Paul Brazil gets around. A tireless writer with an offbeat view of crime fiction, he writes the Roman Dalton series of PI novels, as well as other standalone books and stories (Guns of Brixton, Gumshoe.). Paul recently started Blackwitch Press. Today One Bite at a Time takes a look at the multi-faceted Mr. Brazill.
One Bite at a Time: Let’s start with a nice, easy, “chicken or the egg?” question. Which came first, Blackwitch Press, or Roman Dalton?
Paul Brazill: Roman Dalton started off in a story called Drunk On The Moon that I wrote for the late lamented Dark Valentine Magazine a couple of years ago. He later appeared in a few more stories that have been published in various anthologies. I wanted to collect the stories together so I came up with Blackwitch Press.
OBAAT: Okay, here’s a softball if there ever was one: what makes Roman Dalton different from all the other PIs out there, and why did you decide to make him different in that manner?
PB: He’s a werewolf. I just liked the idea of creating my own world and the PI is always an outcast, as is the werewolf – even in a world of supernatural creatures, the werewolf is always the outsider. It just seemed natural, to be honest.
OBAAT: Does Dalton’s unique background make him better suited than other PIs for certain kinds of work?
PB: He has a better chance of escaping Haitian voodoo lords and zombie henchmen than the normal PI though his actual detection skills do seem to leave a lot to be desired.
OBAAT: Once you decided what it was set Dalton apart, did you discover anything unexpected in the writing? Things you were able—or not able—to do?
PB: I realised that it was all about Dalton’s ‘world’ and creating an equally colourful cast of supporting characters was great fun. It’s not a one man show.
OBAAT: Given everything else you’re into (see exhaustive list above), why start a publishing venture?
PB: I just wanted to put the Dalton stories in a package and then saw the opportunity to put out some other things and thought why not? It’s only my stuff. If it all goes pear shaped it’s only me with egg on my face, which worries me not a jot.
OBAAT: Now that Blackwitch is off the ground, what about it was harder than you expected? Easier? Maybe neither, but somehow different?
PB: The ebook was easy because I used professionals to do the heavy lifting before I put it online. I got Marcin Drzewiecki to do the cover, Julie Lewthwaite to edit and proofread and Craig Douglas for the formatting.
I’m still trying to get my head around formatting the cover for CreateSpace. I suspect I’ll have to ask someone to do it for me!
OBAAT: Where do you want to go with Blackwitch?
PB: I want to put out a couple more of my books and then an anthology or two. After that, I’ll just see how it goes.
OBAAT: What was it got a nice English lad such as yourself to move to Poland? (No offense to Poland. The Sole Heir is one-quarter Polish ancestry.)
PB: I did a TEFL course in Spain in 2001 and after that applied for various teaching jobs around the world. The first school to sort things out was here in Poland. I’ve been here since then, though in various cities. Now I’m a dad, I’m not going anywhere else.