Woot! Dark Star beer at our Dark and Stormy launch!

A Dark Star brew at a Dark & Stormy launch?

It would be rude not to!

Dark Star dark star 2Kindly raise your glasses to the wonderful folk at Dark Star Brewing Company for sponsoring the beer at our party this year to kick off our May 23rd to 25th launch weekend of crime book, film and theatre events here in Brighton!

Truly we are not worthy. We cannot wait.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Brighton Rock & Barry Forshaw tickets selling fast!

Roll up, roll up!

Only a few tickets left to see our screening of the classic Brighton Rock, introduced by legendary crime aficionado Barry Forshaw on Sunday 25th May, as part of the Dark & Stormy festival.

Tickets available here.

Barry Euro Noir

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

OI! GET YOUR KICKS DOWN THE FLICKS – Dark & Stormy crime films here in Brighton this May!

Ooh! Ah! Gee-zah!


A dirty great monster of a rumour has been circulating that tickets for our three butt-kickingly cool crime film capers have now sold out.

This is right load of pony, a bloomin’ travesty, in fact.

The truth of the matter is that we DID sell out, but now those lovely geezers over at Picturehouse Cinemas have moved ‘Layer Cake’, ‘Brighton Rock’ and ‘Down Terrace’ onto bigger screens.


Meaning tickets are now available once more to buy for:

‘Layer Cake’ – introduced by its writer, JJ Connolly and served with complementary tea and cake. Friday 23 May, 6.30.

‘Down Terrace’ – a homegrown Brighton classic, introduced by its director, the talented Mr Ben Wheatley. Saturday 24 May, 6.30.

‘Brighton Rock’ – yeah, the original, innit? Introduced by film critic and all round criminal genius, Barry Forshaw. Sunday 25 May, 2.00


So get your bloody skates on down to the website for Dukes at Komedia – Brighton’s coolest indie cinema – and get yours while it’s hot!



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This week’s bargain Oxfam charity shop record is: Hot Dance Music From Cuba!

This week's bargain Oxfam charity shop record is: Hot Dance Music From Cuba!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Day at Get Writing 2014 by Morgen Bailey

Want to know what happens at a writing convention? Here you go. Via Morgen Bailey on WordPress.

Morgen 'with an E' Bailey

Get Writing badge I went to the annual Get Writing conference, hosted by Verulam Writers Circle – my fifth time – last Saturday so I thought I’d share the day with you.

After a minor diversion (to drop off my dog), I arrived at the University of Herfordshire’s campus just in time to grab a cup of (fruit) tea before going into the main hall for the first of a series of talks. I’d been on workshops in previous years and now that I teach, I decided to have a day off. Not that I still wouldn’t learn something, we all do, but I enjoyed staying in one place this time.

After introductions by VWC leads Dave Weaver and John Spencer, Ian Skillicorn talked about National Short Story Week and the reason behind it; to get people writing and reading short stories. He started NSSW as he was doing short story radio and wanted to…

View original post 5,990 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The joys of collaborating with an illustrator – cartoonification, dammit!

One of the real joys of writing is that you sometimes get to collaboration a project with people with a completely different skill set to yourself.

My last real conversation with an art teacher was when I was asked why I’d drawn machine guns on a seagull. ‘Obvious, isn’t it?’ I answered. ‘So it can shoot stuff.’

Aside from being perturbed by my potentially unhealthy (though latterly useful, career-wise, I reckon) preoccupation with weaponry and destruction, it was clear to me even from this early age that I was not destined to join the ranks of Matisse, Chagall, Monet, or even Tony Hart.

And wisely I’ve since then left that to the professionals – real artists like Gillian Johnson, who illustrated the recent parody I wrote with Josie Lloyd, We’re Going on a Bar Hunt.

Not only did we have a great laugh planning it, writing it and matching up the pictures and words, but the Rees family got ‘cartoonified’ for the bio bit at the back of the book. Even better, the ever generous Gillian sent us a copy of the original artwork for this today, and here it is.


The bald one next to the curly ones is me, and looking at it now reminds me how much more a painting or drawing can capture than the iPhone snaps we more often than not settle for these days.

