Allan Guthrie writes cutting edge crime fiction. His classic Hard Man, is out now as an E Book as Bad Men, for a mere £1.99, and I highly recommend it. When he’s not working as a literary agent he runs Blasted Heath, his imprint which is bringing out some superb new E Books in crime fiction. One such E Book is Hot Wire by Gary Carson, now being offered free through Monday 13 August.
Allan met me at The Slaughterhouse, where we talked about digital publishing and all his new releases.
How would you elevator pitch Blasted Heath to a man newly released from prison who has never read a novel?
Even better than a cuddle with Billy “Twelve-Inch” McSporran or your money back.
Tell us about your novel Hard Man, now called Bad Men.
Well, I always imagined it was the heart-warming, inspirational story of a man who loves his mum, loses his dog and finds Jesus. However, some critics see it differently. It’s been compared to a Buster Keaton movie with bloodshed, an updated and x-rated version of Hamlet, and a Guy Ritchie movie starring Grant and Phil Mitchell. It was also suggested that had it been written in a high school creative writing class, its young author would be under heavily guarded psychiatric care. Personally, I think that’s letting the plagiarising young fucker off lightly.
Speaking as a writer what do you make of digital publishing and speaking as a literary agent what do you make of it?
Hmm, literary agents are author advocates, so speaking as a writer and speaking as a literary agent ought to be the same thing. Digital publishing is a potential revenue stream; it’s a means of finding new readers; it’s a way to get writing out into the world that traditional publishing isn’t interested in; it’s a way to find out if a book has a market; it’s a cheap way to experiment; it’s quick; for the majority of writers, it’s a way to become less obscure. The biggest downside is the way it’s affected bricks and mortar bookstores. But that’s largely a DRM issue, since it makes it cost-prohibitive for most indie bookstores to sell ebooks directly. At Blasted Heath, we came up with the seemingly counter-intuitive idea of selling ebooks as physical objects, but it’s too much of a fiddly process. We’re continually trying to find efficient reader- and retail-friendly ways to sell our ebooks in bricks and mortar bookstores, tho. One day we’ll get there.
What new releases do you have planned?
BAD MEN is the last of my print novels to come out on Kindle (not in North America, sadly), but I still have one more novella, KILL CLOCK to get out (worldwide). I intended giving KILL CLOCK a quick polish first but have ended up doing a fairly major rewrite. I still have a little bit more work to do on it before it’s ready to face the world. I’d hope to wrap it up in the next month or two but then I’ve been saying that for a while — I’m horribly slow these days. I have a couple of novels clamouring for attention too but I wouldn’t like to predict when they might be ready. If you’re looking for some excellent reading material while I’m getting my lazy arse into gear, Blasted Heath has just published Tony Black’s novella, RIP ROBBIE SILVA, as well as an interview with Peter May in our Blasted Shorts series; and we have Gary Carson’s HOT WIRE, Gerard Brennan’s FIREPROOF and Douglas Lindsay’s WE ARE THE HANGED MAN all lined up for release this month.
Thank you Allan for an insightful and entertaining interview.
Blasted Heath website
Read more about Fireproof due out 16 August 2012
Read more about We Are The Hanged Man due out 23 August 2012