No? Hmmm, let me ask you another question then. Have you heard about the white-knuckle roller coaster thrill-ride sandwiched into 450 pages of blood-splattering, side-splitting wit and carnage, fused together by a hitman who has spent far too much time at the Heartbreak Hotel, a Mexican barman who is serving up more piss than Bear Grylls could handle, and an alcoholic supernatural serial killer who Van Helsing couldn't even compete with on his best day?
No? No?! In that case you had better get the hell of my blog and never return because you must have been living under some sort of literary rock to not be familiar with one of the most exciting authors of his (or hers?) generation. With comparisons to Quentin Tarantino and Hollywood queuing up to transfrom the blood-thirsty residents of Santa Mondega into a cinematic psycho's playground (not to mention Margot Robbie being a fan), the man who uses the moniker of his most famous creation is on a mission to make sure you never forget the name The Bourbon Kid.
But because I'm feeling in a charitable mood, I'll let you watch this video so you can be introduced to the best book you haven't read yet. For those of you who have already welcomed The Book With No Name and it's three sequels (The Eye of the Moon, The Devil's Graveyard and The Book of Death) into your heart and know why you should avoid the Tapioca bar at all costs, feel free to relive the wonderful story again before reading my interview with The Bourbon Kid as he talks about his crazy creation and his new soon-to-be-a-cult-success book The Red Mohawk.
Hey Bourbon Kid, pull up a seat while I pour you a drink. So let's get down to business - Sanchez was and always will be the real star of show right?
Absolutely! Initially I stuck him in The Book With No Name just so that he could be the eyes and ears of the reader, but he ended up becoming so much more. I used to be a bartender myself, so lots of the things Sanchez sees, hears, thinks and does, are things I experienced. I never poured piss in anybody’s drink though.
You tied up all the loose ends in The Book of Death to complete the story, but do you miss Santa Mondega?
I miss it a lot. By creating a fictional city where pretty much anything goes, I was able to get away with some pretty crazy shit that readers would never accept if the stories were set in New York, London or Paris. It also gives the story more appeal to international audiences than say, a book set in a quiet English village.
Your writing style and stories have been compared to the likes of Quentin Tarantino, but where do you really get your inspiration from? Hopefully not real life experiences!
Actually some of it is from real life. In my days as a bartender I met characters like the Bourbon Kid, Rodeo Rex, Elvis and Marcus the Weasel, although I obviously exaggerated them for the book. Some of the stuff that happened in TBWNN was based on events that happened when I was working. For example, I once did see Papa Smurf get beaten up by a couple of angry nuns on a fancy dress evening. That made it into the book. But mostly my inspiration comes from movies. I like to take little pieces from lots of movies of different genres and then stick them all together and see what happens. It can be fun. In The Red Mohawk for example, I imagined what would happen if the killer from the Halloween movies showed up in Dirty Dancing.
The Red Mohawk is your latest outing about a crazy serial killer stalking the residents in the small town of B Movie Hell. Tell me where this new idea came from and is this the start of a new series of books, and if so, what can we expect from the next installment?
I was watching the movie Drive one day and there’s a scene about an hour in, where Ryan Gosling (who is the hero) sticks on a rubber mask and starts stalking Ron Perlman. And I started thinking, what if that was the opening scene of the movie? You’d think Gosling’s character was a total psycho. So I decided that it would make a good starting point for a novel. Consequently the opening scene of The Red Mohawk involves a masked serial killer stalking a police officer.
I read somewhere that you might be thinking about pairing The Bourbon Kid and The Red Mohawk together later on down the line. Any truth in that?
It’s what’s coming next. It’s called The Plot To Kill the Pope and it’s already been a success in Europe and it will be out here in a matter of weeks. It’s pretty insane and features the Bourbon Kid, the Red Mohawk, Elvis, Rodeo Rex and a plot to kill the Pope that also involves Frankenstein and Dr Jekyll. I’m pretty sure there’s never been a book like it before, which is always my aim when I write something. If it turns out there is already a book like it, I’ll be livid.
The characters you have created are all very unique and endearing (in that serial killing, blood thirsty, anti-hero type of way). Which one is your favourite character and why?
It’s a toss up between Sanchez and the Bourbon Kid. They’re actually very similar characters except that Sanchez is a coward who pours piss in people’s drinks if he doesn’t like them, whereas the Bourbon Kid kills them. But also in The Plot to Kill the Pope there is a character called Jasmine who first appeared in The Red Mohawk. She’s great fun and provides the comic relief that’s normally reserved for Sanchez.
The Book With No Name was commissioned for a TV series called Pulp. What happened with that and is it true that Tobey Maguire’s Material Pictures are developing The Red Mohawk into a film?
Unfortunately Pulp got cancelled before it really got off the ground which was a big disappointment. But the rights for The Book With No Name are now in the hands of a company called Belga Films. I’ve worked with them on the script for a movie. I’m really happy with what they’ve done and it’s already caught the eye of one of my absolute favourite Hollywood A-listers (although I can’t say who just yet!). And Tobey Maguire’s Material Pictures are working on a TV series based on The Red Mohawk. So it’s all looking very good at the moment. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that at least one of these projects makes it to the screen.
You made that successful transition from self-published author to best selling author. What is the best advice you would give to all aspiring indie authors?
I guess from my own personal experience I would say, "Don’t write what you think publishers want. And don’t try to write like anyone else. No one can write like you better than you can, so do that instead! And cut out all the boring bits."
Your books have received quite a cult following over the past decade. What is the strangest thing you have had a fan ask you or request?
I’ve had quite a few people pitch me their idea for a novel and then offer to split the royalties with me if I write it for them. Can you imagine that? Cheeky bastards.
Tell me about it. Hey, how about in your next book Dan Hilles from my novel The Drought teams up with The Bourbon Kid and they go around killing every girl who refuses to sleep with Dan? You can write it and then I'll help with the administrative side of things like looking after the bank accounts. What do you think? Why are you looking at me like that? Oh no, please put the bourbon down! Let's wrap this up before you do something stupid! Finally, what can we expect next from you?
Well The Plot To Kill the Pope will be out soon. And that will be followed by a new one I’m writing which is currently called The Roman That Followed Jason. But it will probably end up being called something else. But it’s got Sanchez in it, so it’ll be good fun.
Sounds amazing - I can't wait to read it! Thanks again for agreeing to do this interview. I'm genuinely a huge fan of your books - The Bourbon Kid series is definitely up there in my top 5!
My pleasure. And I wish you all the best success with your novels The Drought and The Flood.
For more information on The Bourbon Kid and my book reviews click in the links throughout this article and make sure you check out this amazing rogues gallery of Santa Mondega's finest.