Brit Grit Alley features news and updates on what's happening down British crime fiction's booze and blood soaked alleyways.
This week down Brit Grit Alley, I have a short, sharp interview with Keith Nixon whose debut novel The Fix is kicking botty at the moment:
PDB: Could you pitch The Fix in 25 words or less?
KN: THE FIX is a multi-layered tale of crime and dark humour in one neat package where no-one is quite who they seem to be.
PDB: How much of The Fix is autobiographical?
KN: The business related stuff, definitely. Waking up in a room with a dead body? Certainly not. Seriously, The Fix did result from some (alleged) experiences in previous employment - a silver lining in a fairly unpleasant episode.
PDB: The Fix has a very British sense of humour. How has it been received outside the UK?
KN: The reviews have been positive, but not as numerous in the UK. Early days though!
KN: I'd previously pitched a couple of historical fiction novels to agents and publishers and found it a soul destroying process. When my wife finally bought me a kindle it was an eye opener. Suddenly I realised I could get my work out to readers without having to go through others. Six months later and The Fix was in self-published digital print. I put a lot of work into getting the story right, having it properly edited and (eventually) an excellent cover by Jim Divine.
After several months of steady sales The Fix came to the attention of Caffeine Nights thanks to Nick Quantrill and Ian Ayris. I was offered a deal and I gladly accepted - Caffeine Nights are a really exciting publishing house willing to take risks and develop new routes to market.
PDB: Any unpublished novels before The Fix?
KN: Yes, two, both historical fiction. The first was set in WWII and based on a true story. My wife's grandfather escaped from a POW camp in Italy, stole a train and drove it into France. Frankly I didn't do it justice, but it was a good learning experience.
The other book was intended as the first in a trilogy and was about Britain's first great general, Caradoc. Who? I hear you say, and that was the point. Caradoc spent nearly a decade resisting the Roman invasion of Britain. Everybody talks about Boudica, she was actually a collaborator until she changed sides - Caradoc was her inspiration. In part I wrote it because the early part of the story and the invasion itself happened only a few miles away from where I live. I still intend to publish the book, but I've been too busy with Konstantin's tales.
PDB: Will there be a sequel to The Fix?
KN: Yes, and it's already written! Initially titled I'm Dead Again, another crime / humour story with Konstantin and Mr Lamb at its heart again. I've also produced a series of novellas as a back story to The Fix. All of these are currently with Caffeine Nights for consideration. I'm working on another full length novel right now.
PDB: Where can people find out about your writing?
KN: The Fix is published on a variety of platforms, but the majority of the reviews are on Amazon UK. I can also be tracked down on Facebook, twitter and review for Al's Books and Pals blog.