Wednesday 13 July 2011

Paul D. Brazill interview: Drunk On The Moon

Drunk on the Moon by Paul D. Brazill

Spinetingler Award nominee Paul D. Brazill was born in England and lives in Poland. His writing has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, including the 2011 Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime, and his short story collection '13 Shots Of Noir' will be published sometime in 2011. His blog is You Would Say That, Wouldn't You?

Can you sum up Drunk On The Moon in no more than 25 words?

Each full moon, P I Roman Dalton becomes a werewolf and prowls the dark streets of the city battling creatures of evil.

What was your motivation for writing it?

It’s the title of a Tom Waits song. Tom growls, like a wolf. Tom’s as noir as I don’t know what. So, I thought, let’s see what I can do with this. Dark Valentine Magazine had set up and were looking for cross genre stories, so …

How did the deal with Trestle Press come about?

They sent me an email last week. I replied with a couple of cans in me and suggested the idea of multiple writers. It was one of the few good ideas I've had with drink in me! They got the first book out in a week, which is very impressive!

How many stories have you signed up for?

About ten have agreed so far, but there are more interested. It's got legs, I think.

How did you go about recruiting other writers?

I just asked a few people and Trestle did the same. Want to climb on board?

Always fancied writing about a werewolf PI but never had the story to do it justice. Interesting that it's not something you see more of. The PI in crime fiction is often a "lone wolf", after all. Why do you think so few authors have made the connection to the PI werewolf?

Dunno. Seems obvious!

What's your preference: noir or horror? And is there really that much difference?

 I prefer earthly things, so noir. But I've read some great horror stories recently from Frank Duffy, Spectral Press etc

How much difference does an editor make?

It always helps at least a bit and sometimes a hell of a lot. You don’t always smell your own farts.

Who designed your cover?

Giovanni Gelati from Trestle Press.

How much difference does a good cover make?

Oh, a lot. We eat with our eyes, apparently. As soon as the cover to DOTM was posted on Faceache and Twatter and the like, there was interest,

How important is a good title?

For me, a lot. Elvis wouldn’t have had such a hit with Heartbreak Bungalow.

How important is a book's central character?

For a series, very important. But so is a good supporting cast. Lots of people prefer Joe Pike to Elvis Cole.

What's the best piece of craft advice you've been given?

All writing is editing. And editing is my favourite part of writing.

What's the best piece of business advice you've been given?

‘Don’t buy that Brooklyn Bridge, I’ve got a nice Mona Lisa for you.’

What are your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?

I’m good at daft, slice-of-life scenes but rubbish at plotting.

What aspects of marketing your book do you enjoy?

It’s all okay, as long as you don’t expect too much from it and make it fun. Like life, really.

As a reader, how would you describe your taste in crime fiction?

I like me Brit Grit most but I’m up for most things apart from stuff which is heavy with forensics. My grade 3 GCE in General Science doesn’t help me there.

As a writer, how would you describe your ideal reader's taste in crime fiction?

Easily pleased.

What was the last good eBook you read?

Josh Stallings’ Out There Bad is pretty magnificent. And Speedloader, too, from Snubnose Press.

What crime book are you most looking forward to reading?

Ian Ayris’ Abide With Me.

What are you reading now?

I’m reading Dave Zeltserman’s Dying Memories at the moment, which is great. And Charlie Williams’ One Dead Hen which is painfully funny and true.

If you had to re-read a crime novel right now, what would you choose?

The whole of Ray Banks’ Call Innes quartet. Back To Back.

From an artistic rather than financial perspective, what book do you wish you had written?

The Bible.

What makes you keep reading a book?

Books, films, people, songs. It’s all down to personality. Personality goes a long way.

Where do you find out about new books?

Why Criminal-E, of course!

What's the best collection of short stories you've read?

I haven’t read it for ages, but Richard Ford’s Rock Springs is still in my mind. The septics are the bollocks when it comes to short stories.

What are your views on eBook pricing?

It’s your book sell it for what you want. If people don’t want it they won’t buy it. You’ll live.

Ever tried your hand at screenwriting?

About 15 years ago I did a screenwriting course near Baker Street in London. The best bit of the course was going to the pub and seeing loads of Japanese tourists dressed like Sherlock Holmes. No, but it was useful and I wrote a screenplay called ‘Rain City Moon.’ How NOIR is that?!

