Casting Call: Repetition Kills You

“If you can imagine Charles Dance with a firearm fetish and a floral-patterned rayon shirt, and you are in the right ballpark!”

This week I had the pleasure of returning to Toe Six Press, where I contributed a Casting Call feature for my new book, Repetition Kills You.

Thanks to Sandra Ruttan for running the piece!



Dancing With Myself @ Sea Minor

“The common perception is that short story collections don’t sell, and yet you have published two this year. What’s wrong with writing a fucking novel, like everyone else?”

This week Nigel Bird, a fellow All Due Respect author, let me interview myself as part of his Dancing With Myself series. I tried to ask myself a bunch of questions which no one else has asked me, and realised that I am my own toughest interrogator!

You can find the feature here. Oh, and the interview took place in the Dirty Lemon (naturally), so look out for a brief Joe Rey cameo!

Repetition Kills You Interview @ All Due Respect

“For me the violence has to be bleary-eyed and unpleasant, but never gratuitous. A few years ago, I was taking my son to the library, when I walked past a pub in town, and saw bloodied people crawling out of the door. I later found out that someone had run amok with a hatchet. The surreal image of a ravaged-looking man draped over one of the many mobility scooters parked outside, leaking blood, stayed with me. This wasn’t slick Hollywood violence. Whatever happened inside was clumsy and reckless, and I think it is important to convey that feeling.”

Check out this great new interview, in which I discuss the past, present and future of Paignton Noir with All Due Respect publisher Chris Rhatigan.

Also online this week is a brief Q&A over at the The Big Thrill – the official magazine of the International Thrillers Writers (ITW).

Buy Repetition Kills You!

Paignton Noir: Weekly Round-up

“People say that Paignton turns feral after dark, but I think it’s feral all day long – you just have to know where to look…”

Brit-grit supremo Paul D. Brazill, author of the recent novella Last Year’s Man (All Due Respect), cast an eye over my latest e-book, SLUG BAIT, this week, making it one of his recommended reads of the week. If ‘vivid, lurid, lewd and crude’ sounds like your cup of crime fiction, you should probably check it out!

Meanwhile, tireless UK crime fiction blogger Colman Keane plunged head-first into the seedy world of MEAT BUBBLES & OTHER STORIES, saying ‘I’m entertained, I’m thrilled, I’m appalled, I’m amused, I’m disgusted and I’m hooked.’ It’s a tremendous review, in which Col unpicks the key themes of the book, so please check it out.

Finally, one last MEAT BUBBLES interview, before the REPETITION KILLS YOU promotional bandwagon rolls into town. This is a short Q&A on the Close To The Bone website. I discuss violent repercussions and unknown horrors: ‘Rey is a hard man – nowhere more so than in Meat Bubbles – but I don’t like the idea of an indestructible character. He is very much destructible, and every hideous thing he experiences affects his body and his mind. Watch this space to see how bad it gets.’


Repetition Kills You: Out Now

“When I was a small child, my uncle Alvin was engaged to a carnival stripper called Magdalena. It seemed like an impossibly glamorous lifestyle at the time, and it was only years later – when I actually watched a carnival strip-show for myself – that I realised how horrific the prospect truly was.”

Ladies and gentlemen, boy and girls… my new book Repetition Kills You is out today, from All Due Respect (an imprint of Down & Out Books)!

Many thanks to the people who made this possible, namely All Due Respect publisher Chris Rhatigan and Eric Campbell and Lance Wright at Down & Out Books. Additional thanks to Nigel Bird, an editorial consultant at ADR, whose great suggestions really improved the manuscript.

Here’s the synopsis:

Repetition Kills You is an experimental noir. A novel-in-stories. A literary jigsaw puzzle.

The book comprises 26 short stories, presented in alphabetical order, from ‘Actress on a Mattress’ to ‘Zero Sum’. Combined in different ways, they tell a larger, more complex story. The narrative timeline is warped, like a blood-soaked Möbius Strip. It goes round in circles—like a deranged animal chasing its own tail.

