name Long Hat Pins and I do play his tracks to get me into the groove by distracting me from anything else.

PDB: What makes you laugh?

I’ve been recording episodes of Fraser daily for a month or so now. There are so many of them that my memory is almost used up. I see it as filling up a bank with happiness for days when I feel a bit low.

PDB: What’s the best cure for a hangover?

I’ve not had one of those since I last had a drink just over twelve years ago. From memory, the best cure is another drink with a couple of Gregg’s cheese and onion pasties.

PDB: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Rather than pick a spot, I think I’d change world geography. Mostly I like it where I am on the Scottish coast. The attraction is the beauty of the area and the low density of humanity. I guess I’d really like to live by the sea in an area of outstanding beauty where the weather is warm and dry much of the time, there aren‘t many people around and there’s easy access to a wonderful city (I can tick most of those boxes here in Dunbar what with Newcastle and Edinburgh within range, but the weather one definitely contains a cross).

PDB: Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s on it?

I get confused by this concept. To me a bucket list sounds like the place you put all the things you really don’t want in your life. That’s probably just showing my age.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

More reading for All Due Respect.

I’m also letting my mind marinade an idea for a prequel for the novel I’ve just finished.

nigelbirdPDB: Anything else?

If this gets out in time, the three Southsiders books will be free over the weekend of the 23rd and 24th September. If not, I think I’ve said enough.

Bio: Nigel is the author of a number of acclaimed novels, novellas and short story collections including The Shallows, the Southsiders series, Mr Suit, Smoke and Dirty Old Town. He is currently an editorial consultant for the publisher All Due Respect books.  As well as writing, he is a Support for Learning teacher in a number of schools in East Lothian.

Nigel Bird reviews Cold London Blues

cold-london-blues (2)
Cold London Blues

Over at his blog, Nigel says:

‘Cold London Blues has an elongated title – Ealing Comedy meets Pulp Fiction and has a love child. I honestly think that says it better than I could by filling the page.

The humour is everywhere, from the scenes and situations to the crazy pun-filled dialogue. Laugh-a-minute is what it is. It’s also a good yarn.

The grit is also there aplenty. It’s a crime novel and a rather brutal one at that. What’s unusual is the way the violence is often so matter-of-fact. It comes at you when you least expect it and is handled with deadpan weight.

And the characters? You’ll not see the likes of these very often, not unless you pick up another Paul D Brazill. You’ll encounter one of the most unusual coppers in fiction as you read.

If you need your copy right now while you lie on a beach with the sun warming your skin, the kindle (US) version’s for you. If you can wait a little longer, then the paperback’s where the deal is – £2.84 ($1.89) brand new, which is just ridiculous.’

The Best Of Brit Grit 2016

marwick's reckoningWell, 10 of the best, anyway. There were a few other Brit Grit gems I also read in 2016 that I really enjoyed. If I had to pick one book to personify The Best Of Brit Grit this year, it would probably be Marwick’s Reckoning by Gareth Spark. However, in no particular order, here are 10 of the best …

Marwick’s Reckoning by Gareth Spark

Marwick is a broken man. Broken but not shattered. Marwick is a violent London gangster, an enforcer who has moved to Spain for a quieter life and who is eventually embroiled in drug smuggling, murder and more.

Published by Near To The Knuckle, Marwick’s Reckoning by Gareth Spark is fantastic. Like a Brit Grit Graham Greene it’s full of doomed romanticism, longing and shocking violence.

Beautifully, vividly  and powerfully written Marwick’s Reckoning is very highly recommended indeed.

thin iceThin Ice by Quentin Bates

A small-time criminal and his sidekick decide to rob a big-shot drug dealer. But things quickly go pear-shaped when their getaway driver doesn’t turn up. After kidnapping a mother and daughter, things spiral even further out of control.

Quentin Bates’ Thin Ice brilliantly blends a fast-moving crime caper worthy of Elmore Leonard with a perfectly paced police procedural. Great characters and tight plotting abound.

