Truth Lies Bleeding – Tony Black Interview By Paul D Brazill

Scottish crime writer Tony Black has written four cracking novels featuring the wonderfully stroppy journalist -turned -Private Eye Gus Dury. In his latest novel, TRUTH LIES BLEEDING, however, Black has taken a rest from Dury. The protagonist is Detective Inspector Rob Brennan.

Tony was king enough to answer a few of my typically ad hoc and slap dash questions.

PDB: Your new novel, TRUTH LIES BLEEDING, is a police procedural. Considering that the portrayal of the police in the Gus Dury books is hardly favourable, was it difficult to write from a policeman’s perspective?

First of all, Constable Brazill, I dispute that the Boys in Blue got anything other than a fair crack of the whip! … But, moving on, Ocifer, it was as difficult as every book is; each one is a mountain to climb – the last one teaches you very little about the challenges of the next.

PDB: How do you think D. I. Rob Brennan, from TRUTH LIES BLEEDING, would get on with Gus?

Not at all, to be honest. Rob is too together to be bothered with a wastrel like Gus … he’d spend the whole time shaking his head and looking for a pretext to arrest him. Rob is, perhaps, the polar opposite of Gus … though; I’ve a sneaking suspicion that Rob is what Gus could have become, in terms of making a place for himself in the world, if the drink hadn’t taken hold.

PDB: What’s the SP on Robert ‘Begbie’ Carlyle wanting to play Gus Dury in a film of Paying For It?

I haven’t heard that he wants to play Dury but if he does I’d be over the moon. There’s a bloke in Edinburgh who is planning to make the movie and his top pick is Carlyle – mine too, I’d have to say – but I have no idea what stage they’re at with putting the deal to ‘Begbie’ himself. So long as I don’t get glassed for it, I’m happy!

PDB: You’re now part of Pulp Press‘ damned crew. How the hell did that happen?

When Danny got his imprint off the ground I was blown away; he really knows what he’s doing and has some truly fantastic work in print now. I’d said from the off that I’d be delighted to give Danny something for Pulp Press but – as with everything in this racket – it took a while thrashing out the contract with my agent and existing publisher. I delivered the novella about a week ago and I had just a frickin blast writing it (Danny’s taste is as out there as mine) so delighted to be on the team. We need more imprints like Pulp Press because they are taking the chances that the big boys aren’t. More power to them.

PDB: Allan Guthrie has made waves, nay Tsunami, in the world of epublishing. Is that of interest to you?

Well, it didn’t interest me that much until Al started driving a 911 and booking out The Ivy … last I checked his novella BYE BYE BABY (it’s about the Bay City Rollers, I think) was number 15 in the Amazon eBook chart which is an incredible result. I can honestly say until the last few weeks I’ve taken no interest in e-publishing at all, but it’s clear now that we’ve reached a tipping point … I get more emails to my site about my Kindle editions than anything else. So, yeah, I’m getting pretty interested…

PDB: Why the transplant from sunny Scotland to grey and rainy Australia?


I’m going back to Scotland in two days … I’ve been in Australia pimping myself to bookstores and libraries, generally scaring the population of the Lucky Country with tales of urban depravation and decay from my side of the globe; they seem to like it.

PDB: Do you listen to music while you write?

Most of the time, yeah. I used to listen to stuff like Ravel because anything with lyrics, I’d find the words getting in the way, but for TRUTH LIES BLEEDING I was able to listen to Elvis Costello, so my ability to walk and chew gum at the same time has obviously evolved a wee bit.

PDB: The X Factor. Bread and circuses or just harmless fun?

That show is a greater threat to civilisation than global warming … Aleister Crowley had a less corrupting influence on youth!

PDB: Are Bloggers just a bunch of scabs stealing the bread from the mouths of proper journalists?  

Hmnnn … I’ve had this debate with many ‘journalists’ and the jury is out. But then, we don’t have journalists anymore, we have ‘content providers’.  In my opinion, some blogs are actually better than the websites of major newspapers so I’d have to say no. I love blogs; I spend more time on blogs than I do anywhere else on the net. But, I was never a committed journo … it just paid the bills … so I’m not the best person to answer this question.

PDB: Are you looking forward to the Royal Wedding?

Yeah, like old age, bum-grapes and incontinence.

Thanks Tony!

You can find more information about Tony Black and his books at his cool looking website :


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