Allan Guthrie’s novel SLAMMER is one of my favourite books and he’s recently released a couple of cracking eBooks too.
Allan was decent enough to answer some of my daft questions recently so ‘Hey Ho, Lets Go!’
PDB: Congratulations on Bye Bye Baby getting into the Kindle Crime Top Ten and Killing Mum getting into the Kindle Thriller Top Twenty. Is this the end of ‘proper’ books for you?
AG: Thanks! Ebooks represent a terrific opportunity for us ‘mid-list’ writers, no question. But I think it’s a mistake to look at it as an either/or proposition. I’d like to be greedy and have both! I’ve been lucky enough to have managed that with both the books you’ve mentioned, KILLING MUM having come out in paperback in June ’09, and BYE BYE BABY due out in 2013.
PDB: Bye Bye Baby is an adaptation of a short story of the same name. How did that work out?
AG: The original short story was commissioned as part of an anthology for Victim Support Scotland called SHATTERED. I’d been mulling around the central idea for quite some time and had several different permutations in mind. The remit for the VSS story was to tell it from the perspective of the victim. So that’s what I did. I enjoyed the result quite a bit but felt there was more to tell. So I contacted the editor of my novella KILL CLOCK at Barrington Stoke and asked her if she’d be interested in acquiring another novella. I sent along the BYE BYE BABY short story and explained it would be a version of this told from the detective’s point of view and continuing with a major new twist from where the original left off. She loved the story but wanted to know what would happen next. I told her, and she liked it.
|PDB: Do you think there’s a big difference between British and American crime writers?|
AG: I think there’s a massive difference just between British crime writers. There’s also a huge difference among American crime writers. But lots of American writers are similar to lots of British writers, and vice versa. How’s that for a cop-out?
PDB: Could you tell us something about your upcoming thrillers?
AG: I’m working on two thrillers right now. BLOOD WILL OUT, a high concept police thriller in the tradition of BYE BYE BABY. And LOVEBLIND, a noir love story, more along the lines of KILLING MUM.
|PDB: Have you had any film or TV interest in your books?|
AG: Yes. TWO-WAY SPLIT has been in film development for a good few years, and is getting quite close to being fully financed. This might be the year. Hope so. SLAMMER was with a major Hollywood producer for a while but an opportunity came up in the UK which made more sense, so we’re signing off on the paperwork for that. HARD MAN was on the cusp of being optioned with a producer, director and screenwriter attached — and what a combination they were too. But it fell to pieces on account of a specific clause dealing with character rights. Tragic, cause that would have been one hell of a film. SAVAGE NIGHT is also under option, with one of my favourite novelists writing the screenplay. And no, I’m not telling you who.
PDB: Audio books seem to have become more popular in recent years. What do you think of them?
AG: I have very little experience of them, to be honest. I’ve never listened to more than about 30 seconds of one, not even my own. If I drove, I expect they’d be a godsend. But since I don’t drive, I can always read when I’m travelling.
PDB: You act as agent for all manner of dodgy types like Donna Moore and Anthony Neil Smith. How did that happen?
AG: Before I was an agent with Jenny Brown Associates, I used to recommend lots of writers to my own agent. He was able to take on one or two, but was too busy to handle them all. So one day he suggested I join JBA and set up my own client list. I assumed he was joking and said nothing further. But over the next year he kept mentioning it and eventually I realised he was serious. So in October 2005 I thought I’d give it a go with just a few clients, half a dozen or so. Last count I had 25.
PDB: How is the new eBook blog, Ebooks That Sell working out?
AG: Ebooks That Sell is doing fine, thanks. I have no expectations; it’s just something I wanted to do. My personal website started out as a showcase for noir writers at a time when I was obsessed with noir fiction. I suppose it’s no surprise that I should open up a showcase for eBooks at the moment. I have another blog about just launched which combines the two: eBook crime fiction only. It’s called Criminal-e
Allan Guthrie‘s Official Website, NOIR ORIGINALS, is here.