Thin Ice really is marvelous, and is very highly recommended.

after you dieAfter You Die by Eva Dolan

DI Zigic and DS Ferreira are back for a third outing in Eva Dolan‘s marvelous After You Die.

The mother of a disabled child is stabbed to death and the child is left to starve.  Peterborough Hate Crimes Unit are called in to investigate the murder and in the process DI Zigic and DS Ferreira uncover a lot of dirty secrets in a seemingly close-knit community.

Once again, Dolan paints a realistic and uncomfortable picture of the darker sides of British life but with After You Die the pacing is even tighter than in her previous books and she has produced a gripping, contemporary murder mystery that is highly recommended.

APRIL SKIES coverApril Skies by Ian Ayris

In ’90s London, John Sissons – the protagonist of Ian Ayris‘ brilliant debut Abide With Me– is out of the slammer and trying to get by, working at a market stall. When he loses his job, he gets a job at a door factory and his luck starts to change. But is it for the better?

Ian Ayris’ April Skies is marvelous. Full of realistic, well-drawn characters, great dialogue, sharp twists and turns,  and with a strong sense of place and time. Nerve-wracking and heart-breaking, tense and touching – April Skies is a Brit Grit classic.

the death of 3 coloursThe Death Of Three Colours by Jason Michel

Jonah H. Williams is cyber- crook, a wheeler and dealer on the dark web. He awakes from a typically heavy boozing session to find that his precious crucifix has been stolen by the previous night’s pick-up. And things spiral on down from then on as we encounter  Bill – a bent ex-copper, drug smugglers, AK-47s, Ukrainian bikers, suicide, paranoia, betrayal, lust, love, loyalty, friendship, romance, nihilism, more paranoia, The Second Law Of Thermodynamics, Santa Muerte – Our Lady Of Last Resorts, an owl, and a cat called Vlad The Bastard. And then there’s Milton …

Jason Michel’s The Death of Three Colours is just great. It’s a richly written, gripping, noir-tinged crime thriller that is full of lyricism, flights of dark fancy and cruel humour. His best book yet.

the shallowsThe Shallows by Nigel Bird

When naval  Lieutenant Bradley Heap goes AWOL with his wife and son, he stumbles into drug dealing, people smuggling and murder.

Nigel Bird’s The Shallows is a tightly written and well-paced crime thriller that is full of well-drawn, realistic characters.

Tense and involving, The Shallows is great stuff!

for-all-is-vanityFor All Is Vanity by Robert Cowan

Jack is a nice, normal guy with a nice, normal family who records the events of  his day to day life in a diary. Then tragedy strikes and Jack’s life spirals violently out of control.

Robert Cowan’s For All Is Vanity is a gem. Heartbreaking, funny and violent, For All Is Vanity is a gripping look at what happens when a good man who loses it all.

Highly recommended.

dark-heart-heavy-soulDark Heart, Heavy Soul by Keith Nixon

Konstantin Boryakov is back!

In Dark Heart, Heavy Soul, the former KGB anti-hero is reluctantly dragged into taking part in a heist which soon spirals out of his control.

Keith Nixon’s Dark Heart, Heavy Soul is the best Konstantin Boryakov novel yet. Nixon smoothly blends high-octane thrills with gritty crime fiction. Dark Heart, Heavy Soul is packed full of tension, action, humour, great characters, sharp dialogue and a hell of a lot of warmth too.

An absolute belter!

summoning-the-deadSummoning The Dead by Tony Black

The mummified corpse of a young child is found in barrel that had been buried in a field years before. DI Bob Valentine digs deep to unearth’ corruption, cover-ups and murder.

Tony Black’s Summoning The Dead is an atmospheric, engrossing, lyrical and  sometimes harrowing police procedural that packs a powerful emotional punch.

The characters are well drawn and believable, the plot is involving,  the pace is whip-crack and the result is eminently satisfying.

