Brit Grit Alley

Brit Grit Alley features news and updates on what's happening down British crime fiction's booze and blood soaked alleyways.

By Paul D. Brazill

Well, staggering down Brit Grit Alley this week, I stumbled into Pete Sortwell, who has just published the comic ebook The Village Idiot Reviews.

Pete Sortwell is 32 and lives in Northamptonshire with his wife, Lucie. He's been writing for just over two years. He was first published in one of Byker Books' legendary Radgepacket anthologies and has since been featured  in a various other anthologies. His debut Novel, 'So Low, So High', will be published in 2013 by Caffeine Nights and is the first in a trilogy. 'Die Happy, Die Smiling' being the second and 'Start Something' being third.

Here we go, two, three four:

PDB: Can you pitch THE VILLAGE IDIOT REVIEWS in 25 words or less?

 It’s a comedy novella based around a load of idiots leaving reviews of things they’ve bought. It’s also the funniest thing I’ve ever written.

PDB: Which books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?

I’ve enjoyed watching Mrs Biggs. Also Moone Boy, Ted was good, as was The Watch. I’m waiting for a good British film to match Wild Bill in terms of greatness.

PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?

I think it is, yeah. Although I’m a writer so I would say that.

PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?

Yes, I’ll be starting writing screen plays in the New Year. I think I might even have a pretty well-known 'youtuber' to partner with on it. I’m looking forward to it although I think it’s going to be a higher mountain to climb that writing a novel has been. Watch this space. I won’t be giving up though. So hopefully, one day, something that I’ve written will be on TV.

PDB: How much research goes into each book?

I was going to say ‘very little’ but once I’d thought about it I don’t think a novel could be written with no or little research. I know for ‘So Low, So High’ I had to speak to a lot of people who were like the main character, who lived a life like he did. I had to listen an awful lot to people’s stories and observe the way people spoke about bad things in a light way. That was the easy bit, all I had to do was listen.

I found researching how to structure it harder. Although I worked with an editor and proof reader who helped out no end, however finding a decent one that wasn’t going to rip me off or do my head in took some research too. For The Village Idiot Reviews, I suppose it was a life time of ‘I should have said that’ moments or little things I saw and thought were funny, I could put that down as research.

PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?

It’s helped me find some colleagues for a blog, friends who have been there and done it, people for me to pass on knowledge too, which makes me feel good and shows I’ve learnt from the guys who passed it to me. It’s allowed me to contact writers I like. Share links to my work and ultimately find places to submit my work too.

PDB: What’s on the cards for the rest of 2012?

I’ve got two more Idiot books to write, and a third novel to finish. Although I’m not sure I’ll get them all done. I’ll have a good go, though. I’m trying like that.

Thanks Pete!

See you soon, same Brit Grit Time, same Brit Grit Channel.

Spinetingler Award nominee Paul D. Brazill has had bits and bobs of short fiction published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Mammoth Books Of Best British Crime 8 and 10,and he has edited the anthologies True Brit Grit & Off The Record 2– with Luca Veste - and Drunk On The Moon. His short ebook collections 13 Shots Of Noir and Snapshots are out now, and his novellas The Gumshoe and Guns Of Brixton will be out pretty soon. His blog is here.