XXXmas Boogaloo @ Near To The Knuckle

“Christmas Eve… in the drunk tank. I’m on a concrete bed, sleeping off a heavy session. It started with a quiet pint in the Cock & Whistle and ended with a knife-fight in the Dirty Lemon. The other guy had a fucking meat cleaver, so I must have been drunk to try and fight him…”

One last Christmas present at the bottom of Santa’s sack: XXXmas Boogaloo, a festive slab of Paignton Noir, over at Near To The Knuckle. Thanks to Oliver and Craig for giving the story a home!

This one is my 11th story online at Near To The Knuckle, and my 3rd Christmas story at the same venue, following on from Christmas Eve Can Kill You and Blue Christmas.

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2017 In Review

2017 was a good year… Writing-wise, at least!

I’m not overly prone to self-examination, but this year I felt sluggish and unproductive for long periods. The end of the year prompted me to take a look at my story output, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had written/ published far more than I remembered in 2017: twelve short stories (ten of which were flash fiction), four longer anthology pieces, four (of five) 2,000-word chapters for The Blood Red Experiment and one 10,000-word novelette (Skull Meat).

On the down-side, not only did I not finish it, but I ripped the guts out of my novella Boneyard Dogs, when I set myself the target of completing it by the end of 2017! Either way, it is 2018’s problem now!

Here are the links to the online stories:

Paignton Noir:

Evil Heat (at Pulp Metal Magazine)

Clawfist (at Spelk Fiction)

Sloppy Operator (at The Flash Fiction Offensive)

Dry Salvage (at Near To The Knuckle)

Bedlam Money (at Spelk Fiction)

Wrestling Noir:

The Last Dog & Pony Show (at The All-New A Twist of Noir)

Bloater (at Shotgun Honey)

Beauty & Ruin (at The Flash Fiction Offensive)

Black Sheets of Rain (at Pulp Metal Magazine)

The Glory Hole (at Horror Sleaze Trash)

The Sunset Flip (at Story & Grit)

Christmas Noir:

Slay Ride 2: Jingle Bullets (at The Flash Fiction Offensive)

… and here are the links to the longer works:

This Book Ain’t Nuttin to Fuck With: A Wu-Tang Tribute Anthology (includes my story Incarcerated Scarfaces)

Switchblade – Issue #1 (includes my story The Stooge)

More Bizarro Than Bizarro (includes my story Here Comes That Weird Chill)

Wrestle Maniacs (includes my story Real Americans)

The Blood Red Experiment (includes my serialisation Didn’t Bleed Red)

and

Skull Meat!

Thanks for reading!

 

Repetition Kills You – Coming In September 2018 – From All Due Respect

I am delighted to confirm that All Due Respect, an imprint of Down & Out Books, will be publishing my Paignton Noir book Repetition Kills You in September 2018.

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’.  The key stylistic influence on this collection is ‘The Beach Murders’ (1966) by J.G. Ballard, which was collected in Low Flying Aircraft and Other Stories (1976). Like the letters of the alphabet, Ballard’s fragments can be arranged in any order. So can my stories.

Combined in certain 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.

The Blood Red Experiment Issue #1

The chainsaw shrieks as it bites into the meat of her shoulder. She isn’t alive to feel the jagged burn – I strangled her with a length of electrical flex 40 minutes after picking her up outside Harbourside public toilets. She isn’t my usual type. I wasn’t aware of the bleached blonde hair and adult acne at first glance. She was pretty in her own way, but she didn’t excite me, so I didn’t dwell on the killing. The blood from the severed arm starts to pool under her blonde hair. It glints like dog piss on petrol.”

Out now: Issue #1 (of 5) of The Blood Red Experiment, a serialised neo-Giallo magazine edited by Craig Douglas (Near To The Knuckle) and Jason Michel (Pulp Metal Magazine).

The Blood Red Experiment includes my Paignton Noir-Giallo fusion DIDN’T BLEED RED, which features the cult film ALL ANIMALS SCREAM!

To find out more about my story, check out this interview over at the Graham Wynd blog!

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Bedlam Money @ Spelk Fiction

“Kendall Spate stinks worse than a wank-splattered lunacy booth. He is wearing an over-sized dog’s shock-collar, and looks like he has difficulty remembering his own name.”

In September I had my 10th story published at UK flash fiction stronghold Spelk.

Big thanks to new editor Cal Marcius for giving a home to Bedlam Money!

 

More Bizarro Than Bizarro – Out Now!

“It’s not even Halloween yet, but the stripper at the Dirty Lemon is already wearing a Santa hat. I drop a fake pound coin in her pint glass and she smiles through broken teeth. Out-of-season seaside towns – other people’s last resorts. I pick my way through the crowd – day-time drinkers crouched perilously on the edges of their barstools, like swollen suburban gargoyles – and head to the toilet.”

Out this week from Bizarro Pulp Press: ‘More Bizarro Than Bizarro’ edited by Vincenzo Bilof.

This collection includes my story, Here Comes That Weird Chill, which plays out like a grindhouse version of Scooby Doo. Set in the Westcountry!

Here is an interview on the Bizarro Pulp Press site in which I discuss my story.

Amazon UK link.

Amazon US link.

Dry Salvage @ Near To The Knuckle

“Spaulding was in his eighties, and looked far too vulnerable to put a proper beating on, but I had agreed to give Marie Andretti at least five of his teeth in order to get my full fee. They came loose effortlessly, and the old bastard bled like a stuck pig regardless.”