Fantastic stuff.

the dead can't talkThe Dead Can’t Talk by Nick Quantrill

Power, corruption and lies would be a suitable sub-heading for Nick Quantrill’s hard-hitting crime novels. In The Dead Can’t Talk, as in his cracking Joe Geraghty trilogy, Quantrill tells the story of a criminal investigation which digs below the city of Hull’s surface to reveal a dirty underbelly.

The Dead Can’t Talk introduces us to two new protagonists – cop Anna Stone and ex- soldier Luke Carver. They are brought together to look into a murder, and an apparent suicide but all is not as it seems, of course.

Quantrill again gives us a perfectly paced criminal investigation but the tension is greater and the twist and turns are tighter this time. The characters are all typically well drawn, most notably the city of Hull itself. This is a novel of deceptive breadth and scope.

The Dead Can’t Talk is the start of what is sure to be another great social-realist crime fiction series from Nick Quantrill. Highly recommended.

Have A Brit Grit Christmas!

martinaI asked a bunch of Brit Grit writers about their favourite Christmas book, film and song, and this is what they said:

Martina Cole:

Well my favourite Christmas book has to be John Updike and Edward Gorey’s ‘The Twelve Terrors of Christmas.’ Film has to be Lon Chaney as The Wolfman. I love old horrors especially at Christmas! And song has to be ‘Fairytale of New York’ as I adore The Pogues and Kirsty! (I remember when they were called Pogue Mahone! Kiss my arse in Gaelic!)

Lesley Welsh:

I’m going to be really tedious and say ‘It’s A Wonderful Life.‘ Still gets to me every time. Music-wise, Jona Lewie and ‘Stop The Cavalry’. Christmas book? That’s a difficult one, I never much liked Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol.’ and don’t really recall others specifically about that time of year as I would probably have avoided them like the proverbial. So can I have a play instead? For which I nominate Steven Berkoff’s one-man short play ‘Harry’s Christmas‘. Devastating.

Douglas Skelton: 

The book has to ‘A Christmas Carol,’ obvious I know but it’s the only actual Christmas book I can remember reading! I know when I see other choices I’ll kick myself (so if you have any suggestions, let me know) For film I’d have to go with ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’, although ‘The Bishop’s Wife’ comes a close second. And song – there are so many – but ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ has the right blend of sweetness and melancholy for me.

HIT THE NORTH! NICK QUANTRILL INTERVIEW!Nick Quantrill:

Book I can’t really look beyond Dickens with ‘A Christmas Carol’, though you can’t beat a winter’s evening in the warmth with a book from a favourite author. Film Being a cynical and hardboiled crime writer is fine for 364 days of the year, but the remaining day has to be reserved to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life”. Song, all of Kate Rusby’s “While Mortals Sleep” is great and the use of a brass band gives it that distinctive Yorkshire feel that warms me.

Luca Veste:

Book – ‘The Grinch who Stole Christmas’ by Dr Seuss Film – ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’. Song – ‘White Wine in the Sun’ by Tim Minchin

Matt Hilton:

The Spy Who Came For Christmas” by David Morrell, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and “Silent Night” by Bing Crosby

Mark West:

Favourite book –‘The Mystery Of The Invisible Dog’ (it takes place between Christmas and New Year. Favourite film – either ‘Scrooged’ or ‘Die Hard’. Favourite song – ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ by Slade.

Alex Shaw:

Book: ‘A Christmas Carol.’ Film: ‘Die Hard.’ Song: ‘Feed The World.’

Sheila_Quigley-320x320Sheila Quigley:

‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’  – I can’t count how many times I’ve seen it – ‘White Christmas.’

Sarah Hilary:

‘The Long Shadow’ by Celia Fremlin. ‘The Bishop’s Wife’ (Cary Grant, David Niven).’The World of Winter’ by Bing Crosby

Ian Ayris:

Here we go: Christmas Book – ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charlie Dickens, Christmas Film – ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, Christmas Song – ‘White Christmas’ – SLF.

