Thursday, 28 July 2011

Rock 'n' roll writing

I read an article earlier entitled 'Turning Writers into Motherfucking Rock Stars'. Great fun, but - really - what are the odds? A bunch of folk who spend inordinate amounts of time inside their own heads, whose main companion is a keyboard (or a crayon ...)? Not that I wouldn't like to see it happen. Sheila Quigley going apeshit in WHS, pelting the Katie Price fans with copies of Katie's latest book (that she didn't write). Nick Quantrill mumbling incoherently and staggering around with a bottle of Jack Daniel's at a reading, having turned up an hour late and told the crowd they were fucking lucky he was there at all. PDB on the rampage in the UK, doing his damnedest to drink Cambridge dry (oh ... hang on, though ... just wait a minute ...). ;p

Coincidentally, my WIP is all about motherfucking rock stars, even though it has the improbable title of 'Heartbreaker'. (Yeah, that's right, I've started writing romance - I've gone over to the pink side.) Anyway, here's a bit of rock 'n' roll writing, and an attempt at explaining that title. I'll just count it in (raps sticks together) one two three four!


April 1973
Tom was building a joint, layering Rizlas on the Faces flexi-disc that had come free with the previous issue of the New Musical Express. ‘What about …’ he squinted at the track listing. ‘What about The Borstal Boys? Then we’ll have Rod Stewart singing about us every time the Faces play a gig.’ He took out a pouch of tobacco.

‘Don’t be fucking daft, man.’ Paul Scott was less than impressed. ‘If we’re going to use somebody else’s song titles, we should use something by Free.’

‘Like what? Go on, smart arse, give it your best shot.’ Tom tore a strip from the flap on the Rizla packet and rolled it up.

‘How about Hunter?’

‘Lame.’ Tom flicked his Zippo into life and lit the paper twist, then drew smoke into his lungs and held it there.

Paul took the joint from his fingers. ‘The Brother Jakes. Soldier Boys.’ He took a drag.

‘Why not Catfish?’ suggested Colin. ‘You know, Rory Gallagher, Taste.’

‘I know,’ said Tom, through a haze of smoke. ‘I’ve got the perfect name for us.’ The joint continued its rounds as everyone turned to look at him. ‘Rivendell,’ he said, with a theatrical flourish of his arm.

‘Fuck off,’ said Colin.

‘No way, I’m not being in a band called that,’ said Paul.

‘You and your fucking elves!’ exclaimed Andy. ‘You’ll be wanting us to change our names next.’

‘You are Legolas,’ laughed Tom. ‘You can’t fight it, you are what you are.’

‘Yeah? Well that makes you the fucking Balrog.’ Andy took the joint from Colin.

Tom laughed again. ‘And Col’s Bilbo Baggins.’ He smirked at Colin, aware that he was sensitive about being the least tall member of the band. ‘The adventurous little hobbit.’

‘I’ll Bilbo fucking Baggins you, you cocky cunt.’ Colin launched himself at Tom and they rolled on the floor, Tom laughing and Colin punching.

Andy shifted to one side to make room for them. ‘How about The Brown Bombers?’ he suggested, referencing Led Zeppelin’s second album.

‘How about sticking with Free?’ said Paul. ‘We all like them, what’s the problem?’

‘We all like Zep,’ said Andy. ‘What’s the problem?’

‘No problem at all,’ said Johnny. ‘Heartbreaker. They’ve both got songs called Heartbreaker.’

‘Actually, that’s not a bad name for a band,’ said Andy.

Paul pulled Colin off Tom. ‘Listen up,’ he said. ‘We’re called Heartbreaker, alright? Now let’s go for a fucking pint.’


So, there you have it. Drugs, fighting and drink. RnFR, baby!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Sunday round up: Guilty Conscience

I wanted to do a quick round up of things that have been going on, and it turns out all of them are over at Guilty Conscience, Luca Veste's blog.

Luca is a tireless promoter of books and writers, so it was brilliant to see him dip his toe into the water. Here's his first published story, The Old Man, written to a brief provided for Flash Fiction Friday. Great stuff, and I'm sure it will be the first of many stories by Luca. I certainly hope so!

He has also opened the blog up to story submissions, so if you fancy a shot at publication, read the guidelines and go for it. I did, and I'm delighted that my story, Shadow Man, is the first to be featured. (I was also lucky enough to be interviewed by Luca recently.)

And finally, for fans of Charlie Williams and his brilliant creation Royston Blake, both good news and a competition. The first three books in the series, Deadfolk, Booze and Burn (renamed from Fags and Lager) and King of the Road have been reissued by Amazon Encore. And next month, the fourth book - One Dead Hen - will also be published. Personally I can't wait to get my hands on this. Charlie Williams is a terrific writer and it's taken too damn long to get this one into print. And there's a competition to win a copy over at Guilty Conscience - get yourself over there now and enter!

Finally, a big thank you to Luca for all the good work he has done to promote so many good books and writers (and me!). Guilty Conscience is well worth a visit - there's some great stuff to be found. Cheers, Luca!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Convictions - new review

I'm absolutely delighted to have received an excellent and insightful review of my debut novel Convictions from Luca Veste at his blog, Guilty Conscience. You can read it here.

Thanks so much, Luca!

If you want to check out Convictions for yourself, there are links in the sidebar. And thank you!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Gone Bad - new review

I'm thrilled to have received a blisteringly good review for my short story collection, Gone Bad. This one is from top class reviewer Elizabeth White, and you can read it here. Thank you, Elizabeth!

If you'd like to check out Gone Bad for yourself, there are links in the sidebar. And thank you!

New kid on the block

Let me introduce you to Beckah, a mate of mine who, having been bitten by the Friday Flash bug, has just started writing. I find this all the more impressive because Beckah is dyslexic - and let's face it, writing can be hard enough without adding extra obstacles to be overcome. (Mind you, it could just be an excuse to avoid studying for her exams. ;p)

This week sees the second part of Beckah's Chicago-based police procedural published over at her blog.

Part one is here: Silence

And part two is here: Trapped

I'm hugely impressed by what Beckah has achieved, especially since she was once told by a teacher not to bother reading, never mind writing, because being dyslexic, she would find it confusing.

Pop on over for a read. Leave a comment if you feel so inclined. If you do, thank you - and I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Drunk on the Moon


Paul Brazill's eagerly anticipated Drunk on the Moon series of e-books kicked off earlier than anticipated, hitting the stores yesterday - and it's already racing up the Amazon charts. The first in the series, written by Paul himself, is a humdinger of an opener, introducing werewolf PI Roman Dalton and the mean streets he prowls. Paul's writing always packs a punch and DotM is no exception. Grab a copy and see for yourself - it's well worth the meagre 71p/99c it costs.