Last but not least today I’m on the blog tour for Heavy Duty People and am delighted to bring you a Q&A with author Iain Parke, and another giveaway! Enjoy and good luck!
about the book
Title: Heavy Duty People
Author: Iain Parke
Genre: Crime / Gangster / Biker noir
Series/Standalone: Standalone First Book in a Series
Estimated page count: 320
Formats available: Paperback and eBook. Available on Kindle Unlimited
Publisher: Bad-Press.Co.uk (29 Dec. 2011)
Tour organised by: Rachel’s Random Resources
“…a fantastic anti-hero…positively Shakespearian in his moral complexity…If I could only recommend one book this year, it would be Heavy Duty People” – Vulpes Libris
Damage’s club has had an offer it can’t refuse, to patch over to join The Brethren MC.
But as the bikes rumble and roar across the wild Northern fells, what does this mean for Damage and his brothers? What choices will they have to make as they ride through the wind? What bloody oil stained history might it reawaken? And why are The Brethren making this offer?
Loyalty to his club and his brothers has been Damage’s life and route to wealth, but what happens when business becomes serious and brother starts killing brother?
From being in a gang to becoming a gangster, Heavy Duty People is the book that invented Biker Noir.
Get Carter meets Sons of Anarchy in this gritty British crime thriller, now in development for TV.
Amazon = http://mybook.to/HeavyDutyPeople
q&a with iain parke
Crime / thriller
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I import industrial quantities of Class A drugs, kill people and lie (a lot) for a living, being a British based crime fiction writer.
I became obsessed with motorcycles at an early age, taking a six hundred mile cross-country tour to Cornwall as soon as I bought a moped at the tender age of sixteen. After working as a London dispatch rider, I built my first, and the world’s worst, chopper in my university bedroom, undeterred by the fact that my workshop was upstairs.
Armed with a MBA degree, I worked in insolvency and business restructuring in the UK and Africa which inspired my first novel The Liquidator, a conspiracy thriller set in East Africa. Whatever you do, don’t take it on holiday as your safari reading!
This was followed by my ‘Biker Noir’ crime thriller Heavy Duty People, set amongst UK outlaw bikers in the North East and Borders; which turned into a trilogy, now optioned for TV, after two of the characters unexpectedly met up again in my head and I went along with them for the ride.
I’ve now found that biker books are a bit like zombies, whenever I think they are dead and buried, they just keep lurching back to life, only dirtier, bloodier and more violent than before as I’ve completed a new trilogy of Operation Bourbon, Lord of the Isles and now DILLIGAF as well as venturing into a WW2 conspiracy thriller Best of Enemies.
Today I live off the grid, high up on the North Pennines in Northumberland with my wife, dogs, a garage full of motorcycle restoration projects and a number of book ideas.
What inspired you to start writing?
I was working in Africa and spent New Year’s Day 1994 recovering from a mammoth hangover at a friend’s hut in a village half way up Kilimanjaro by reading Iain Bank’s Complicity at one sitting. I remember thinking as I finished it, ‘So where on earth do you start creating a plot like that?’ It’s been downhill, literally, from there.
I started my first novel shortly afterwards and after I came back to the UK it lay half-finished in a drawer until I decided I’d finish it when I had a two month layoff between jobs in 2000.
It took me another half dozen years to rewrite it about 3 times, chop it in half and play agent/publisher rejection bingo, before deciding to self-publish, and after the first Brethren MC book, I’ve produced a novel a year ever since.
When it comes to my Biker Noir books, I’ve always been fascinated by the images and realities of the outlaw biker scene and irritated by the way bikers have been caricatured in films and TV.
Whatever you think about outlaw bikers and the clubs, there’s no denying it’s a serious lifestyle, taken very seriously by those in the life, and back when I started it seemed odd that no one seemed to be writing about it in a way which treated it seriously.
So I decided I wanted to explore what might it might be like to become involved, what would motivate someone to join, what choices it might lead them to make, what would it mean for them as a person.
And that’s how I met Damage.
How many books have you written and published?
Half a dozen business books, most of which were mainstream published and around ten self published fiction books. I’ve also now set up a publishing company where we currently have ten authors on our books.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
That’s a bit like asking someone to pick their favourite child! They each mean something different to me. As the book that really started to give me some success as a write I’d have to say I’m most grateful to Heavy Duty People.
How do you choose the names of your characters?
While the characters are fictional, their names often they come from people I know or have known in the past which means there’s a fair few ‘in jokes’ in my books. The names have to fit so when writing my biker books most of the nicknames have come from that community.
And as an author having fun with characters is one of the perks of the job. It’s not everyone who gets to garrotte their ex-boss…
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
I’ve become very fond of Bung (which was short for Bungalow, so called allegedly as there’s not a lot going on up top…). He appeared as a bit player at the start of the second book but his solid reliability has led to him getting more and more central roles and by the fifth book he’s become a ‘leading man’ in the story.
He’s capable, unflappable and a good laugh.
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
I’m a huge fan of Le Carré, the Smiley Trilogy in particular, and Iain Banks as my inspirations to start writing, but for writing craftsmanship I’ll read anything Robert Harris puts out, I don’t know how many times I’ve reread Fatherland.
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
Aged about twelve a terrible terrible spy play for English class. I shudder to think of it.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
Up to leaving university I’d had a mix of jobs in and around London including a short stint despatch riding. Post university I focussed on business migrating from being a Liquidator to buying business to restructure and turnaround.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I’d like to chat to Quentin Crisp. I wrote to him once to tell him he’d saved my life and had a lovely note back.
What are your favourite things to do?
Thinking about how I’m going to customise my next bike. The fact that I’m fairly mechanically cack handed I tend to try and leave out.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
Ending up running a match factory in Africa was pretty surreal. I had 300 ladies filling boxes of matches by hand, a herd of donkeys that included a zebra, and a salt farm producing 1,000 tonnes of salt a year that was unfit for human consumption, all of which I had to find a buyer for.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Start early, write often, get lucky.
And finally, name one book you think everyone should read?!
Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond – an object lesson in pulling back and seeing the big picture.
Win a Signed Heavy Duty trilogy bundle + sweatshirt
1 x signed copy of the Heavy Duty Trilogy
1 x Heavy Duty bookmark
1 x DILLIGAF hoodie
9 x Runners up prize.
Heavy Duty bookmark
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the link below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
follow the tour
Thanks to Rachel for inviting me on to the tour and for Iain for chatting with us.
Enjoy the rest of your evenings (I’m off to bed!)
See you all soon