Richard Godwin:

Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘Deep Throat’, Frank Zappa’s ‘Bobby Brown.’

Martin Stanley:

Okay, right now, off the top of my head: my favourites are Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘Bad Santa’, and The Pogues’ ‘Fairytale of New York’.

jason 2016.Jason Michel

Book/ story – ‘A Christmas Carol’, Film – gotta be a Bond, not traditional, of course, but the nostalgia of a Christmas evening Bond flick, Song – I would say Slade then again, I have a tradition of listening to Frank Sinatra at Christmas.

Graham Wynd:

Um…’Little Women’, ‘The Long Kiss Goodnight’, and oh, everyday a different answer so….Darlene Love, ‘Christmas Baby Please Come Home’. Best Xmas LP ‘A John Waters Xmas’.

Ryan Bracha:

‘The Little Matchgirl’ by HC Anderson for book, or ‘Mog’s Christmas’. The best and most underrated Christmas film ever is ‘Scrooged’. Song has to be ‘Mary’s Boy Child by Boney M’. Tune.

Betsy Reavley:

Oh easy, Charles Dicken’s ‘Christmas Carol’, ‘Merry Christmas Baby’ – Elvis Presley and film would have to be ‘Home Alone’.

nigelbirdNigel Bird:

Run Run Rudolph’ by Chuck Berry, ‘Diner’ (Barry Levinson) and ‘The Christmas Star’ (it’s a short story, so I hope that counts) by Mina Lewiton.

Graham Smith:

Can’t think of an Xmas book but ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Fairytale of New York.’

Paul Heatley:

My favourite book is ‘Sausagey Santa’ by Carlton Mellick III, song is ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ by Slade, but film is a toss up between ‘The Santa Clause,’ ‘Elf,’ and Ron Howard’s ‘The Grinch’ – I like the garishly colourful and OTT ones!

Tess Makovesky

I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas on the planet.  I quite like some of the old traditions, but hate the modern, consumer-driven, hyped-to-hell-and-back, be-perfect-or-else-you’ve-failed version, which tends to bring me out in a severe case of Bah Humbug.  So my choices of reading, watching and listening matter over the festive period tend to reflect this.

Favourite Christmas song: there’s a special mention for Slade’s ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ which brings back happy memories of school Christmas parties.  But the winner, hands down, is ‘Fairytale of New York’ by The Pogues and Kirsty McCall.  Any Christmas song that includes lyrics like You scumbag, you maggot, You lousy old faggot gets my vote every time, and the harmonies (even with lead singer Shane McGowan apparently on such a massive bender he could barely stand up during recording) are amazing.

Favourite Christmas movie: I can’t really handle all those mushy-gushy sanctimonious ‘isn’t family wonderful’ type movies that you’re supposed to like at Christmas.  But Home Alone won me over the first time I saw it.  It has just the right blend of mischief, quirkiness, and sheer evil joy, from parents forgetting one of their own children, to Macauley Culkin’s 8 year old dreaming up ever nastier ways to keep the burglars out of the family home.  Great fun!

Favourite Christmas book: this one really had me stumped.  I wasn’t sure if there were any specific Christmas books, and when I googled, I’d never read most of them and wasn’t keen on the rest.  However, my favourite as a kid was probably ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ by C S Lewis for the sheer magic and inventiveness of the story.  Although these days, I probably have more sympathy with the Wicked Witch than I ought to.  Imagine: always winter but never Christmas.  I can think of worse things…!

HAVE A BRIT GRIT CHRISTMAS!

Recommended Read: The Shallows by Nigel Bird

the shallowsWhen naval  Lieutenant Bradley Heap goes AWOL with his wife and son, he stumbles into drug dealing, people smuggling and murder.

Nigel Bird’s The Shallows is a tightly written and well-paced crime thriller that is full of well-drawn, realistic characters.

