Please, give a warm welcome to my first victim of 2016…ahem…guest…IAIN PARKE, the stage is yours!
When and why did you start on the path to become an author?
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.
Great pace! I’m sure the readers will appreciate it. Who do you write for? The audience or yourself?
Being honest, probably myself in the first instance as my books are things I just need to get out. But then the pleasure of messing with reader’s heads I suppose is also quite a selfish one.
Haha! There’s always that! Can we have a short blurb about The Brethren MC series?
They are a hard-nosed set of UK based gritty crime thrillers set in the violent world of outlaw bikers, which are now being developed as a potential TV series.
The series kicks off with Heavy Duty People, where in a few lines, when loyalty to his bike club and his brothers has been Damage’s life and route to wealth, what happens when business becomes serious and brother starts killing brother?
You got me at outlaw bikers! Always had a bit of a soft spot for the bad boys…Okay…cooling myself here…In the series, who is your favourite character? How and why did you create them?
That has to be Damage the central figure in the first book. He’s a character who makes his own life and has made my series.
I’m probably too close to him to give a fair view. The Vulpes Libris book blog described him as “a fantastic anti-hero. A rule-breaker, a loyal servant and a pragmatic murderer; he’s positively Shakespearian in his moral complexity.” Which sounds fair enough
If Damage were a real person, would you hang out with them?
You kidding? I’d probably be in hiding from him.
Lol! Is your work purely fiction and are you totally separated from your characters or is there a bit of you inside?
They are all fiction but saying that, there’s always a core or nugget of autobiography in all my books to a greater or sometimes much lesser extent. There has to be for me to be able to write myself into the characters and understand the logic of the choices they make, while the autobiographical details that help with authenticity.
Seeing as many of them involve the disposal of a number of bodies I’d probably better stop there.
I agree! One can never be too careful… Can you tell us something a little more personal? Like…what’s the best thing for you about writing?
Well it makes a great excuse for anything lurking in my browser history for a start, research covers a multitude of sins.
It also allows me to get away with lots of other things. For example I murdered my ex-boss – I had him garrotted in one of my books. That was very satisfying.
Thank you so much! That was fun! And eye-opening 🙂 If, and when, you want to know more about Iain Parke, keep reading this post and be sure to visit his site!
More about Iain:
Iain Parke imports industrial quantities of Class A drugs, kills people and lies (a lot) for a living, being a British based crime fiction writer and owner of bad-press.co.uk.
Iain became obsessed with motorcycles at an early age, taking a six hundred mile cross-country tour to Cornwall as soon as he bought a moped at the tender age of sixteen. After working as a London dispatch rider, he built his first chopper in his bedroom at university, undeterred by the fact that his workshop was upstairs.
Armed with a MBA degree, he worked in insolvency and business restructuring in the UK and Africa which inspired his 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 then followed by his ‘Biker Lit’ 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, with Heavy Duty Attitude and Heavy Duty Trouble after two of the characters unexpectedly met up again in his head and he went along with them for the ride.
Iain has now found that biker books are a bit like zombies, whenever he thinks he has them dead and buried, they just keep lurching back to life, only dirtier, bloodier and more violent than before as he has completed a new trilogy of Operation Bourbon, Lord of the Isles and now DILLIGAF.
Today Iain lives off the grid, high up on the North Pennines in Northumberland with his wife, dogs, and a garage full of motorcycle restoration projects and he’s working on a number of book ideas.
5 Fun Facts About Iain
As a kid Iain used to ride with his mates to a heavy metal disco in West London every week, where they would hide their mopeds round the back of the carpark before they went in.
Iain once ran a match factory in Africa with its own zebra and employed 300 ladies to fill boxes by hand.
Most of the nicknames in Heavy Duty People (including ‘Wibble’) are real from people Iain has known.
Iain and his wife usually have a pair of Old English Sheepdogs at home as they take in dogs rescued or needing to be rehomed.
Iain once rode down to visit the Bol d’Or 24 hour motorcycle race just outside Marseilles, but as they didn’t sell a day ticket, he didn’t go in, and just rode back again.
Promotional items by Iain:
As a crime writer I read a lot of material by way of research and so for anyone interested in understanding more about the subjects I’m writing about I’ve put together two guides as to 25 key books to read on outlaw bikers and gangsters and gangland.
These are available free from my website, readers can just visit http://bad-press.co.uk/free-reading-guides/ to request them.
Links to Iain’s books: