The Byker Tapes - Christopher Brookmyre.

Whit? Nae Buckfast?

In my capacity as number one top banana at the global publishing behemoth (or foul-mouthed, gobshite press - you choose!) that is Byker Books I've broken bread with some of the more interesting people in the world of literature and it struck me that you might like to read some bits of my conversations with them...

So here's a few bits from an intervew with the mighty Christopher Brookmyre a few years ago :-

You know how it is - you’re walking aimlessly along the road in one of Britain’s Spa towns, you’re miles from home and feeling like a fish out of water when you catch the faint tinkle of a Northern accent. You strain your ears to the point of bursting their drums just to work out where it’s coming from and rapidly come to the conclusion that it’s over there. Near that bookshop with the picture of mega famous Scottish author Christopher Brookmyre in the window and a sign about some appearance that day. You get jostled by the crowds of people waiting outside with books in their hands and head for the chip shop next door where the voice came from. Ten minutes later and with yet another star interview safely under your belt you locate the train station and head back to civilisation...and it only cost you a deep fried mars bar.

So Chris, you seem to have a penchant for creating likeable rogues. Your protagonists generally have some naughty features about them but are always the type of person you’d like to go for a drink with (personally I ‘d love to go on the lash with Jack Parlabane) – How do you make them so believable? 

I’ve never liked my heroes to be squeaky clean or to be too clean cut, I think the best crime fiction always exists in a kind of moral borderland. I like my villains to be strangely likeable and my heroes to be slightly untrustworthy or just to have an edge to them. I got bored by a lot of British crime writing years ago simply because the main characters were so miserable, they tried to make them as plausible as possible but that also made them really dull. You wouldn’t want to go for a drink with the any of them as they’d just go on about their failed marriages and drink problems.

What have you lashed all the millions on then – Executive box at St Mirren, Irn Bru and deep fried mars bars or champagne and caviar?

(laughs) There’s no been any millions…an executive box at St Mirren wouldn’t cost very much! 
I usually pay three hundred quid at the annual Saints day where you basically pay to play on the pitch and the manager gets involved as well. I’ve actually scored a few goals at Love Street.....probably more than the strikers!

You’re renowned, amongst us anyway, for your swearing (which we positively fucking relish) and the way your books are set in the real world (which we also love) - but did you find that any kind of barrier when you were starting out?

My editors have been, if anything, encouraging me to turn it up. There’s never been any request to tone it down. At the start of ‘Quite Ugly One Morning’ the original draft of the opening chapter started with a policeman running out of the flat, skidding on vomit, hitting the bannister of the close at midriff level and puking on two other coppers coming up the stairs. My editor said that she thought that was one puke too far but that’s the only thing she’s ever asked me to tone down. They’ve never asked me to tone down the language or anything.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

Some kind of CGI effect rather than an actor I think...there’s no one that looks like me

James Nesbitt?

(Big Laughs) No…too tall...

Thats just a taster - you can see the full interview over at the Byker Books site by clicking HERE! 



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