Tense and involving, The Shallows is great stuff!

What Goes On? Vater, Bird, Tomlinson, Miles.

TCBDcoverfinalsmaTom Vater

I’ve just republished THE CAMBODIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD, the first in the Detective Maier Mystery series, with Crime Wave Press (www.crimewavepress.com) as a Kindle. The second book THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN MIND will be out soon as well.

After the demise of Exhibit A Books, the original home of the Maier series, the rights of the two books reverted back to me, so Crime Wave Press, a Hong Kong based imprint I part own, was a natural platform to republish the books with.

THE CAMBODIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD follows  German Detective Maier as he travels to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s ramshackle capital, to find the heir to a Hamburg coffee empire.

As soon as the private eye and former war reporter arrives in Cambodia, his search for the young coffee magnate leads into the darkest corners of the country’s history and back in time, through the communist revolution to the White Spider, a Nazi war criminal who hides amongst the detritus of another nation’s collapse and reigns over an ancient Khmer temple deep in the jungles of Cambodia.
Maier, captured and imprisoned, is forced into the worst job of his life – he is to write the biography of the White Spider, a tale of mass murder that reaches from the Cambodian Killing Fields back to Europe’s concentration camps – or die.

In the second Maier Mystery, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN MIND, Julia Rendel asks Maier to investigate the twenty-five year old murder of her father, an East German cultural attache who was killed near a fabled CIA airbase in central Laos in 1976. But before the detective can set off, his client is kidnapped right out of his arms. Maier follows Julia’s trail to the Laotian capital Vientiane, where he learns different parties, including his missing client are searching for a legendary CIA file crammed with Cold War secrets. But the real prize is the file’s author, a man codenamed Weltmeister, a former US and Vietnamese spy and assassin no one has seen for a quarter century.

I’ve just finished a first draft of a third Maier Mystery, THE MONSOON GHOST IMAGE which is set in Thailand.  I’m very happy to bring this Southeast Asian trilogy to a close with a big bang. Maier 3 is set in 2003 and revolves around the CIA renditions program in the wake of 9/11. Maier is sent to Bangkok to find a famous German war photographer who died in a boating accident but surfaces, very much alive, months later in the Thai capital. Turns out the photographer snapped a frame that everyone wants to get their hands on – the CIA, Maier and a third mysterious party who has put a price of 2 million dollars on the elusive photo.

So I will be editing for the next couple of months.  I really enjoyed writing this one. The character has become familiar and Thailand was a natural choice for the book’s main location, after Laos and Cambodia. As with the first two books in the series, I had a solid historical backdrop on which to build my story and the time I spent with Thailand’s sea gypsies in the late 90s served as rich material for part of the story. It’s been mad fun.

Bio: Tom Vater is a writer working predominantly in Asia and the co-owner of Crime Wave Press, a Hong Kong based English language crime fiction imprint.
He has published three crime novels, The Devil’s Road to Kathmandu, The Cambodian Book of the Dead, The Man with the Golden Mind.

In twenty years as a free lance journalist, he has worked for The Wall Street Journal, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Marie Claire, Geographical, Penthouse and countless other publications.  He has published several non-fiction books, including the highly acclaimed Sacred Skin and he is co-author of several documentary screenplays, most notably The Most Secret Place on Earth, a feature on the CIA’s covert war in 1960s Laos.

Website: www.tomvater.com

THE CAMBODIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD:

http://www.amazon.com/Cambodian-Book-Dead-Tom-Vater-ebook/dp/B008GDT8QU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456420016&sr=8-1&keywords=the+cambodian+book+of+the+dead

12767826_10154076935386614_1135455332_oNigel Bird

One of the strange things about writing is that it happens in a solitary space. It’s not like building a house where you can watch the foundations being dug, the walls go up and the roof go on.

I say this because on the surface it may appear that I’ve done little over the last year or two. I can confirm that, though my graceful self has been gliding away on the smooth surface of the pond, I’ve been kicking my legs like crazy beneath the water.

