Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lets Talk About Brits, Baby

For some reason, I've been noticing how many British, Scots and Irish authors are on my radar. Both up and comers and established writers alike. And I know they may not like being lumped together in a big British Isles shepherds pie like that, but deal with it. I'm sure they would all see my writing on the same geographical plane as a writer from Florida or something. Equally far apart.

There's no real point to this other than to highlight some writers I find really quite good and who are putting out some remarkable books these days. Take Paul Brazill. He writes like mad, pushing a ton of material, most of it short to very short. He is wildly inventive and dark as night. He latest, Guns Of Brixton is from the great Byker Books series 'Best of British'.  Also check out Gumshoe, the Drunk on the Moon series, the countless anthologies. (Name checking both the Clash and Tom Waits in book titles is seriously badass too)

I've praised Ian Ayris' Abide With Me before. His latest, One Day In The Life Of Jason Dean is another in the Byker Books 'Best of British' series. Ian's writing is great if you want to feel totally steeped in Brit speak. You know the way a lot of singers sound American when they sing, but then some sneak through like Billy Bragg who are undeniably from the UK? that's Ian's writing.

Nigel Bird is someone who seems poised for something big. His novel In Loco Parentis and the novellas Smoke and Mr. Suit are great noir visions told with a strong voice.  Another prolific short story writer, his work is everywhere.

Nick Quantrill writes about his hometown of Hull with the kind of sharp,  acerbic eye that classic detective and PI fiction has been written about L.A. and New York. His Hull is a character as much as his protagonist Joe Geraghty. A series as vibrant as it is dark and shadowy.

I can't go without mentioning my favorite Scottish crime writer, Allan Guthrie.  Now a strong champion of ebooks as well as being an agent and publisher with Blasted Heath, Guthrie writes some of the darkest, morbidly funny and gripping novels in crime fiction. With all those other hats on, his output has slowed down, but his novels Savage Night, Hard Man, Two Way Split, Kiss Her Goodbye remain favorites. If anyone is reading closely, I'm sure I've ripped him off several times without knowing it.  They're just my kind of books.

There's Gerard Brennan who you shouldn't miss. Wee Rockets and his FightCard MMA book are good places to start, but he's also got a ton of short stuff out there.

See? So many from across the Atlantic. Tony Black, Ray Banks, Matt Hilton, Ken Bruen. These more established guys continue to bring the heat.

I'm realizing now I have very few female Brits to offer. Someone give me some names. But go check out these blokes first.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dim the lights, it's time for the Schlock Zone Drive-In

The Schlock Zone Drive-In is open for business. The brainchild of Mel Odom, writer and editor extraordinaire, these short novellas are all B-movie creature feature fun.

The series has launched with a double feature including WORMS by J.E. Mooney. 

"In the backwoods of Kentucky, danger crawls up from the earth, twisting its way through the saw grass and around the spreading roots of the coffee trees, hiding in the mist that clings to the lakeshore . . . waiting. 

WORMS . . . they’re fishing for trouble."

Yeah, definitely the kind of movie I would have watched when I was in high school, and the kind of fun, fast read I will enjoy today.

My entry is the ridiculously titled Stripper Pole At The End of The World. It's 89 digital pages of mayhem. The plot? It goes a little something like this:

In the near future, after The Collapse, work is hard to come by. The economy is in ruins, much like the city crumbling around Janet, a woman who has lost everything – her husband, her job . . . her leg.
When the lure of a job brings her out on the increasingly dangerous streets she must confront the deadliest of new fears – the bands of cannibals who roam the city.
With a ragtag group of bikers, strippers and survivors Janet must face down the most dangerous night of their lives. When dawn comes, not everyone will live to see a new day and dance at the Stripper Pole At The End Of The World.

Yeah, these books are fun, fun, fun. Coming soon is Night of the Chupacabras by Kyle Bergersen and American Slayers by Sean Dalton. After that, it's more midnight movie madness coming each week.

I'll have a print version of the book soon. Until then, download away and enjoy this sordid and sleazy tale that was a hell of a lot of fun to write.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Books and Booze . . . and hot chocolate

I was honored to be featured on the always entertaining Books and Booze podcast this week. Renee, Jessica and Dakota are wonderful hosts and they didn't even make fun of me much for not partaking in the whole booze part of the show.

Just because I can't listen to my own voice without cringing and wishing I hadn't said half of what I said, doesn't mean you can't listen and enjoy!

This weekend is another Noir at the Bar here in L.A. and we're really excited to have authors Sara Gran, Tim Hallinan, Lisa Brackmann, Steph Cha, Anonymous-9 and Stephen Buehler reading for us. Come on down this Sunday!

It's also almost time for Schlock Zone to launch! The brainchild of Mel Odom, this collection of B-movie novellas is going to be a blast. I know I had such fun writing mine, Stripper Pole At The End of the World. Only a few days to launch. You're going to love these over-the-top, pulpy, retro schlock stories from a host of great writers. 

And just a reminder that I still have copies of the limited edition print version of Criminal Economics available directly from me for the low price of only $10 (plus $3 shipping)