Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Charlie on Tour #2

You learn all kinds of things when you have a website. Some are things you don't want to learn, like the fact that people get all kinds of ass problems. I don't know why google leads them to, but any combination of "ass" and "rash" does just that. The latest being "I got a rash in my ass and it is wet". My advice? Go inside. Then you'll eliminate the rain and just have the rash to contend with.

Hey, this was meant to be a post about BookExpo America, which is where I have been today, after a posh Amazon do last night on the top floor of the Empire State Building, or somewhere. The thing about trade fairs such as this is that I can spend all day there, talking to a thousand people, and not know what's going on. There is always some publishing world intrigue that goes way over my head, even though everyone is apparently talking about it, you later hear. Or maybe it goes *under* my head? Have you thought about that, huh, publishing world? Either way, I have never got to grips with the publishing business. To paraphrase Barry Manilow, I write the books. He writes the songs, me the books. Between us we get it covered. (Massively obscure trivia fans, I reference one of Barry's songs in Graven Image. Which one?)

Politics and wilful ignorance aside, it was a blast. Meeting guys whose books I have read and dug such as Duane Swierczynski, Jason Starr, Megan Abbott and Jack Ketchum... finding new ones whose books have got me interested such as Johnny Shaw, Shaun Morey and John Rector... this is what it is all about. Plenty of others too and I feel bad for not printing a long list, but we aren't big on long lists here at the Charlie Williams Blog. You know that.

Someone told me Ice T was there today. I can't believe I missed him. I am of the generation and 80s tribe that revered him as a Hip Hop pioneer. But I ain't talking about Cop Killer... I'm talking proper old skool.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Blakey interview

Allan Guthrie rather bravely interviews the man himself - Royston Blake. Does he survive? Find out.

Many thanks to Al for the frank questions.

Charlie on Tour #1

Hey, I am in NYC for BookExpo America. I'm sure the lady at border control thought I was a bare-faced liar, but she let me through anyway, begrudgingly. (Hey, I wasn't lying!) Sadly Royston Blake didn't fare so well. When the man frisked him the wrong way he sort of exploded, and they dragged him away. It took 10 of them, I swear. Not sure where is now. Maybe I'll link up with him on the way back.

It is nice here in New York. Kind of like the original York (which it was clearly based on), but with slightly more yellow hansom cabs. I am lagged to the eyeballs and the pit is calling, but hunger calls louder, so I just went round the block and bought a muffin. That is the best muffin I have ever known! I also bought a couple of beers, which I can't make the same claim for. Cold and wet though, which is the important thing.

Tomorrow I meet my generous hosts from Amazon, who are down from the Peruvian ranforests or wherever the Amazon actually is. I hope they don't get too freaked out by the cars and things. You worry about these remote tribes. Still, they speak very good English, because I have talked to some of them on the phone. They also have pretty good taste in books, I reckon.

And hey - ebooks save those trees. (Especially at $0.99.)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Blakey on Tour - aside #3

Not been much from Blakey this week, has there? I assure you that it is down to sheer not having enough time. That and laziness... but the understandable kind of laziness, that kicks in when faced with obligations looming. Next week I'm at BookExpo in New York, so prob not much touring from Blakey then either. But I promise he will be off in that burger van again right after. Or possibly the hearse, if he can get it out of the police pound. Until then, we'll have to leave him in the dire straits he finds himself. Thank you to everyone who has been following it. Please come back. Blakey needs you!

(Oh, and BTW, Deadfolk - Royston Blake's first outing - is currently 99c for Kindle and $5.99 paperback on Cheap pricing on next week too, I hear.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Royston Blake's Top 10 Reads

Ever wondered what a guy like Royston Blake might read? Perhaps you'd like to find out what literary works shaped him, so that you could read them too and maybe become a bit more like him? Reader, your prayers are answered. Jenny Davidson asked him (via me) to spill the beans for her Light Reading blog, and he duly obliged. (Who knew Michael Knight went to Hazzard County?)

Many thanks (and a few apologies) to Jenny!

Happy Birthday ST

Ah, 1986. The Beastie Boys' "Fight For Your Right" on the radio, Rocky IV showing down at the Odeon... and Peter Ayrton breathing life into a new publishing house called Serpent's Tail. "Committed to publishing extravagant, outlaw voices neglected by the mainstream," goes their mission statement. I don't know if it was the same back in the 80s, but it sure has lived up to that objective for most of the quarter century since. Happy birthday Serpent's Tail. Without you, the High Street bookshop would be a whole lot greyer.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

BEA Interview

Interview with me conducted by Helen Smith. I reply in my usual slack-jawed way to her incisive questions about BookExpo and the USA in general. Helen is the author of Alison Wonderland and Three Sisters, amongst others.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

RB is back

DEADFOLK is re-launched today in paperback and Kindle formats in the UK, US and Canada. If you've seen me mention some aggressive, potty-mouthed guy called Blakey on this blog and you wondered what he was about, here is your chance to find out. The other books in the series will ensue throughout the summer, but here is where it starts... with a doorman, a crap town and a rumour that he has lost his bottle. You can check some reviews of the first edition, but here is a snippet that points to this small-town, slang-laced tale having a slightly wider appeal... maybe:

Royston Blake, Head Doorman at Hopper’s Wine Bar & Bistro, somewhere in England’s West Country, wouldn’t know a bright idea “if it did a shite in my pocket.” Which is exactly why I like him, and why this comic noir from cult favorite Williams makes such perfect sense in a world where the shite is everywhere but in your pocket.
Bill Ott - Booklist

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Blakey on Tour... another aside

I was going to write a blog whinging about how I've been tricked by evil forces into writing a substantial piece of fiction online, in first draft form, in front of millions of people (although only a select number are reading... ahem). But fuck that. It's fun, right? I don't know what's going to happen and nor do you. And the online thing means I don't get the option to go back and change things, which makes it simpler. One way or another, better or worser, we'll be guiding Blakey home. Or following in horror as he lurches blindly and somehow wakes up on his doorstep, more like.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Twisted Interview

Interview with me conducted by David McWilliam of Twisted Tales. Theme is crime and horror. This is in advance of a great event in Liverpool on May 19th. And I don't mean Everton v Chelsea - that's the Sunday following.

Next instalment of Blakey on Tour up later today...