I recently put out my new novel, The Shallows (US). In a nutshell, it tells the story of a sailor who goes AWOL and quickly lands his family in a whole heap of trouble. It’s a noir love story with undertones of a police procedural. I hope it touches on a few contemporary issues and some aspects of life that are universal and ever-present.  This is new territory for me in some ways, but I hope that the strength of the story and the characters will have readers hooked until the very end. It was a lot of fun to write and I hope that it will be equally fun for you guys.

I also have a string of books in the hands of Blasted Heath to continue the Southsiders series. Book two, Jailhouse Rock, shouldn’t be long and three and four should appear later in the year.

My current work is out of my comfort zone. It’s the reworking of a short story of mine that I’m hoping will become a rather exciting New Adult Paranormal Romance of sorts. Suffice to say, I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing with this one, but it’s been one hell of an experience trying.

Other than that, I’m juggling my life as a teacher and father as best as I can.

Nigel Bird is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short story collections including Dirty Old Town, In Loco Parentis and Smoke.

l a nocturne collection (2)Katherine Tomlinson

After living in Los Angeles for decades, I moved to a small town in the Pacific Northwest last year. My new home is a beautiful place with urban waterfalls and haunted cemeteries and a genuine sense of community. To meet people, I started a mystery lovers’ book club that’s hosted by Village Bookstore, a great indie store that is very supportive of local writers as well as readers, and of the community in general. Dogs are welcome to come into the store with their owners, and there’s a little coffee place upstairs that looks out over the Bay, one of the best views in the city.

Ironically, I’d no sooner left Los Angeles than I started getting movie and TV work. I co-wrote a television pilot that’s going to shoot in Berlin, working with Icelandic playwright Jon Atli Jonasson and a group of Icelandic, German, and American producers. I did a quick (uncredited) rewrite of a fantasy movie and then, responding to a CraigsList ad, I ended up writing a science fiction movie called One Under the Sun. the movie, directed by Vincent Tran, has an international cast and is in post-production now. The filmmakers are shopping it to the film markets now, which is really exciting.

I’m not writing quite as many short stories as I used to because I’m trying to get longer works out there. I am writing noir-tinged stories about Hollywood for a website called “Hollywood Dementia” that’s run by legendary blogger Nikki Finke. During the 2007 writer’s strike, Nikki Finke was the Writers Guild’s best friend, and just about the only reliable source of information about what was going on. I’m thrilled to be one of the writers on the site because she’s got huge names—Eric Idle, Michael Tolkin—contributing.

Increasingly, I’m writing a lot of fantasy and science fiction and romance under my pseudonym “Kat Parrish.” (Parrish is my middle name so I’m not making a secret identity out of it.) The fantasy romance is what’s selling best for me at the moment, and I’ve become enamored of the idea of rewriting fairy tales with a modern spin. My first novelette in that series, Fashionista, was published at Christmas; it’s a retelling of Cindrella. Hunter’s Kiss, a retelling of Snow White, will be out next month, as will two more fantasy novellas, Starcasterand Tears of Idrissa.

Other than the writing, I hope to do more traveling this year. I went to Tucson for the Gem & Mineral Show there—like Comic Con for jewelry makers—and will be going to Portland for the Rose City Convention. I also hope to visit Iceland this summer when those cheap fares to Europe kick in.  What’s up with you?

Bio: Katherine Tomlinson was born in Washington DC and has lived in seven different states and two different foreign countries (so far). A former reporter who prefers making things up, she writes crime and horror fiction under her own name; fantasy, romance, and science fiction under the name “Kat Parrish.” Her short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and her story “Water Sports” was a 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee. A collection of her urban fantasy stories, L.A. Nocturne Collection, was published in February.

route12bigMarietta Miles 

Thanks to Mike Monson, Chris Rhatigan and Rob Pierce my debut book, Route 12, is now available. Route 12 is actually two novellas. One is set in 1970s Appalachia. It’s the story of a broken, angry, young man, and the vengeance he brings to a small town in the chilly, isolated mountains. The second novella is Blood and Sin and follows a lonely pregnant teen, a charismatic preacher, and a woman who is much more than she appears. With brutal, tragic consequences, their paths converge in a small white church deep in rural Carolina.

