Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
Hi. I’m Paul D. Brazill. I’m 57 years old. I was born in Hartlepool, England and now live in Bydgoszcz, Poland. I’ve been TEFL teaching here for more than a decade. My books include Last Year’s Man, A Case Of Noir, Guns Of Brixton, and Kill Me Quick. Oh, and there are a few other tasty snacks that you can find here.
My writing has been translated into Italian, Polish, Finnish, German and Slovene. I’ve had stories published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime 8, 10 and 11.
I’m also the editor of Punk Noir Magazine.
What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?
I draw a lot from real-life: actual incidents, people, names. My most recent publication, Gumshoe Blues, is about a private eye called Peter Ord. He’s named after one of my friends from my hometown of Hartlepool, and a lot of the scrapes he’s involved in are based on things that have happened to me or my friends – or friends of friends. Usually the most absurd things, as I’ve no interest in reading about the mundane and can’t imagine that anyone else does either.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
For me chunks of exposition/ back-story can really drag the storytelling down. It’s much better to sprinkle information over the story like parmesan cheese on spaghetti. Also, some crime fiction writers like to wear their research on their sleeves, which seems to be missing the point, somewhat. Crime fiction may well be a tad artless at times but it can also be pretty damned crafty.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
I’ve filched a few story titles from songs – Last Year’s Man, Guns of Brixton, Drunk On The Moon – and I think the short sharp approach for titles is usually best. Like a kick in the eye from a stiletto heel. As for covers, unless you’re a graphic designer, don’t do it yourself. Get someone who knows what they’re doing or it’s like the accused defending themself in court.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
Very little impact, for better or worse. I write the kind of thing I like and if someone doesn’t, I’m sure they can find something else to enjoy!
How has your creation process improved over time?
Two steps forwards, one step back, I suspect.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
All of the above, but you can only be your own judge, as in all aspects of life, really.
What role do emotions play in creativity?
For me, I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t a pleasure of some sort. Life’s too short- and ultimately futile, eh? The world will grind on towards oblivion with or without my books but I’ll write them anyway.
Do you have any creativity tricks?
I wish! I just make things up and write them down.
What are your plans for future books?
I have two novellas with publishers now – Punk Fiction and Man of the World. Hopefully, they’ll see the light of day at some point. I’m currently writing an international crime caper called In The Cold, Cold Night, which is going quite well.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
– I’m right-handed but I used to play a right-handed bass guitar upside down with strings set for a left-handed player. And it had one string missing.
– I’ve only ever seen one Star Wars film from beginning to end. I saw Empire Strikes Back at the cinema when it was released and enjoyed it but have never got around to watching another one.
– I don’t know how to use a compass and still don’t see the point of them.
– I can’t drink a warm drink while ‘eating’ soup.
– I once got drunk between the moon and New York city. I know it’s crazy but it’s true.