Somehow, I made contact with Scala Films and sent it to this American bloke called Aaron. After a while I rang Scala and they said he’d left the company and they knew nowt about the screenplay!

Of course, that was the only copy I had! Never mind, it was crap!

How do you feel about the ease with which anyone can publish?

Why not? If people buy. Read it. Great. If not, Poundland are always looking for staff. Won’t kill you.

Which author should be much better known?

Josh Stallings,Tony Black, Julie Morrigan, Dec Burke, Nick Quantrill,Dave Zeltserman- should all be bestsellers. They write entertaining, accessible and interesting stuff. And there’s more …

Do you read outside of the crime genre?

I used to. The last few years, not so much. I’ve recently read Les Edgerton’s short story collection, Monday’s Meal, which was brilliant.

What was your favourite book as a child?

I really only read comics as a kid. American ones, of course.

Do you enjoy writing?

When it gets going, yes.

Do you enjoy the editorial process?

Yes, that’s the best bit. That’s when it starts to look real!

How do you feel about reviews?

I only like good reviews. I’m not an objective person.

How do you feel about awards?

Mine’s a pint.

Do you have any other projects on the go?

Oh, aye. I've got a short story collection coming out in the next few weeks called 13 Shots of Noir; a story in Anne Frasier's Deadly Treats anthology; a story in Pulp Ink anthology; a story in Noir Nation - The International Journal of Crime;a story online at Dirty Noir and another online at Pulp Pusher. And maybe a couple of other things.

Drunk on the Moon by Paul D. Brazill


  1. Good go Paulie. While I'm not a werewolf fan, I might give this a go. And I agree about Josh Stallings needing more exposure. The man is amazing.

  2. As always, this oozed dry northern wit - the Brazill stamp. Stand out line... "You don’t always smell your own farts." Closely followed by: "Heartbreak Bungalow".

  3. From an artistic rather than financial perspective, what book do you wish you had written?
    "The Bible."

    Har! Fabulous interview, Mr B.

  4. Thanks for the interview Mr G. And ta for the comments, all.Glad you enjoyed it.

  5. I love your casual attitude. Brilliant interview that made me laugh and nod knowingly. The book sounds great Paul - hope you get lots of success, not that you're bothered ;)

  6. Brilliant stuff, PDB, loved it. Drunk on the Moon is a cracking good idea, off to a flying start and with some amazing writers lined up. And I'm really looking forward to 13 Shots...

    (Oh - and ta for the mention. :D)

  7. I'm working on a song called "Drunk on the Couch in my Heartbreak Bungalow." Elvis has agreed to come back from the dead to sing it for me. What do you think?

  8. Perfect interview team with Paul and Allan! This is one of the most entertaining and witty interviews I've seen this year. This played well in my house. And, as far as I'm concerned, between the two of you, you have written the Bible.

  9. Smashing interview! Replete with the brilliantly exceptional Brazill wit!

    I LOVE what you said about writing - "All writing is editing. And editing is my favourite part of writing."

    Editing is my favorite part too! I can't wait to finish a first draft... that's when the story REALLY starts to shape up! I've done a couple of stories where the best bit came to the surface in the second "round", so to speak.

    I'm about half through DotM... I don't want it to end! :)

    Congratulations, Paul! Absolutely brilliant!

    Keep up the great work... best wishes and all success to you, dear friend!

    Veronica Marie

  10. Great interview! Funny too...'you don't always smell your own farts'...classic!

  11. Great interview, Paul. Very funny. Editing and more editing: the only problem for me is that it's never done. Looking forward to reading about that werewolf PI. Damn interesting idea.

  12. Great interview, Paul. Love the humour and the candour!


  13. Cracking interview and a cracking and prolific writer. I'll be downloading Drunk on the Moon this weekend for certain.

    Best, Alan

  14. Great interview from a great whit. I love your ease of patter. Classic stuff. I just down loaded Drunk on the Moon. Its 3:27 AM, call work I may be late.

    As for the mention, sir I am well and properly grateful/proud as punch.

  15. Great interview, really made me laugh.

    Always thought that there were too many vampires out there and it's about time that the werewolves got more time in the moonlight!