Interrogation: Christopher Black (Continued)

You can find Page 1 of this interview with Christopher Black and Matt Phillips HERE.

chrisblackphotoOther than being a totally cool idea, what makes this the right time to launch an Indie press like Number Thirteen? Why are you the right person to run it?

I wanted to launch earlier (2013 would have been good) but it never quite seemed like the right time – eventually I realised it was never going to be the right time so I went ahead anyway. I have some experience in design and editing and I knew what I wanted: I figured I could pick up the rest as I went. There was a lot of thought, research and pre-launch work piled into the project, but basically I jumped in with both feet just to see if I could swim. I haven’t drowned yet.

How many submissions have you gotten so far? How far in advance have you been accepting them? Are you still open?

Not enough submissions and yes we are still open. In an ideal world I would already be working on our final release but the reality is that some of these have been produced in weeks instead of months:REDBONE is one example. The quality is still there – I’m determined to keep that – but it’s meant a massive commitment and a lot of hard work from the authors. Real seat-of-the-pants stuff, but it’s never dull. Serious amounts of coffee have been consumed.

A KIlling KissIn addition to REDBONE, you have published works by Michael Young, Steve Finbow, Grant Nicol, Robert White, Ariana D. Den Bleyker and B.R. Stateham. What is it about these authors and their writing that made you want to publish them? Is there any identifiable common thread between these seven writers?

One thing I really like about our books is the variety – on the face of it there’s little in common between Den Bleyker’s deep, intense psychological noir and Stateham’s hardboiled pulp thriller. The only real connection is intelligent, quality writing about crime. The styles vary from pure pulp action to more literary work but they all have really strong central characters that drive them forward. I decided not to limit the genre too much within crime fiction and that proved to be a great idea. Grant Nicol’s Nordic noir is an example of what I didn’t think I’d be publishing, but the quality of the writing, the characters and story were simply irresistible. It’s been a huge hit so I guess a lot of people agree.

Oh, and most reviewers seem to use the word ‘brutal’ about most of our books, so I guess you could say that none of these stories are pulling any punches, either.

Down AmongHow far into REDBONE were you when you knew you wanted to publish it? What is the one thing you want readers to know about this book?

REDBONE is violent in places but like all our books there is much more to it than that. It’s a fascinating character study and a serious social critique. REDBONE really puts you inside the head of a man under pressure from current trends in society, but it’s also a kick-ass revenge tale of a dude who decided he wasn’t taking no more shit from nobody. Multi-faceted, with blood.

I read every submission just looking for reasons to reject it and Matt Phillips didn’t give me a single one. By the time I was ten pages in I forgot about critiquing and was just reading for pure joy. I already knew he was a talented writer and this story just seemed perfect for Number Thirteen. It was a real no-brainer.

Dark WaterHow likely is it that you will continue publishing on the thirteenth of every month beyond November 2015? Or do you have some new tricks up your sleeves?

I can definitely say that there will be a break. We could return next year for a second set of thirteen and I’m certainly getting a lot of fans saying they hope that will happen. At the moment, I’m just going to say it’s possible.

For the rest of the year I’ll purely be focusing on the next six titles. After that, who knows?

Find Number Thirteen Press: Website, Twitter and Facebook

Previous Interrogations: Laurie StevensMatt Coyle and Erika Krouse

S.W. Lauden is a writer and drummer living in Los Angeles. His short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Akashic Books, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published in 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published in 2016.

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