The content is brutal and provocative: small-town pornography, gun-running, mutilation and violent, blood-streaked stories of revenge. The cast list includes sex offenders, serial killers, bare-knuckle fighters, carnies and corrupt cops. And a private eye with a dark past—and very little future.

Welcome to Paignton Noir.

And here’s a little taster. This is my story ‘The Carny’ being performed live in Hong Kong at the Liar’s League back in 2015:

Check it out – and let me know what you think!

Slug Bait: Early Reviews

This is a book that, if read by the authorities, could quite possibly get Leins sectioned. Think of some of the most gruesome scenes you’ve ever seen on film and TV; Leins says, “Hold my beer.”

David Nemeth @ Unlawful Acts on SLUG BAIT

My new novelette SLUG BAIT picked up a couple of neat reviews this week. David Nemeth, who has previously checked out SKULL MEAT and MEAT BUBBLES & OTHER STORIES over at Unlawful Acts plunged back into the Paignton Noir cesspool, and said of SLUG BAIT: “The action moves along at a blistering pace and his fight scenes are brief and savage. His descriptions are like Chandler without worrying about decency and decorum.”

US crime writer Christopher Davis also checked out SLUG BAIT, writing: “Slug Bait was a kick, quite literally. Maybe a kick in the balls is a better way to phrase that?” He goes on to name-check Sam Spade, which means I’ve notched up Hammett and Chandler comparisons in the same week!

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

Slug Bait: Out Now

“I was looking for a quiet place to die, and someone suggested the Paignton Cliffs Caravan Park. Sure, it’s a quiet place, but I’m not dead yet…”

I have a new novelette out now: SLUG BAIT!

Here’s the synopsis:

Traumatised and brutalised after a grisly encounter with a serial killer known as The Cartographer, SLUG BAIT finds cut-price private investigator Joe Rey licking his wounds at a decrepit caravan park on the cliff path high above Paignton. Violence has a way of finding Rey, however, and an altercation involving local amusement arcade tycoon Raymond Coody sees him dragged back into town – where his name is now on all of the wrong people’s lips. Rey’s reckless disregard for his own safety quickly wins Coody’s trust, but his new associate harbours some dark secrets, and things are about to get very bloody…

This one evolved out of a couple of old projects which fell apart. I salvaged what I could, took stock of the material I had at my disposal, and came up with this little page-turner.

It’s a standalone story, but the surviving characters will definitely reappear in future books. Whether you like it or not…

Check it out – and let me know what you think!

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

New Interview @ My Life My Books My Escape

What were some of the inspirations behind Meat Bubbles & Other Stories?

Tom: In no particular order: B-movies; pub crawls; US crime fiction from the 1980s and 1990s; Englishness; Psychogeography; abandoned spaces and places; and, of course, my home town, Paignton!

I have a brand new interview online at My Life My Books My Escape. Thanks to DJ for the questions!

Meat Bubbles aside, I spill the beans on a couple of forthcoming attractions: Boneyard Dogs and The British Meat Scene, so check it out if you want to learn more about what I have been cooking up this year…

Venus In Fake Furs @ Retreats From Oblivion

“Frank has come a long way. The way people tell it, he started out selling dirty pictures imported in bulk from the Eastern Bloc. Pale flesh, dead eyes and plenty of pubic hair. He kept them in a lock-up behind Winner Street and flogged them in pubs, video shops and amusement arcades. Understandably, he was known around town as ‘Frank the Wank’ . . .”

Many thanks to Lou Boxer and Cullen Gallagher for running my brand new Paignton Noir story Venus In Fake Furs at Retreats From Oblivion: The Journal of Noircon.

This one is a companion piece to my upcoming book, Repetition Kills You, which will be published by All Due Respect/Down & Out Books in just over a month’s time. It is always fun to pick through the narrative wreckage and find out what the survivors are up to!

Coincidentally, Repetition Kills You is available for pre-order now!


Interview @ Toe Six Press

“Popular books fascinate me and terrify me in equal measure. I struggle to get more than 50 pages into most mainstream thrillers, and these brutal, intense stories of mine are an antidote to that.”

Thanks to Sandra Ruttan for having me back at Toe Six Press to discuss Meat Bubbles & Other Stories!