Paul Brazill has two new books out, Gumshoe and Snapshots. If you want a dose of hard core Noir delivered with the characteristic cultural referencing Brazill does so well snatch them up. And there’s more to come from Brazill with Italian publisher Atlantis. Paul met me at The Slaughterhouse where we talked about his new releases and Noir.
Gumshoe is the blackly comic story of Peter Ord, a divorced teacher who decides to become a private detective in a fading town in the north-east of England. Farce and tragi-comedy ensue.
Snapshots is a short collection of flash fiction dating from 2008 up to today.
How Noir would you say they are?
Well, if noir is about losers, as Otto Penzler said, then Gumshoe is as noir as it gets since the protagonist Peter Ord shuffles through life tripping himself up wherever he goes. A lot of the stories in Snapshots could be considered noir although there is humour in a few of them. But then there’s humour in noir, isn’t there? Chaplin said that “Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.”
What is it that causes these characters to lose?
Self-sabotage. Self-destructive impulses. The inability to resist the urge to board a runaway train.
What else is on the cards for you this year?
I’ve a few irons in the fire. I have a couple of stories coming up in some hot anthologies.
There’s a flash story called The Skull Ring in the hot new EC Comics inspired print magazine Nightmare Illustrated, which should be out in the next month or so.
The last two chapters of the international noir novella that I’ve written for the Italian publishers Atlantis/ Lite Editions will be published soon-ish. The first three parts took place in Warsaw, Madrid and Granada. The last two are set in Toulouse and Cambridge. The first story- Red Esperanto – has been accepted for inclusion in The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime 11, by the way.
And there are a couple of secret projects that I hope will come to fruition in the New Year.
Thanks for the interview Richard.
Thank you Paul for a tight and insightful interview.
Paul D. Brazill is the author of Gumshoe, Guns Of Brixton and Roman Dalton – Werewolf PI. He was born in England and lives in Poland. He is an International Thriller Writers Inc member whose writing has been translated into Italian, Polish and Slovene. He has had writing published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Mammoth Books of Best British Crime 8,10 and 11, alongside the likes of Ian Rankin, Neil Gaiman and Lee Child. He has edited a few anthologies, including the best-selling True Brit Grit – with Luca Veste. He blogs here.