Long time blog favourite Paul D. Brazill's latest book Man of the World dropped recently and Paul was kind enough to stop by and answer a few questions for me.......
Your latest book – Man of the World dropped recently.
Can you pitch it to a potential reader in 50 words or less?
Ageing hit-man Tommy Bennett leaves London and returns to his hometown of Seatown, hoping for respite from the ghosts of his violent past. However, he is soon embroiled in Seatown’s underworld and his hopes of a peaceful retirement are dashed.
How long from conception to completion did MOTW take? Was it a smooth process or were there many bumps in the road along the way?
Once I knew I wanted to bring Tommy back into action, it went quite smoothly but it did need a couple of rewrites. I also cut about a third from it as I wanted it to be pretty action packed. I think it took about 8 months to write, off and on. Writing can be a bit irritating at times but it’s not working down a mine, for sure.
Did the end result mirror your expectations at the start of the process, or is it a very different book to what you imagined?
Yes, it has the balance of violent, vivid pulp fiction and sixties Britcom that I wanted. I also wanted more gaudy characters and packed in as many as possible. But, as always, I just started writing until it seemed like the right time to stop.
Would you say it’s your best work?
It seems as good an example of my cobblers as anything. It’s not a cure or Coronavirus and it won’t unblock your toilet but it’s enjoyable, I think.
MOTW features Tommy Bennett, previously seen cavorting in Last Year’s Man, did you know at the time that he was someone you wanted to continue writing about?
Well, I made the mistake of rereading Last Year’s Man a bit back and, though I enjoyed it, I thought there was room for more. Tommy and his cronies entertain me, at least and it’s a fun world to visit.
Any scope for Mr Bennett to pop up in future books?
More than likely, in one form or another.
Regarding future books, any hints about what’s coming next from you? And when?
I’m in the middle of writing a London based thriller novel which seems to be going well. And there’s The Seatown Blues serial I’m writing for Close To The Bone Magazine. I’ll also have stories in a couple of anthologies.
You seem to be busy with Punk Noir Magazine which showcases various artists across different formats. Does this take a lot of your time and creative energies curating the project?
Not really, as submissions have never been open. It’s just word of mouth recommendation and people whose stuff I like. The real work comes from the writers. I try to be invisible though it’s a bit too easy to get into all that ‘branding’ tommyrot on the interweb.
How important is it to create a platform and try and offer an audience to up and comers
Was the same support available to you when you were starting out?
I think people just made it up as they went long ‘in my day’ but now there are all sorts of podcasts and conferences and Facebook groups and other things with hashtags, so they’re never alone.
How’s life in Poland currently around the pandemic? Is normality slowly returning to everyday life, or are things still skewed?
Poland went into lockdown and closed its borders quite early on in the game. They also introduced wearing facemasks quickly. People adapted without much melodrama. The infection/ death numbers are relatively low though the number of tests has also been low! However, the lockdown has been eased a bit over the last couple of weeks- the pubs are open! – things are easing back to a slightly slower version of normal.
What’s on the radar for the rest of 2020?
The Seatown Blues. The international thriller novel. A serial killer comedy. And I’ll have stories in couple of anthologies.
RANDOM TRIVIA FUN QUESTIONS
What’s your favourite vegetable?
The humble potato – so versatile!
When did you last have a fist fight?
Sometime in the ‘90s, if I remember correctly! Maybe a scuffle a few years ago but nowt flash! I’m as soft as shite!
Have you ever been thrown out of a bar or a club?
Not as often as I should have, I expect. I remember being thrown out of a magicians’ club in Madrid!
Do you have any tattoos?
Good lord, no! I’d rather stick needles in my eyes. As it were.
What was your first pet’s name?
Do you have any irrational fears?
Heights is the main one. I get vertigo in thick socks.
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
Every day is a holiday, maaan!
When did you last tell a lie?
At least once, at some point, today, I’m sure. Or maybe I’m lying?
Many thanks to Paul for his time ....
and don't forget to check out Man of the World, published by All Due Respect Books
Ageing hit-man Tommy Bennett left London and returned to his hometown of Seatown, hoping for respite from the ghosts of the violent past that haunted him. However, things don’t go to plan and trouble and violence soon follow Tommy to Seatown. Tommy is soon embroiled in Seatown’s underworld and his hopes of a peaceful retirement are dashed. Tommy deliberates whether or not to leave Seatown and return to London. Or even leave Great Britain altogether. So, he heads back to London where violence and mayhem await him.
Man of the World is a violent and darkly comic slice of Brit Grit noir.