I am pleased to host my first ever q and a session with Keith Dixon author of new book One Punch as part of his blog tour.
Paul Storey is an ex-cop looking for a job. Bran Doyle was a boxer but he’s now looking for a driver. And perhaps a little more.
Storey takes the job but soon finds himself involved in more than driving. There’s a murder. And conspiracy. And another murder.
And then the real trouble starts.
One Punch continues the series begun by Storey, described by one reviewer as a “highly intelligent, witty and well-plotted thriller”, and by others as “very entertaining”, “a great read” and “an unusual thriller”.
If you like thrillers with surprising characters, intricate plots, lots of humour and exciting action, then One Punch should fit the bill.
It was released 8th May by Semiological and is available here
Q and A session
Firstly thank you Keith for agreeing to do this q and a session and can i just say I have read the book and thought it was brilliant and the story was well written.
Can you tell us about your new book?
One Punch is the second in a new series called Paul Storey Crime Thrillers. It’s set in Coventry, where I grew up, and follows ex-policeman Storey as he finds work as a driver for a local celebrity and businessman – Bran Doyle. In the past Doyle was an unlicensed boxer and now he wants to do something for kids who, like himself when younger, didn’t have the opportunity to learn. So he’s building a gym. The problem is, there are people who want to ruin Doyle and all his works – people who have a history with Doyle and have their own agenda. Though wanting a quiet life, Storey finds himself helping Doyle – and his family – as they fight off these forces who want to destroy them.
The book is part of a series, can you describe the series and how many books there are going to be?
My first series – Sam Dyke Investigations – was set in the North West of England, where I’ve lived for over thirty years. The Paul Storey series is set in Coventry, where I spent my formative years, but which I haven’t visited that often since, except to see relatives. Storey moves back to Coventry from London, where he’s worked for twenty years, which gives both he and I the opportunity to see the city again. Storey left the police force in London under something of a cloud but he’s still a youngish man, so he has to find ways to support himself, and the choices he makes will form the basis of the series. At the moment I can’t say how many books there are going to be, though I’m currently kicking around the idea for the third.
How long did it take you to write this book and also how does that compare to your other books?
In recent years I’ve become a ‘plotter’ rather than a ‘pantser’ – i.e. someone who plots their books thoroughly rather than flying ‘by the seat of their pants’. My first two books took 7 and 4 years respectively to write, largely because I was making it up as I went along. Now I spend probably a month planning and 3-4 months writing. One Punch took just over six months in total, which is a month or so longer than is average for me.
How does this series compare with your other books?
The Sam Dyke Investigations series are told in a conventional private eye format – first person, with just an occasional foray into the point of view of other characters. In the Paul Storey series I’m trying to broaden that. First of all, Storey’s perspective is always third person, and I try to shift the point of view more frequently to other characters and ‘get inside their head’, using speech and thought patterns and vocabulary that they would use themselves. In this way I hope readers will get a broader perspective on the events and a better understanding of characters’ motivations. Plus, it’s fun to do because it’s a technical challenge.
What was your inspiration for writing this book?
When a friend learned I’d grown up in Coventry, he told me about a documentary he’d recently watched about unlicensed boxing, with scenes filmed in Coventry. This was a revelation to me as I knew nothing about unlicensed boxing and I always like it when I have to do research for a book. Then another friend casually told me about working for a family in London and then discovering that the family were notorious villains, and being told by police – after the event – that the house she worked in was bugged. I threw these two stories at each other to see what emerged!
Thank you for the serious questions with regards to your book, now I have a couple of more relaxed questions to get to know you a bit better.
Are there any books that you wished you had written?
My predilections run to American authors in the main, so there are books like The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath and The Catcher in the Rye that are high on this list. Of contemporary crime authors, I would like to have written almost anything by Elmore Leonard or George Pelecanos. There are too many to be specific!
Which famous people, living or dead, would you want to have a dinner party with?
Gore Vidal, Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Heller, Dorothy Parker, Eddie Izzard.
If you weren’t an author what do you think you would be doing? Also what did you want to be when you were younger?
I would probably be scratching around trying to make a living through freelance writing or copywriting/editing. In fact I wanted to be a writer from a very early age – 13 or so – but life got in the way until relatively recently and I’ve been able to devote more time to it. I studied drama and English at college, but as a relative introvert it was always more likely that I’d head towards the English/writing end of the spectrum rather than be a performer!
Thank you for your time.
Keith Dixon was born in Yorkshire and grew up in the Midlands. He’s been writing since he was thirteen years old in a number of different genres: thriller, espionage, science fiction, literary.
During his career he’s been a proofreader for Rolls-Royce, an accounts clerk, a stock-control manager, a lecturer in American literature, an advertising copywriter, a creator of elearning courses and a business psychologist. He’s still waiting to find out what the real destination is.
He’s the author of seven novels in the Sam Dyke Investigations series and two other non-crime works, as well as two collections of blog posts on the craft of writing.
When he’s not writing he enjoys reading, learning the guitar, watching movies and binge-inhaling great TV series. He’s currently spending more time in France than is probably good for him.