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Brit Grit Alley

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

By Paul D. Brazill 

Today down Brit Grit Alley, I natter to up and coming Brit Grit star Jason Beech.

PDB: Can you pitch your latest book in 25 words or less?

Criminals, dodgy cops, a strange woman controlling a village, flies, and ancient Greek hatreds will entertain you in Bullets, Teeth & Fists.

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

I'm in love with Toy and Howler. Lebanon was a tense, oppressive little beauty of a film, except for one dodgy nudity scene involving a woman who'd just lost her child. No need for that. I recently finished season 5 of Breaking Bad, and I'm still reading articles about it. Even Liked it on Facebook.

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

If the story grabs you, then you get lost and don't think about it too much. I recently read Beat to a Pulp's Superhero anthology. I didn't think about the technical side of it until I'd finished and sat to review the beast. A good story always makes you switch off. When you see a million errors, then all that goes out the window.

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

No. Though after watching Breaking Bad Extras, I'd love to get involved in how they wrote that show. Telling stories by committee shouldn't work, but that proves such a prejudice wrong. It looks like a lot of fun.

PDB: How much research goes into each book?

As much as I need. I don't go overboard, but some good pre-reading can seep nicely into the story, rather than turn it into a manual. In Bullets... I'd read a lot of Greek history and I let that inform the two main characters' motives.

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

In terms of sales, useless, but that's because I'm the worst marketer ever. But I'm fairly new to this, and I need to get more stuff out. In terms of talking to people, brilliant. I've learned a lot.

And Andrew Peters makes me laugh.

PDB: What's on the cards for 2014?

I'm aiming to finish Moorlands, a novel about a former council estate kid, Larry, on his uppers as an adult. The novel starts with him breaking into his old house for an old ring he stole from a neighbour years before, after finding out its value. He can't find it under the well-fingered floorboard where he hid it all that time ago. His step-dad, Bill, an ex-cop, bangs on his door the next day, rolling the jewellery between his index and thumb. Larry's eyes show the fire revealing his cool reaction as bullshit. He can have it - if he looks for his estranged sister, who's gone missing.

The search will make Larry confront his past, question the incident in the woods where he left her alone with friends in the woods all those years ago, and ask whether he really wants to find her.

I'll also have another short story collection coming out. No title yet, but I'm aiming for June-July with that one.

Bio: My name is Jason Beech, from Steel City, Sheffield, in England, but now living with my wife and daughter in New Jersey. As a kid I once stole a mushroom from a corner shop. The owner's dog followed me all the way home, making me walk about a mile's diversion from where I lived to shake the damn thing off. Otherwise, I'm a law-abiding citizen who loves crime fiction.

Thanks Jason!

  There'll be more carryings on down Brit Grit Alley very soon, sorta kinda thing, like.

Paul D. Brazill is the author of Gumshoe, Guns Of Brixton and Roman Dalton - Werewolf PI. He was born in England and lives in Poland. He is an International Thriller Writers Inc member whose writing has been translated into Italian, Polish and Slovene. He has had writing published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Mammoth Books of Best British Crime 8,10 and 11, alongside the likes of Ian Rankin, Neil Gaiman and Lee Child. He has edited a few anthologies, including the best-selling True Brit Grit – with Luca Veste. HE BLOGS HERE.