So today, I’ve got friend and British crime writer extraordinaire, Aidan Thorn in the house. I met with the ginger-haired lad a year ago in a San Fran hotel bar and we got the chance to talk over a couple of beers / whiskeys. It’s always a blast when you can meet one of these guys that you read. Anyway…Aidan’s got a new one out titled, Tales from the Underbelly.
Before we get too far into this, how have you been man? We met last year in
San Francisco. Hell of a fun evening, if I wouldn’t have had to drive 4
hours home and be at work by 8:00 the following morning.
There’s always time for a glass or two of whiskey with a pal though, huh?
I’m doing OK, all things considered – it’s been a weird 12 or so months
since we had that night of beers and whiskey in San Francisco… Do you
remember, the TV was on in the bar and it was focusing on the EU referendum
result, which we saw coming in live and 52% of my country-follk had voted
for us to leave the Union… I was shocked, you were shocked and I decided
I needed to get another drink from the bar! I remember you asking me at the
time “What the fuck has your country just done?” And I was too numb to
answer, but I said, “Well you guys could be about to do something almost as
bad.” And we talked about Trump – never going to happen we thought – just
shows what a couple of drunk guys in a bar know!
Fuck, I hear you, dude, but the world is a changing?
I was blown away that you’d travelled all that way to come and see me and
it was great to spend the evening talking about just about every aspect of
life. You never know what to expect when you meet someone you’ve only
engaged with over social media and email, but that night I met someone I
now count as a friend. After seeing you I travelled to Washington where I
also got to spend an evening with Matt Mattila, he’d also travelled a
ridiculous distance and again I met a really nice guy, wise beyond
his years and with talent to burn. I was gutted I didn’t have more time
when I was over for work in San Diego this year as would have loved to have
taken a little trip out to see you for a few beers again – next time!
So tell us about the latest Aidan?
I just released Tales from the Underbelly. It’s a collection of stories
that vary in length from very short all the way up to a novella that’s
basically the second half of the book. The link is two feuding gang
leaders, Tony Ricco and Jimmy O’Keefe, but the stories aren’t really about
them, they’re about the people who’s lives they touch, some of them
criminals, some innocent bystanders and some aren’t even aware how close
they are to these kingpins of the criminal underbelly. I guess I’d liken it
a bit to Pulp Fiction – lofty claim I know, but basically it’s all the
small stories that go on around the criminal world.
Is this a collection of previous work or all new stories with new
It’s a bit of both… Some of the stories appeared in my now out of
print collection Urban Decay, some have appeared online at the likes of
Spelk and Shotgun Honey and the novella that finishes it all is a
completely new piece that I’ve been working on in some form or another
since before I even got into writing – originally I thought it would make a
great little indie film and started writing it as a script, many many years
What’s on tap for the future? I dig the shit out of short stories and
collections, but I really liked ‘When the Music’s Over’. Is there an Aidan
Thorn Novel in store for fans of that bloke?
I have my fingers crossed on that front. Last year I finished a novella
called Rival Sons. Personally I think it’s better than When the Music’s
Over and it’s something I’m really proud of. It’s the story of a family at
war that are thrown back together through their terminally ill mother. I’ve
sent it around my usual trusted readers and it’s been getting great
feedback, including from Chris Black who published When the Music’s Over at
Number 13 Press – sadly he’s since closed down that press. I have it lodged
with a bunch of publishers at the moment so now I’m playing the waiting
game… we’ll see
Man…I was one of those privileged to read this one and it might be the best one yet?
Thanks for having me Chris, it’s great seeing so much of your work finding
a place in the world these days. And, as I keep saying, if you’re ever in
the UK or I’m back in California (for anything more than a three day work
trip!) we have to share a bar top again!
We’ll meet again, friend and get back to work on getting Rival Sons published, huh? I’m sure that we can find a couple of glasses waiting somewhere?
If you haven’t already…look into this Aidan Thorn guy. He twists up some stuff that will make your head spin and be sure to pick up a copy of his Tales from the Underbelly.