Last month my 10th story went live at top UK crime fiction site Near To The Knuckle. Check out Dry Salvage!

If you have read my novelette Skull Meat, this story is a sequel of sort, and sees the (un)-welcome return of demented ex-cop Wet-Look, who also appears in Wet-Work, a previous Near To The Knuckle story.

 

 

Skull Meat Reviews

My Paignton Noir novelette Skull Meat has picked up some nice reviews this summer. Check them out:

Book Bloggers:

David Nemeth @ Unlawful Acts:

Skull Meat is the epitome of gritty crime fiction, reading his noir novella is like chewing on a mouthful of sand mixed with shards of sea shells … Set in southwestern England, Paignton along with Torquay and Brixham make up an area that is collectively known as the English Riviera, but Leins’ version of Paignton is a decrepit and more dangerous version of Poisonville in Hammett’s Red Harvest … Leins has created a world where Tarantino’s characters would not live past their first five minutes in town — brutal does not cover the violence that lives in the pages of Skull Meat. If you like your crime fiction filled with dive-bars, whore-houses, and vicious beatings then Leins’ Skull Meat will be the best 99¢ you will have ever spent.”

Adrian Shotbolt @ The Grim Reader:

Skull Meat is dark, gritty, violent and really well-written. The characters are great, despite their limited time on the page and each one is given a memorable name … The violence is realistic and gritty, the dialogue even more so. I couldn’t put this story down.”

Colman Keane @ Col’s Criminal Library:

“Years ago I spent a week on holiday in Paignton with the wife and kids. After reading this one I doubt we’ll be returning. Low life characters, grimy watering holes, seedy nightclubs and dingy brothels, a private investigator or two, a midget and a pornographer, teenage strippers and prostitutes, a beating, a stabbing and lots more. Joe Rey is on a case and plenty of blood is going to get spilled. Fantastic writing, brutal imagery, tremendous turns of phrase with an interesting story.”

Crime Writers:

Paul Heatley, author of An Eye For An Eye (Near To The Knuckle) and Fatboy (All Due Respect): 

“I’ve been a big fan of Tom Leins’ prolific output of short stories for years now, and I’ve been waiting for him to put out something longer –Skull Meat does NOT disappoint. Dirty characters, a filthy setting, gratuitous violence and blacker than black humour, THIS is what I look for in noir fiction. Wonderfully, brazenly over the top Americanised British crime fiction. On every page you’re sure to find a line that will either make you laugh out loud, or it’ll turn your stomach – sometimes both!”

Paul D. Brazill, author of Guns of Brixton (Caffeine Nights) and The Last Laugh (All Due Respect):

“Skull Meat is Brit Grit at its grittiest. Ultra-violent, foul-mouthed, atmospheric, hilarious and choc-full of great lines.  I loved it!”

Gary Duncan, author of You’re Not Supposed To Cry (Vagabond Voices):

Skull Meat is a blast — an eye-wateringly violent tale of mobsters, ex-cons and hopeless bottom-feeders. It’s grubby and unsettling, and it makes you laugh out loud at things you really shouldn’t be laughing at. It’s James Ellroy with the dial turned up. Brutal and brilliant. You have been warned.”

Matt Phillips, author of Bad Luck City (Near To The Knuckle) and Three Kinds of Fool (All Due Respect):

“Hell of a piece of noir. This is as down and dirty as it gets – a brutal look at the dark underbelly where good ol’ Joe does his life’s work. Gritty and surreal and hardscrabble. “The road to oblivion is paved with tiny crimes…” Oh, yes it is.”

Benedict J. Jones, author of The Devil’s Brew (Crime Wave Press):

“In Paignton everyone has a story, and none of them are good … a frenetic roller-coaster of violence and small town crimes … excellent Brit Grit fiction.”

Chris Rhatigan, author of Wake Up, Time To Die (Beat to a Pulp) / Publisher of All Due Respect:

“This is how it’s done. Leins has a voice and style suited for lowlife literature … The superb writing sets this short and brutal work apart from the crowd. Paignton is my kind of town and I’m looking forward to reading the next one.”

 

If you are a book blogger or crime writer and would like a free copy of Skull Meat in exchange for a brief review drop me a line, and I will gladly send one over!

Buy Skull Meat:

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

Sloppy Operator @ The Flash Fiction Offensive

“Her real name is Carol Cummings, but she prefers to be called Khandi Kane. She likes to tell people she works as a glamour model, but as far as I know she only ever made one topless calendar—for a local petrol station. She is better known as ‘Snow White,’ after she fucked a couple of midgets while shooting a video for a smut-freak called Caruso back in the ‘90s. She was supposed to fuck all seven but the others were too drunk and sat around in the background, wanking and smoking noxious-looking cigarettes.”

Last month I had a brand new Paignton Noir story featured online at the Flash Fiction Offensive: Sloppy Operator, Big thanks to editorial tag-team Rob Pierce and Hector Duarte Jr. for running the story!

I’ve had a whole bunch of stories online at the F.F.O. since making my debut on the old website way back in August 2009 with Triggerman, and it is always a real pleasure to be featured on the site.

Interview @ Col’s Criminal Library

Earlier this month tireless UK book blogger Colman Keane invited me to take part in a Q&A at his excellent Col’s Criminal Library blog. Among other things, we discussed my new novelette Skull Meat, 10 years of Paignton Noir and my haphazard creative process. Thanks to Col for putting me through my paces!

And, in case you missed it, here is a link to Col’s top-notch review of Skull Meat.