GNOH – Hello folks for your reading pleasure we have an interview with crime writer extraordinare Paul D Brazill
GNOH – Hi Paul how are things with you
Life is fine. Spring has sprung!
GNOH – Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m from Hartlepool in the north east of England and live in Bydgoszcz in Poland. I lived in London for about ten years. I left school at sixteen with one O Level and I played bass in a couple of post punk bands in the early eighties. I share my birthday with Tony Hancock. I’ve never seen Star Wars or Schindler’s List. One of my granddads was an Irish gypsy. How’s that?
GNOH – What’s this about hanging a monkey?
It was a reasonable mistake, I tell you! We were at war with France at the time and the people from my home town encountered a hairy, smelly creature that couldn’t speak English. They assumed it was a French spy. And hung it.
GNOH – You got into writing relatively late in your life. Did you always want to write, and what actually kicked started you into putting pen to paper?
I always wanted to write but there was a barrier. I wrote a dire screenplay in the nineties, which was thankfully lost by a film company. I didn’t have a copy,of course, so that was the end of that! When I discovered the Six Sentences site I thought that here was something I could actually finish! And that kickstarted the writing!
GNOH – Which authors would you say have influenced you the most?
Hard to say but I always liked the idea of doing a north-eastern take on Damon Runyon’s world and hopefully I’m doing that. Patricia Highsmith has influenced me, I’m sure. And Bukowski, of course.
GNOH – Could you give us an insight into your writing process?
I avoid writing as much as possible, then later in the day I get grumpy and pissed off with myself for not writing. Then I start.
I don’t plan. I’m not an organised person! Sometimes I start with a just word or phrase- or a sound, like in my stories The Tut and Thump – and just see where it goes.
GNOH – How hard to you find it to give up the final manuscript once the dead line is up?
Not a problem. Life is loss! I never expect perfection so I do as well as I can and then it’s bye, bye!.
GNOH – How much of you and your experiences end up in your stories?
More and more. The last story that I wrote, The Lady & The Gimp, has a lot of my backstory in it. The Peter Ord Investigations all seem to.
GNOH – What’s the draw of crime?
I think it lets us look at the harder sides of life from the corner of the eye. When you gaze into the abyss, the abyss sticks a nutty on you, so it’s a good way to face the darkness. Maybe.
GNOH – What do you prefer to read, American crime, or UK crime based stories?
In the past I always preferred American writers in general. People like Richard Ford, Buk, Carver, Vonnegut, Tobias Wolf, King, as well as the crime writers.
But in the last couple of years I’ve discovered top British writers like Guthrie, Black and Banks-they’re a bit like Freeman Hardy Willis – Nick Quantrill, Charlie Williams and the like. This is a great time for BRIT GRIT crime.
GNOH – Your name keeps popping up all over the internet, why do you think that is?
I am, and always will be, an idler. I waste time and, like in the Owen Paul song, the internet is a perfect waste of time. If I had a full time job it would be a different story, mind you. But I don’t.
GNOH – Do you agree with Robert Rankin’s theory that a good detective novel only needs three settings a smoky bar, a dark alley and a rooftop for a final confrontation?
Pretty much. The novella I’ve just written ends in a rooftop bar so I got two out of three!
When I decided to write about a Private Eye, I wanted him to have all the clichés-divorced, wise cracking and heavy drinking! I think it’s like writing a 3 minute pop song-you need a chorus and a middle eight .Hopefully, the writing has enough personality get something from the format.
GNOH – your fiction has appeared alongside such genre heavy weights as Dave Zeltserman, in the excellent magazine / collection Needle Magazine. That must surely give a huge confidence boost.
Very much so. Shocked and stunned, in the words of The Rutles. Dave Zeltserman is one of my favourite writers and a top bloke, though I do feel a bit like the ugly friend when I’m in that company.
GNOH – What would be a good starting point for your work?
I’ve got an eBook coming out from Untreed Reads soon. It’s a short story collection called 13 Shots Of Noir. It starts with a Tut and ends with a Thump! It should work well as a taster.
Or you could have a look at the links on my blog, You Would Say That, Wouldn’t You?
GNOH – What’s your column at Pulp Metal Magazine about?
About 500 words! Ka-ching.
It’s ad hoc, slap dash, twoddle. Playing to my strengths!
When Jason Michel-PMM’s editor- asked me to do a column he said ‘Write What Thou Wilt!’ And I have done just that. I sometimes write about books that I’ve read and liked but it could be anything.
GNOH – Can you tell us about any current projects?
I’ll let it settle for a few days and see how it looks!
Radgepacket Volume Five is out now. I have a Per Ord story in there called A Man On The Run.
I’ve got a story coming up at CrimeFactory at some point, called Gumshoe Blues – A Peter Ord Investigation..
The Lady &Amp; The Gimp will be in an eBook anthology inspired by the soundtrack to the film Pulp Fiction.
Loving The Alien is coming up at Beat To A Pulp. I’ve written this with David Cranmer, BTAP’s editor.
I fancy writing a few more flash fiction stories soon,too.