If you cut Paul D. Brazill he would almost certainly bleed noir. Tom Leins caught up with Paul ahead of the release of his new short story collection, The Last Laugh (All Due Respect), to discuss Englishness, influences and future plans. Check it out, and see why everyone is going nuts over Brazill!
How the devil are you?
Fine, but not that dandy. Not at my age, anyway. It does your back in.
You are an enthusiastic promoter of Brit Grit in all its forms. Who are your favourite British writers? Dead or alive? Crime or otherwise?
Cathi Unsworth, Graham Greene, Eva Dolan, Patrick Hamilton, Ian Ayris and lots more.
If you could recommend one British crime novel that people are unlikely to have heard of, what would it be?
Night And The City by Gerald Kersh. It’s one of the books that I use as a touchstone.
The indie crime scene in Britain is in rude health at the moment. If you had to hand-pick a squad to stage an assault on the literary mainstream, who would you select and why?
I really think Nick Quantrill deserves greater mainstream success and is hopefully on his way there with his new novel The Dead Can’t Talk. Seth Lynch’s Paris set historical crime novels – such as The Paris Ripper – should be BIG! Nigel Bird is on his way to greater success with The Shallows, and rightly so. It’s great. Tess Makovesky has a sure fire hit on her hands with her forthcoming book, Raise The Blade.
Your stories wear their Englishness on their sleeves – is it harder to tap into that mind-set now that you are based in Poland?
I think it’s easier with the distance, to be honest. I don’t write journalism and I suspect the Englishness in my stuff isn’t the England of today, though. More of a mish-mash of hazy memories and hazier imagination.
This year will see you publish a short story collection (The Last Laugh) and a novella (Cold London Blues). Commercial concerns aside, do you prefer to write shorts or novellas?
I have no commercial concerns with writing! I don’t sell enough to care. I like to read and write both and have no real preference, but I really like writing flash fiction.
Your new collection contains stories that were initially published by the likes of Shotgun Honey and Near To The Knuckle. Are there any defunct crime fiction sites that you miss?
There are lots: Powder Burn Flash, Thrillers, Killers n Chillers etc, but Chris Grant’s A Twist Of Noir is always close to my heart. I really think Chris should put together an A Twist Of Noir anthology.
The Last Laugh is being published by the always-impressive All Due Respect. If you could have a book put out by any crime publisher past or present, who would it be?
There are lots of cool publishers out there but certainly New Pulp Press have published some of my favourite crime fiction books: Jake Hinkson’s ‘Hell On Church Street’, for example. But I’m very lucky with publishers: ADR, Caffeine Nights, Untreed Reads, Number Thirteen Press, Artizan – all class acts.
Speaking of All Due Respect, do you have any favourite books in their back catalogue?
I really like everything they’ve published that I’ve read. But Alec Cizak’s Crooked Roads collection is a particular gem, as is William E. Wallace’s Dead Heat With The Reaper.
Finally, what else is sloshing through your creative pipeline? Any books on the cards for 2017?
I’ve two more novellas on the go. One is pretty much finished. It takes place in England and Poland. I’m still deciding on a title for it at the moment but it will probably be called Going Underground.
The other one takes place in the US, England and Spain. It’s provisionally titled A Rainy Night In Soho.
There’ll be plenty of flash fiction popping up online this year, too. I love reading and writing flash.
Thank you, Paul.
For more information please visit: https://pauldbrazill.com/