Rapid Fire Interview: Paul D. Brazill

In this hard-hitting interview I get down to the really important questions with Mr True Brit Grit himself, the man with the dazzle, Paul D. Brazill. If you don’t know Mr B you must be from some other planet newly arrived, surely. He’s the leader of the DRUNK ON THE MOON pack and editor of TRUE BRIT GRIT, the mighty charity anthology, as well as his own black-hearted collections SNAPSHOTS and 13 SHOTS OF NOIR in addition to stories appearing a slew of other anthologies.

Knowing the world demanded to hear what this nattily dressed man about town was up to, I recently persuaded him to indulge us at AK&AQ with a little of his time — which is to say, I bought the drinks and he offered some opinions. The upshot was this:

Which came first, the bottle or the pen?

Never the twain!

Is the right kind of hat essential to the writing process?

As long as it’s worn at a jaunty angle.

500 words or 5000? Why?

It’s not the size, it’s what you do with it that counts.

What’s the soundtrack to your writing?

Which Rat Pack member would you hang out with if Doctor Who took you to 60s Vegas?

Peter Lawford. I’m easily intimidated.

What practical advice would you give to wannabe writers?

There is very little that is practical about writing.

Bowie or Eno?

Beano.

Best film on a rainy day when the writing’s not going well?

The writing always goes well, when I get around to doing it. Eraserhead is a good rainy day film, though.

What song will you dance to — even in public?

The Funky Gibbon.

Assuming it’s not a moot point, what might you be persuaded to sell your soul to obtain?

All of the above.

What’s on your bucket list?

My Fuckit List is longer. Things that I hope never to have to do before I die. Like parachute jumping or going to India.

What will you call your memoirs?

Life On The Lam.

What’s your criminal underworld nickname?

Paulie Decibels- named by Cormac Brown.

What writer do you most envy?

Katy Price nee Jordan.

Granted miraculous musical ability (assuming you don’t already have it) what band would you want beating down your door to join them?

The Kings Singers.

Most embarrassing fact about yourself you are willing to reveal here?

I once mistook Oliver Sacks’ hat for a wife.

Thanks, Mr B. You’re an officer and a gentleman fun guy.

 

Review: Werewolf of Paris

Werewolf of Paris

by Guy Endore (1933)

From Publishers Weekly:

Out of print since 1972, this gruesome classic is based on a true story from 19th-century France; the author of Psycho adds an introduction to this new edition.Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author:
A Hollywood screenwriter who collaborated on scripts like “Mark of the Vampire” with Tod Browning, as well as receiving an Oscar nomination for GI Joe, Guy Endore wrote several novels in addition to his film work. He was blacklisted by the studios in the late 1940s for his political beliefs, slowly faded from the scene and became more involved with the Synanon Foundation (later renamed Synanon Church.)

I think that this is one of the books I gave away while jettisoning my library for the move to Ireland, which I probably regret (but surely I can get an ebook). It was the primary source for Hammer’s Curse of the Werewolf with its cursed child born out of wedlock on Christmas day, his mother violated by a priest. The young child Bertrand discovers strange hungers as he grows up, dreaming that he has changed into a wolf (oops, guess what — the dreams are real!) and his uncle finds it difficult to cover up the increasingly nasty shenanigans of his nephew. After an explosion of assault, incest and murder, Bertrand runs off to Paris. He tries to find ways to manage his affliction and joins the Guard to fight in the Franco-Prussian war. He falls in love with an innocent girl. They try to cope with his hungers by letting him drink her blood in a wonderful sort of sadomasochist relationship. But eventually Bertrand fears he will hurt Sophie and ventures once more out into the city to satisfy his dark desires, exposing his secret and resurrecting danger for them both. The rest of the story is suitably gothic and tragic against the historic backdrop of the Paris Commune.

This is a fine gem and one that horror and Gothic fans will enjoy. It was certainly one of my influences for writing “It’s a Curse” for Paul D. Brazill‘s Drunk on the Moon.

~ K. A. Laity

Review: Drunk On The Moon

Reviewer: L. Vera

Book: Drunk On The Moon

Author: Various

The idea is simple. Use a successful story, give other writers a chance to stretch the world of that story, wrap it in a pretty bow and sell it as a collection. I like the idea especially since that successful story is good, full of meat to work with. The anthology opens with the original story by Paul D. Brazil. It’s a mix of crime pulp and The Goon. (If you haven’t read The Goon you need to.) Roman Dalton, a werewolf detective is just an all-round, nicely created character that cracks skulls and bangs like a hard boiled detective should. I could see him easily in his own tv spot where we see him sitting in a diner, like an old Casablanca setting, alone and full melancholy fighting an itch that only the full moon could bring. I just think television needs more noir.

The book dances in a world of werewolves, zombies, detectives and gangs. The first story is exceptionally good, almost good enough to just drop 2.99 on it alone. After that we still see some other solid work. Allen Leverone does a great take of the werewolf detective, like he owns the character and does it without even having the detective using his werewolf form – nice. It’s smart writing you don’t see anymore and I love it.

K. A. Laity and Julia Madeleine also deliver, they always do. And B. R. Stateham did a wonderful job, he really out did himself in his story “Insatiable”. It’s the only real detective type story in this collection and his story is truly the hidden gem in this book. Just these few stories would have easily made me shell out money for this book. These authors never let me down.

Now Jason Michel story “Back To Nature” seemed to stop my express train through the book. The other stories were fast, no fat, all meaty stories. Then SCREECH! We come to “Back To Nature”. It starts with fat, a piece you can actually cut off. I found myself uninterested in the whole beginning, it was slow and pointless. You can actually skip it and jump to where the story picks up, where our detective finds a women alone in her cabin. Now the story grabs me. I wished he had just started here. But alas, he did not.

Now we get back on track with “Blood and Alcohol” by Frank Duffy. It was a solid read, nothing crazy just clean writing. But the next two stories seemed almost distant from the others. One was about a man who loved to hurt women and the other was about a man who liked to torture people. Both seemed like it was pushing towards snuff, which I like reading (mostly because it requires an art to keep it from being a straight up gory piles of mess). But come on, it’s just a werewolf put in situations. They didn’t take advantage of the characters in the first story or any of the good stuff that Paul D. Brazil had laid out.

Once you get past those two the rest of the book is good. It ends on a nice sweet note, with a prequel written by Paul D. Brazil. Good stuff. I would love to have read just a large array of short stories from Paul D. Brazil, he’s just a really good writer, who brings great edgy images to the surface. I like that.

I say buy this book. Buy it to read more of Brazil’s and Stateham’s work. Buy it to get connected with Laity’s and Madeleine’s, creative styles and stay for Roman Dalton, a detective that just so happens to grow hair were it doesn’t belong – we’ve all been there.

Like oversexed dames, werewolves and zombies? This one’s for you. Buy it on Amazon Here.