Cutter’s Deal, a novella published by Byker Books, which is a sweary tale of violence and nastiness set in the north-east of England.
What’s the hook?
Mac is an old-school crime boss, whereas Cutter is relatively new on the scene. While Mac has an underlying (if extreme) sense of morality, Cutter is a sociopath with big ambitions who cares about no one but himself. Mac has standards; Cutter doesn’t even have limits. People are his to use, and when they’re no use anymore – or when he’s broken them – he casually discards them with no thought for the damage done.
When his world collides with that of a decent, hard-working – but financially struggling – working-class family, it’s only a matter of time before somebody gets hurt.
Meanwhile, Mac is looking increasingly fragile and there’s no clear successor to take over his firm …
And why’s that floating your boat?
The roots of Cutter’s Deal lie in ‘Behind Blue Eyes’, a short story I wrote for the Off the Record charity collection – that was the first appearance of Mac, a proper old-school gangster with his own sense of right and wrong … but who wouldn’t hesitate to put a bullet in the head of his best friend for stealing from him. For some time I’ve been wanting to write a longer piece in the same style; when I got the chance to write something for Byker Books, it seemed like the right time to go for it and Cutter was born.
Cutter keeps nagging at me; I think it’s safe to say that he’ll be back.
When did you turn to crime?
I’ve always loved crime and mystery stories, right from my days as a nipper reading about The Famous Five, Nancy Drew and The Three Investigators. Listening to crime drama on the radio (we didn’t have a television when I was a kid) was also a favourite pastime.
I’ve been writing it seriously for about seven years now and have had short stories published in many places (both in print and online) including Bullet, Out of the Gutter, Thrillers, Killers and Chillers, and Powder Burn Flash. I’ve also put out a number of short crime collections and my debut novel, Convictions, is in the genre.
I’ll take it however it comes. I tend to prefer stories at the darker end of the spectrum, but it’s (almost) all good.
And, what’s blown you away lately?
Horace Silver’s utterly fantastic The Charity Committee, about a gangster doing time in an open prison. Published as a novel, it’s actually based on events and people in his life, but with the names changed to protect the guilty; although apparently not changed enough, as it’s currently unavailable … someone portrayed in the book took exception to the things he was allegedly responsible for, and took legal action to have the title withdrawn from sale.
Fortunately the author’s first book, Judas Pig, is still available, and it’s also highly recommended.
See any books as movies waiting to happen?
I think John Hornor Jacobs’ Southern Gods would make a terrific film.
Mainstream or indie - paper or digital?
I don’t see it as an ‘either/or’ option: I’ve published both fiction and non-fiction in paper and digitally, through a publisher and as an indie. What matters to me as a reader is the story and how it’s told, and what matters to me as a writer is getting my stuff out there so that it (hopefully) finds some readers who enjoy it.
Shout us a website worth visiting …
Singing horses … fun for the kiddies and it also helps while away those tedious hours between nine and five for those folks who have proper jobs.
Finally, tell us any old shit about yourself …I was sacked from the Girl Guides for being a bad influence. Still proud of that one! (Although quite what I was doing there in the first place …)
:: Pick up Cutter's Deal on Amazon UK
:: Find out more about Julie Morrigan at her website