Category Archives: Noir Con

Adventures in noir land


It has been a while since I’ve posted here on Pulp Curry. This is because I’ve spent the last few weeks travelling in the US. I spent time in New York and Washington DC. I also visited the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, the home of Edgar Allen Poe, David Goodis and, every two years, one of the most interesting literary festivals I have experienced, NoirCon.

NoirCon is not your common or garden-variety festival. No way. And that is a very good thing.

First of all, the focus is firmly on noir, mainly fiction, but also film, poetry or whatever (and that last category, ‘whatever’, encapsulates some pretty bizarre material). I’m not saying there’s not a place for broader events that include a wider range of contributors and crime fiction sub-genres. But it’s also great to sit in a room of people who are, for once, more or less, all on the same page in terms of their love of noir, and not have to feel you have to justify or explain the focus.

Second, although it’s not exactly an exclusive event, neither does it try to be any bigger than need be. I get the feeling that while organiser, Lou Boxer, does his best to come up with new presenters and topics, he’s happy for the event not to get out of control or stray beyond the noir remit.… Read more

The first and last time I’ll talk about starting my new novel

The series of guest posts by US crime writers I’ve hosted over the last month on this site were sub-titled ‘Noir Con or Bust’.

Looks like, in this instance, it was bust.

Super storm Sandy and my daughter’s broken collarbone put paid to my carefully worked out plans to visit New York and Philadelphia.

Yes, I’m pissed off about it. But not half as pissed off as all those in the US and the Caribbean who have had to deal with the storm’s consequences.

Anyway, with an extra two weeks up my sleeve, it’s time to do something I’ve been putting off for a while now – start novel number 2.

And this post is the first and last time I’m going to talk about it until it’s finished.

That means I’m not going to Tweet, Facebook or blog any further about my daily word count, any trouble I’m having with certain plot points, my writers’ block or lack of it, and what progress generally I’m making with the manuscript.

End of story.

Full stop.

I don’t mean any disrespect to those writers out there who do this a part of your writing regimen, but it’s not my thing.

What else will I say about the new novel?

It’s a heist story.… Read more

Noir Con or bust guest post #6: a place to start

For my last ‘Noir Con or bust’ guest post, please welcome Sandra Seamans. As I’ve mentioned many times on this blog, one of the things about the crime fiction scene in the US I’m most envious of, is the incredibly vibrant network on on-line websites and print magazines that specialise in short crime fiction.

Not only do they produce some top notch crime fiction, they’re a great place for new and emerging crime writers to start cutting their teeth on their craft. This short fiction is also read by other authors, agents, and publishers. A number of crime writers have gone from submitting to these sites to getting their first publishing deal. 

Sandra has been published on a number of these sites. A collection of her stories, Cold Rifts, is published by Snubnose Press. Her blog, My Little Corner, is a great source of information about the US crime fiction scene, particular the short fiction scene. Read her post then check it out. You’ll see what I mean.

You’ve taken classes, got a handle on putting words together and you’ve written the most brilliant story in the world.  Yeah.  We’ve all felt that way about our first story and that’s what makes us fear the next step in the process. … Read more

Noir Con or bust guest post #5 Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT

For my fifth ‘Noir Con or bust’ guest post, I’d like to welcome New Jersey based crime writer Thomas Pluck.

Pluck’s stories have appeared in PANK, Crime Factory, Spinetingler, Beat to a Pulp, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Utne Reader, to name a few.

I’ve been pimping my own work a lot lately, but I was keen to get Pluck to write a guest post so I could shill for his latest project Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT, which he’s the editor ofSeriously, this anthology contains some seriously good writing talent doing a mixture of crime, science fiction, Western, noir and other stories. I mean serious. There’s a copy on my Kindle.

I’d try and explain why there’s other good reasons you should buy the book, but Pluck does a better than me. Read his post, then buy the book. 

“Hemingway once wrote, ‘The world is a fine place, and worth fighting
for.’ I believe in the second part.”

That’s from the screenplay of Seven, written by Andrew Kevin Walker. I
don’t know if Hemingway actually wrote what he said he did, but that’s
a great line and it explains how I can write hardboiled fiction and
not eat a gun in the morning. As writers, we peer into the dark heart
of humanity and the abyss winks right back.… Read more

Anthologies, my novel and more shameless self-promotion

In over a couple of weeks I will be jetting off to spend a couple of weeks in the US, New York mostly, followed by a few days in Philadelphia to attend Noir Con.


Several more ‘Noir Con noir bust’ posts are scheduled between now and when I leave, but I just wanted to take a short break from these to do a bit of shameless self-promotion. A lot of writing I’ve been working on for the last year is being released around the same time. By the end of the year it’ll be back to the drawing board, but for now I’ve got some serious pimping to do.

First up, is Crime Factory’s latest publication, Hard Labour, an anthology of 17 noir and hardboiled Australian short crime stories, edited by Cameron Ashley, Liam Jose and myself. We launched this baby last week at Grumpy’s Green in Collingwood.  A fine time was had by all and we managed to sell enough copies on the night to more or less pay the printing bill.

The print version of Hard Labour is now available from our website for $13.99 plus postage. The digital book is available on Amazon here for just $2.99.

It’s a bargain for crime fiction this good.… Read more