Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pulp Fiction....

Here's another nice find for today...

BEAT TO A PULP - a repository of free short stories that are, as the man said, quite acceptable...


Dark days of winter

I'm still stuck in my Film Noir buzz. I've been there for many years and when I analyse my reasons for writing crime I realise that it is based on a number of things...
  • Film Noir influence (those Edward G and Cagney movies)
  • A love of society's underbelly (we're all just two pay packets from the street)
  • A belief that bad leads to good, via a somewhat circuitous route (crime, punishment and redemption)
  • A love of make or break situations for characters (character-building stuff, as they say)
  • My ongoing love affair with La Femme Fatale, as highlighted in an earlier post....  (pure, unadulterated sexuality)
Mix these reasons together and you have my approach to crime writing - hard-boiled, sexy and peppered with a little social commentary, aimed at exposing our propensity for double standards and turning a blind eye to the less than palatable truths that surround us.

I've attempted to write from both the criminal and police side of the equation in an effort to understand where my favourite spot on the proverbial tarmac is, and I've come to the conclusion that I'm comfortable anywhere there's something underhand taking place with a suggestion of seduction and deceit.... the question is, what does that say about me?

I found another nice link that provides a gallery of Noir Fiction cover art... check it out for yourselves...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Keeping it real and tripping through memory lane

I've been watching old films again. In the last two days I've watched Double Indemnity and Sunset Boulevard - some old favourites that I've neglected for years.

They feel like old lovers. You remember their embrace, their specialities, their 'way' of being which you were so taken by, way back when. And it hits you hard, remembering that time, those places, those tastes, that music, those clothes, that lipstick, those shoes... you get my drift.

Sentimentality is for suckers. But golden memories that still make you smile - that's not sentimentality - that's just recognising a good thing that's gone.

These old films remind you where you are and where you've been, where you meant to go but perhaps got distracted, the colours you wanted to paint, the language you wished to write, the scenes in your head that have yet to be played out in print. Wonderful.

I'd like to suggest you buy something you like, something you remember - that dream you put on the shelf when you met her/him/it/them. Dust it off, take a taste and see if it doesn't make a difference - even if just fleetingly. It's almost enough. But I'll let you decide that.

Don't kill your dreams, my friend. For by killing your dreams you kill your true self. The mirror reflects the you you have chosen to be - not who you are or can be. Or perhaps should have been....

Watch a few old films, create some new memories to add to those old ones.

The rum was good tonight.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

You're My London Girl....

Ken Bruen is the unsung hero of Irish Noir.

Long since a raging success everywhere in the wide and wonderful world, Mr. Bruen has a string of awards and a long list of works to his name, dating back over a decade.

Some of his work is now finding its way onto celluloid for the first time - London Boulevard, with Colin Farrell, Hollywood's hottest Paddy, playing the lead, and Blitz, starring Jason Stratham, a real London hard man.

Can't wait to see them. They're being shot around now as far as I can tell from Ken Bruen's site and from the Crime Always Pays blog by Declan Burke.

If you can't wait for these to appear on screen (and you shouldn't - crime is best served in print) then buy the books!!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Henning Mankell and the Lovey Dovey from Belfast

I've been watching the latest installment of Ken Branagh's Wallander interpretation from the BBC.

I've read all of the Wallander books - even read one in Swedish... fewer words, but just as punchy......

These books are already dramatised on film in Sweden, in Swedish, with Swedish actor Rolf Lassgard playing Kurt Wallander. He's great in the role, and it is patently obvious that Branagh has taken a few cues from him in his depiction of the scruffy Ystad detective inspector.

I must say I like the Branagh job. He's suitably removed and over involved at the same time. What is remarkable in its oddity is the fact that it is shot in Sweden but everyone speaks the Queen's English. Odder still is that any written words (signs, notes from killers etc.) in the series are in Swedish....

Even so - if you haven't see the Wallander series yet, give it a blast. You'll be happy you did.

Better still, buy a few Mankell books and do it the proper way first... and you'll find the TV show is remarkably true to the books.