Paul D. Brazill. An Englishman now living in Poland (probably residing in a bar somewhere nursing something strong and alcoholic and dreaming up more mayhem). Writer. Bon Vivant. World traveler. And great at painting the darker side of 'the lost' found in every society.
The guy is the creator of the Drunk On the Moon series featuring a private investigator/werewolf named Roman Dalton. A really innovative series where he created the character and wrote the first installment and then invited other writers to pitch in and continue the series along. So far five DOTM installments are out. More are coming.
He has short stories in about a half dozen or more ezines and anthologies all over the 'Net. And he's been a driving force in Brit Grit; a collection of noir stories from some of the rising stars and current headliners in British crime fiction.
If you don't know who he is, you really need to get out more. Or, at least, scour the internet more when it comes to writing dark noir fiction. They guy is everywhere. Brilliant, articulate---definitely twisted in the way he can compose a story--the guy is a joy to talk. And what he has to say about writing and describing the dark side of humanity's soul is thought provoking.
Can't exactly remember how we met on the 'Net. Doesn't matter. Just know that somewhere along those electronic outings we clicked. We became friends (or, at least, on my side I think we became friends). Now we share a couple of publishers and so you could say we are stable mates.
I thought I'd ask him a few questions and sit back and see what he had to say.
1. Your word-choice, sentence structure, in your stories are so scrumptiously different. Where did you come up with that style?
Maybe it's because I don't really have clue what I'm doing!
I started writing Six Sentence stories and the 100 word stories for Flashshots because I knew that I may actually finish something before the liver explodes.So maybe it's evolved from that?
I've written song lyrics in the past, too- fancied myself as Johnny Mercer or Tom Waits - so maybe that's an influence.
But it's probably just becuase ad hoc, slapdash, twoddle!
2. Why noir and not hard boiled? What is it about Life's discarded souls which so attracts you to write about them?
To quote the Todd Browning film Freaks :'One Of Us! One Of Us!'
These are my people!
I've always felt one of the flotsam and jetsam of life. Eternally discombobulated. So, it's natural for me to write about THOSE people and THAT world. The appeal of a mainstream life has eluded me, so there's no way I could write about it.
3. You've been a good friend and a vocal advocate for new writers struggling along in the same genre. Aren't you worried about singing too much praise of others and not enough about yourself?
Nah, I get more than my share of praise and attention.
4. A master short story writer, which do you prefer: short stories or novels. And tell us why, if you please.
I don't prefer either. There are a lot more novels around than short stories and I think great short stories are little treasures. The thing with a short story is that every line counts. Every line is seen. You can't hide. It's a more vulnerable form than a novel. Even a hardboiled short story.
A novel gives you more time and allows you to go of in different directions.Though, sometimes a writer can get lost and enjoy the scenery too much. But look at something like Declan Burke's 'Absolute Zero Cool.' there is so much in that book and it's ALL good. That is a great use of the novel's 'space.'
5. Writing the short story--lot's of forethought involved before writing? Or do you kind of 'wing it' as you write?
Wing it. Always. I've never planned anything in my life. I start of with a word, image, phrase, sound and 'let the writing lead you,' as Chandler said. Or was it Joey?
6. Can we expect you to remain the master short story writer--or do you see your future drifting off toward the novelist side of the equation?
I'll be doing a couple more novellas but I'll always write short stories. Always write flash fiction.
It was great doing a piece this year for Blink Ink's Noir special - 50 word stories are beaut!
Like I said. You need to get to know this guy. Odd, wonderful, strange things comes out of his head. Always fascinating to read.