Crack Apple & Pop by Saira Viola @sairaviola @F13Noir @fahrenheitpress @damppebbles #crackappleandpop #damppebblesblogtours

Crack Apple & Pop by Saira Viola @sairaviola @F13Noir @fahrenheitpress  @damppebbles #crackappleandpop #damppebblesblogtours

Crack Apple & Pop

crack apple and 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…

Author Q&A

Saira Viola

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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Blog Tour: Dead in the Water @SimonBowerBooks @MiddleFarmPress @damppebbles

Blog Tour: Dead in the Water @SimonBowerBooks @MiddleFarmPress @damppebbles

Dead in the Water

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Was it murder, suicide or an accident? Who will be next to die?

Six international friends all appear to be successful, albeit to different levels. A human rights’ lawyer, an IT geek, a businessman, a waitress, a phone guy and a physiotherapist. None of them are known to the police.

One of them must know what happened that fateful night on the catamaran.

Agent Georges Fournier is assigned the case in the French resort town near Antibes. He’s short on time, with a growing health problem and a District Attorney who just wants the case closed as accidental. But he’s not letting go.

Chrissie is a single mother and respected flight attendant in New York. When she finds out who her father is, she’s ecstatic and wants to meet him.

But within a week she’d wish she’d never known.

My Thoughts

Dead in the water starts with a bang, with a character floating in the Mediterranean and we read her last dying thoughts until she sinks to the bottom. We then zip five months back and we are introduced to the story through the character Charlie who seems to be telling the story. The chapters then go on to introduce the other characters Chrissie, Ana, Scot, Len, Mia and Agent Fournier.

The story jumps around a bit between the characters, locations and where we are in the timeline of the story. I found the beginning of the book a bit confusing as I struggled to grasp what was going on and who was who. Once I worked out what the formula of the book was I began to enjoy it more and tore through the pages.

The story is told in 1st person through Charlie’s eyes and 3rd person for the other character’s. Simon has carefully woven a novel out of seven different strands, seven character’s stories and their views on the what happened and why they did what they did. Simon has more or less written seven different stories and then spent time weaving them into a novel. Simon makes you feel that you were there with the character’s and at every location in the story.

This book involves some time invested in the beginning but once you get used to this unique and different way of story telling you’ll be flying through the book. I am very interested and keen to see what Simon does next.

***

SIMONBOWERSimon Bower is a British and Canadian author born in Berkshire in 1973. Since 1998, he’s adopted a global lifestyle, setting up home at times in Europe, Africa and North America.

In 2016 Simon turned to writing full time, which led to his first published work, Dead in the Water, being released in paperback and eBook by Middle Farm Press in 2018.

Simon currently lives in France, near the Swiss border, where his young family, mountains, acrylic paint and sharpened skis keep him in regular mischief.

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My Thanks to Emma at Damppebbles and Simon Bower for giving me the chance to read Dead in the Water.