So today we’re talking with friend and fellow writer Aidan Thorn the genius behind Paladins a charity anthology donating the proceeds to Multiple Myeloma research.
Tell us about Aidan Thorn?
How to answer that one? I think he’s kind of dull, personally. When he’s not at work on the day job he’s basically at work trying to make a name for himself as a writer. Sometimes he squeezes in a little exercise, a trip to the cinema or a gig. He drinks gin.
When did you first decide to write?
I’ve sort of always done it. I started writing songs for unsuccessful attempts to get bands off the ground. A few of those songs were good, a lot of them were shite… And it’s the same with the stories. I started writing rubbish and gradually they got better, people published them and before I knew it I had three books out.
Tell us about that first story?
The first story I have published was in Byker Books Radgepacket vol. Six. I was so excited to get that acceptance email. The story is called ‘Fingered’ and it’s nothing sexual – sorry to disappoint. It’s about a crook with who gets fingered for a crime he may or may not have committed… That Radgepacket book is still available and the story also features in my first short story collection, Criminal Thoughts.
Now I caught up with you when we did ‘The Big Adios’. I read ‘Criminal Thoughts’ while my kid was in the hospital a couple of years back and looked forward to the release of ‘Urban Decay’. By the time ‘When the Music’s Over’ came on the scene, I was a fan of that British crime writer Aidan Thorn.
Tell us about Paladins? What brought this on?
Paladins is a labour of love for me. For sometime I’ve wanted to put together a collection of stories from writers I enjoy reading. Writers that aren’t flying off the shelves of your local book store, but have more talent than most of the people that are. My initial idea was to put together a book that had about 10 writers in it, each telling substantial short stories (5-10K). I wanted the book to be a real showcase of these writers talents. I wanted a collection where the reader could read one tale a day, something they could get their teeth into. I just wasn’t sure how to pull it off.
And then I met Craig and Henri Furchtenicht. I became friends with them on Facebook because Craig had been in the Near to the Knuckle, Rogue, anthology with me. A great couple and Craig a great writer. The thing is Henri is battling Multiple Myeloma and I read about her battle regularly on Facebook. She’s an inspirational lady and her battle touched me. Suddenly I had a reason to put that book together – I’d do it for charity, in support of Henri. And so I did and the idea grew, because as soon as people knew it was for Henri everyone wanted to be involved. So, I ended up with 16 writers, telling stories in their own unique voices – and every one is great. We have writers in this collection from both sides of the Atlantic (so yes, the mix of US and UK spelling is intentional), we have gritty, quirky, post-apocalyptic, funny, grim – there’s really something for every weirdo out there. It’s something I’m very proud of, all the writers worked for free, Mark Wilson put the brilliant cover together for nothing and Craig Douglas did the formatting for publication, again working from the goodness of his heart. It’s a stellar line up of talent and I’ll make no apology for name checking them all here. Darren Sant, Keith Nixon, Ryan Bracha, Graham Wynd, Cal Marcius, Matt Mattila, Dave Jaggers, Bill Baber, Linda Angel, Gareth Spark, Robert Cowan, Jason Beech, Gabriel Valjan. We also have Henri’s husband, Craig. I was arrogant enough to put a tale of my own in and we’ve got some chap called Christopher Davis in there too – ever heard of him?
I don’t know him, but I’ve heard that he’s an asshole?
Any tips for struggling writers trying to make it on the indie crime scene?
Who am I to give tips? I’m a struggling writer myself. But, if I was to give a tip it would be this, write because you love it, not because you think it’ll get you a big house and a fancy car – you need to live thinking it wont (because it probably wont) and then if it does (but it wont) it’ll be a great bonus… Don’t write for markets, write for love.
I’m almost afraid to ask, but I understand that you’re quick with ‘dick’ jokes?
I don’t know where this hideous rumour started, but I’m pointing the back at that talented little bugger, Matt Mattila (seriously, the lad is about 7 years old and is full of talent)… You America’s can plead the fifth, right? Well I’ll do the same…
It was Matt planting those seeds, but you didn’t hear that from me. I think that he’s older than 7, but you’re right, he does twist one up. Matt was out here last year and I just couldn’t get up to see him. Am dealing with some family illness myself, at the moment and money’s never a sure thing when doctors come into play.
How can we discover more about you, web address, Face Book and such?
I’m constantly boring people with links to books on twitter @AidanDFThorn and my website is http://aidanthornwriter.weebly.com
Anything in the works for the near future?
I’ve been putting most of my energy into Paladins lately, not so much writing but admin and promo around it. I don’t feel I can really move on from it until I have the paperback in my hand (I ordered it today). I do have a couple of things in the works. I’ve been working on a novel called ‘Killing in the name of…’ for a while, haven’t really touched it this year yet, but I’ll get back to that soon. I also have a novella I’ve started called ‘Rival Sons’ that I’d like to progress with. Other than that I’m trying to find a home for my crime farce novella ‘Worst Laid Plans’ it’s very different to the stuff I usually write and so we’ll see how that goes.
Aidan…thanks for the time man. I look forward to reading ‘Paladins’ and thanks for all that you’ve done in putting this one together and getting it out. Am hoping to find the time for dinner and a couple of drinks when you get into San Fran later this year if all goes well.