“Whether it is meant to be or not, Route 12 is poignantly, compellingly important.”– Greg Barth, Selena. Kind words from an incredible writer.

April 26 I will be hosting Authors on the Air, Dames of the Dark podcast. The show will feature established female writers as well as up and comers in the dark and dangerous genres. Laura Benedict, author of The Bliss House Series featuring the newest Cold Alone, will be joining ua. As will Jessica Hillier of Freak, The Butcher, and Wonderland fame. Nancy Cole Silverman, of the Carol Childs Mystery series, will be on hand as well. Nicky Murphy will join us to read her punch to the gut story, Daddy’s Girl. My special co-host will be Michelle Turlock Isler. Often called Godmother by authors of the crime, mystery and noir worlds she is an expert on all things thrilling. Gonna be fun. April 26, 9:00pm

Bio: Marietta Miles has published stories with Thrills, Kills and Chaos, Flash Fiction Offensive, Yellow Mama and Revolt Daily. She has been included in anthologies available through Static Movement Publishing and Horrified Press. Please visit www.mariettamiles.blogspot.com  or Facebook for more stories and further information. Her first novel will be available in spring 2016 through All Due Respect Books. Born in Alabama, raised in Louisiana, she currently resides in Virginia with her husband and two children.

 

Nigel Bird Reviews Kill Me Quick!

kill me quick cover‘ There are encounters with mobsters, drug-dealers, bikers, lap-dancers, right-wing nutters and an annoying American tourist to enjoy. Brazill uses his trademark wordplay and humour to add extra layers to the experience and manages to draw out laughs from the most uncomfortable situations. ‘

Read the rest HERE.

 

A Couple Of Top Reviews: The Neon Moon/ Guns Of Brixton

neon moon 2Graham Wynd takes a look at THE NEON MOON: A ROMAN DALTON ANTHOLOGY.

‘Another fistful of fun from Blackwitch Press. A bunch of terrific writers run away with Paul D. Brazill‘s werewolf detective Roman Dalton and the dark madness of The City.

Read the rest here.

gobNigel Bird takes a gander at GUNS OF BRIXTON.

‘the observations are sharp and the characters create small nuclear explosions as they collide with each other.’

Read the rest here.

Recommended Read: All Due Respect Magazine 5

adr 5The latest issue of ALL DUE RESPECT magazine is a knockout.

Edited by Chris Rhatigan and Mike Monson, ADR is proving itself to be one of the best pulp magazines on the market. Even though they publish my stuff!

The magazine opens with Broken Prayer, an atmospheric and very well written novel excerpt from Steve Weddle– who is interviewed by Jed Ayres later in the magazine. This is a very tasty slice of what is sure to be a beaut book.

Next up is Keith Rawson’s marvelous Alkaline – a delirious and blackly comic road trip. A kind of noir primal scream.

My story The Last Laugh is next, and after that is  Angel Luis Colon with the story of a gambler whose luck runs out. A classic slice of hardboiled fiction.

Garnett Elliot‘s story is as gritty as can be and a great look at life at the bottom. Great characters and a perfectly pitched ending.

Gabino Iglesias gives us a tale of waking up in a motel with a mashed up face. A cracking story, full of atmosphere, great images and cruel humour.

Joe Sinisi’s The Faces Of The Dead Ones is a brutal but touching love story which ends the magazine’s fiction section with a bang.

As usual, ALL DUE RESPECT magazine finishes with an interview- the aforementioned Weddle/ Ayres double act – and a fistful of interesting reviews of books from the likes of Donald Westlake and Nigel Bird.

