Paul Brazill, Brit Grit, hard boiled, Noir, attuned, vernacular, tough and entertaining, these are some of the words that come to mind when you think of him. He has had a busy year so far, with new releases. Guns Of Brixton and Big City Blues are classic examples of his writing. Paul met me at The Slaughterhouse, where we talked about the importance of the city in his fictions and Brit Grit.
You’ve had a productive year so far with new releases, tell us about your hardboiled classic Guns Of Brixton.
Guns Of Brixton is published by Caffeine Nights. It’s my idea of a sweary, violent Ealing Comedy. It involves London gangsters, a killer priest and the search for a missing briefcase. The writer Robert Cowan described it as ‘part knuckle-duster, part seaside postcard’ which seems to sum it up.
Big City Blues is another Brit Grit novella. It’s published by Near To The Knuckle. It takes place in London, New York, and Madrid. Three vibrant and distinctive cities. I like to write about places – and people- with a lot of personality. It’s unlikely that I’d set a story in Sevenoaks.
Here’s the blurb: London Detective Sergeant Ronnie Burke and Polish cop Jola Lach are on the trail of a serial killer, and New York private eye Solitaire is sent to Spain to track down a missing rich kid. See how their lives intertwine in Big City Blues. British coppers, an American private eye, London gangsters, international spies, and a serial killer known as The Black Crow all collide violently and hilariously in Big City Blues, another fast-moving and funny Brit Grit novella from Paul D. Brazill.
How much of a punch do you think hardcore Brit Grit fiction packs as opposed to the traditional US fiction out there and how different are they?
The Americans can write about the more high-octane stuff more freely and convincingly, I think, because they have guns and it’s a more bombastic country. I think the best of the British and US stuff has a sense of the ridiculous and absurd about it and maybe some of the US stuff is more sincere. Although I have no idea of that’s true or not.
What else is on the cards for you this year?
I have another book coming out form Near To The Knuckle- who have published 3 of my books this year: Too Many Crooks, A Case Of Noir, and Big City Blues. This new one is a flash fiction collection. I hope to have at least one more book finished this year, too.
Bio: Paul D. Brazill’s books include Big City Blues, Guns Of Brixton, Too Many Crooks, A Case Of Noir, The Last Laugh and Kill Me Quick! He was born in England and lives in Poland. His writing has been translated into Italian, Finnish, German and Slovene. He has had writing published in various magazines and anthologies, including three editions of The Mammoth Books of Best British Crime.
Paul, thank you for a classic interview.