Crack Apple & Pop
Tony is a handsome young boxer forced into a life of crime after suffering a vicious blow in the ring.
Seduced by the glitz and glamour of London and mentored by charismatic gang lord Don March he rises rapidly up the crime ladder until he spies an opportunity to start a semi-legit Natural Highs business.
Bankrolled by an eccentric British dandy and accompanied by a cast of starry misfits including a 3ft tall blue-haired money man, an Etonian drug mule, two dominatrix debt collectors, a dodgy lawyer and a host of demi-celebs, Tony carves out a roll for himself in a city where money creates its’ own morality.
All seems to be going well until in the shadows, a Bollywood mobster threatens to derail their plans.
Chaos ensues, of course it does – wonderful, beautiful, visceral chaos.
The deft wit of Hammett meets the vivid poetics of Chandler: Crack Apple and Pop is slick smart and razor sharp. A gritty and sometimes metafictive slice of London noir.
A city of artful dodgers, yardie gangsters, kinky aristos, cocaine dusted starlets and social thrill seekers where everyone’s hustling and everyone’s getting high.
Whether it’s law, finance, the music biz, or the boxing ring: money is king. And only the ones prepared to risk everything will survive…
Excited by the sound of this novel I contacted Saira and asked her some burning questions:
Thank you for inviting me to your blog:
Q1) What inspired you to write Crack Apple and Pop?
The comic strip criminality of London’s drug culture proved irresistible. There is a cartoonish quality to crime in its motley mix of social misfits, its dandies, and thugs, its exaggerated characters and crackpot schemes that I wanted to draw out in my fiction, so I added a bit of comic dash and caricature to what was already a wild scene. And aside from the comic absurdities you find there I wanted to address the raging racial ,and class conflict that slices through British society. Interestingly, the thread that binds all these communities together was the rampant use of drugs; cocaine was a democratizing feature of the club and tabloid culture that dominated London life, it permeated every sector of British society, and I wanted to explore that.
Q2) Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv/film?
Freddie Highmore would be excellent as Richard, the sleazy -coked up Cristal popping lawyer / fixer. Peter Dinklage as Bernie, the blue Mohawked Mensa Genius /four flushing bookkeeper and Michael B Jordan, the charismatic, promising young boxer forced into a life of crime.
Q3) How many rejections did you get before a publishing deal?
I didn’t keep count but over 20, probably close to 30 at least.
Q4) Which authors inspired you to write?
When I was a child I used to enjoy escaping into far off worlds through fairy tales. Riquet a la Houppe (Riquet with the Tuft) was a story that stuck with me, a French fairy tale about a Prince who bestows wisdom on a beautiful but dim-witted princess. Later, I discovered Charles Dickens and was inspired by his ability to create stories that ultimately led to social and political reform. Music, poetry art and movies have all been integral in inspiring me to write. From Baudelaire to James Brown via Basquiat.
Q5) What are your writing routines?
The three W’s: Whatever, whenever, wherever. I write what I can, where I can, whenever I can.
Q6) If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?
Possibly a nerdy, big mouthed slow- talking, shoe -gazing rapper.
Q7) Tell me Something About Yourself Your Readers Might Not Know?
I once appeared at my school assembly in a lime green two-piece bikini and flip flops. It was the middle of winter. I was aged about seven or eight years old. I had smuggled my beachwear into school because I didn’t like wearing the starchy school uniform, and I had only recently arrived in England after living in Africa. I genuinely believed if I wore the swimsuit I would get to go back to the beach. I remember feeling incredibly free as well as hugely relieved when I removed my school tie. Suffice to say, my stiff-suited headmistress did not share my enthusiasm, and I was severely reprimanded.
Thank you Saira, X
Saira Viola is an acclaimed novelist, poet, and song lyricist. From her early poetic experimentation with language, image and sound (a technique she has dubbed sonic scatterscript) to her novelistic ventures into the dark, absurd world of contemporary crime fiction, Viola’s work pulses with iconoclastic brio that mischievously blasts the golden calves of our times. Literary Heavyweight Benjamin Zephaniah, has praised her ‘twisted beautiful imagination,’ and polymathic genius, Heathcote Williams (RIP) her ‘hypnotic explosive’, writing style. Twice Nominated for Best of The Net 2017 Pushcart Prize Nominee 2017 Rascal Magazine. Viola’s poetry collection Flowers of War debuted at the New York Poetry Festival and published by UB Press. Novels Jukebox (Fahrenheit Press) Crack Apple and Pop (Fahrenheit Press) Viola is a regular contributor to counterculture magazines Gonzo Today and International Times.
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