The fifth issue of ALL DUE RESPECT magazine is well worth your time and cash.

Short, Sharp Interview: Nigel Bird

southsidersPDB: What’s going on now?

Southsiders has just been released by Blasted Heath and I’ve just returned from a school trip with my younger daughter’s class to John Muir’s birthplace (the man’s an inspiration).

PDB: How did you research this book?

Research and I don’t tend to get on. For Southsiders, I did look into the Titanic Museum in Belfast and took the virtual tour. It looks great.

PDB: Which of your publications are you most proud of?

I think I’d pick Southsiders. To my mind, the central premise is great and I believe I managed to write a story that does it justice. It flowed so easily at the first draft stage that it was a joy to write. It also benefits from a serious edit from Allan Guthrie, which means the process felt less solitary and wayward. To my mind it has the variety of shade and tone that I like to find in a story.

PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme?

Favourite film: Diner by Barry Levinson.

Favourite book…s that I’ve read this year?  I’d be selecting from Drama City by George Pelecanos, Dare Me by Megan Abbott, Gravesend by William Boyle and The Motel Life by Willy Vlautin.

Song? Because he’s such an integral part of Southsiders, it has to be something from Presley and Sun Records – Baby, Let’s Play House.

TV? University Challenge and The Apprentice.

PDB: Is location important to your writing?

It’s important to help me get a fix on a story and to help me find the voice. After that I just make it all up.

PDB: How often do you check your Amazon rankings?

Too frequently. I’m working on cutting it down to the beginning and end of the day.

PDB: What’s next?

Blasted Heath have the follow up to Southsiders in their hands and I’m expecting another hard edit to come back at me pretty soon. In between times, I’m writing a romantic comedy set in nearby Portobello (if I have to do any research, at least I can do it in a cafe overlooking the sea).

Bio: Nigel Bird is the author of several novels, novellas and short story collections, including SouthsidersIn Loco ParentisSmokeMr Suit and Dirty Old Town.

He lives on the East Coast of Scotland in Dunbar (Sunny Dunny) with his wife and three children.

As well as writing fiction, he has been a teacher for twenty-five years and has worked in a number of mainstream and special schools.

Brit Grit Alley Guest Columnists

Over the next few weeks I’ll be hosting a handful of  carefully selected guest columnists over at Out Of The Gutter Online’s Brit Grit Alley.

Last week, Nigel Bird had a gander at the BBC’s new series, Ripper Streer.

This week,  Richard Godwin is down Brit Grit Alley talking about Finance and Criminal Profit.

And coming up are guest columns from Tony Black, Charlie Williams, Darren Sant and more …

So, go on,  have a wander down BRIT GRIT ALLEY.

Luke Case Gets Some BiLingual Love Action!

Over at SEA MINOR, Nigel Bird takes a look at my Warsaw set novelette Red Esperanto and says:Rosso Esperanto

Red Esperanto  … practically drips in the alcoholic sweat of the journalist Luke Case, not to mention some of his other bodily fluids. ‘

Meanwhile, over in  Italy, LIBERI DI SCRIVERE have a gander at Red Esperanto‘s Italian translation, Rosso Esperanto.

They say:

‘Luke Case è un bel personaggio, ben caratterizzato, dotato di un’ aura dannata e romantica ma fondamentalmente simpatico che ritroveremo in altri 4 racconti della collana Atlantis.’

Which I’ve been told is also very nice!

There is more from Luke Case in my Madrid set novelette Death On A Hot Afternoon.

And it gets a great review from Kate Laity at  A KNIFE AND A QUILL.

She says:

‘I’m a sucker for Brazill’s singularly laconic style and his hapless heroes — or is it too grand to call them heroes? Main characters? Saps? No, they’re seldom suckers — just not particularly well prepared, thoughtful or lucky.’

Thanks to all of the reviewers!

And more … Red Esperanto is currently number THREE is the Predators & Editors Short Story Poll.