It might even encourage me to pick up a paintbrush myself. (Though I still can’t help feeling that the above picture might look even better with an AK-47 or two.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Oi, over here! How to get noticed in publishing…

Here’s a link to a good article in The Bookseller on the art of waving a flag in space and getting yourself some attention, where Curtis Brown MD, Jonny Geller, discusses the best ways to make noise in today’s overcrowded publishing market.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tony Parsons & The Art of Boxing: The Murder Bag is coming your way…

Last night’s Culture Show on BBC2, “The Art of Boxing”, was a classic. Introduced by author Tony Parsons, it featured a potted history of boxing and its association with the arts in the 20th century. It also presented a pretty good case for boxing being accepted as an art in itself.

A lineup of famous boxing fans was reeled out: Hemingway, Miro, T S Elliot, Picasso, Manet, The Beatles and Joyce Carol Oates… to name but a few. And not only did they watch, but plenty of them actually boxed as well.

Tony Parsons boxes too. Has done for the last ten years, as we got to witness last night on BBC2, as he went through his paces and seemed to be giving as good as he got. And he’s not the only one. Boxing here in the UK, after finding itself unfashionably violent in the 60s and 70s, is enjoying a comeback.

Which means it’s only a matter of time, of course, before we see this reflected once more in the arts. The first film ever made was of a boxing match in 1897. Boxing is what secured the switchover for the American public from the movies to the small screen (like snooker, it’s a perfect fit). Countless movies, songs, photos and paintings revolve around it.

And now Tony Parsons’ new literary departure does too. The Murder Bag is his first crime novel, after his phenomenally successful fiction series on post-war masculinity, which began with Man and Boy.

And starring in The Murder Bag is Detective Max Wolfe of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command. Single parent. Insomniac. Dog lover. Coffee addict. Orphan. Devoted husband of a brutally departed wife, defender of the weak and every murderer’s worst nightmare. Oh, and you guessed it, he’s a boxer too.

Here’s a picture of me holding an advance copy in my far from Henry Cooper-sized left fist. It looks good. Maybe even knock out. I’m looking forward to reading it and will report back once I’ve made it through to the bell.

Murder bag

For those of you lucky enough to be able to be in the vicinity of Brighton on May bank holiday weekend,Tony Parsons will also be appearing as part of the Dark & Stormy crime festival. Tickets available here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Stylish, fresh & cool. Review of debut crime novel, Heartman, by M. P. Wright…

Crying out to be made into a TV series, this is an excellent debut from M.P. Wright. Set in Bristol in 1964 and featuring JT Ellington, as a Barbadian ex-cop who’s forced to turn detective after a young woman goes missing. This is as stylish, fresh and cool as the decade it’s set in. JT Ellington is one hell of a character and Heartman is one hell of a book. It’ll hit the shops on July 1st. Pre-order your copy here.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Review: Martin Harbottle’s Appreciation of Time – one very funny book…

A great premise: each time pissed off commuter Dan gets delayed on the way to work, he decides to write an email to the MD of Premier Westwood trains, Martin Harbottle, determined to waste just as much of Martin’s time as Martin has wasted of his.


I think anyone who’s ever had to commute will identify immediately with Dan and admire him for the fact he decides to take a stand, no matter how petty and British that stand may initially appear to be. This is both witty and vicious by turn, but it’s saved from being a mere fictionalisation of The Timewaster Letters by the fact that Dan reveals more and more about his life as a journalist on a national tabloid (one about to run into all sorts of trouble in an extremely topical way) as the novel progresses.

As Martin’s life begins to unravel, these elements of voyeurism drive the narrative in an increasingly compelling fashion. Rather wonderfully, the chapter lengths (having apparently been written by author, Dominic Utton, during his own repetitive Oxford to London commute), are the perfect length for any other commuters finding themselves similarly frustrated and in need of something to pass the time.

A great new comic voice, as funny as Adrian Mole’s adult diaries, and every bit as clever as skewering where we’re at as a society right now.

Get your copy here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments