Blog Tour~ Blood Tears by Michael J Malone

Hi guys,

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Blood Tears by Michael J Malone and I’ll be sharing a Q&A with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Michael J Malone

Michael J. Malone was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country, just a stone’s throw from the great man’s cottage in Ayr. Well, a stone thrown by a catapult, maybe.

He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His career as a poet has also included a (very) brief stint as the Poet-In-Residence for an adult gift shop. Don’t ask.

BLOOD TEARS, his debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize (judge:Alex Gray) from the Scottish Association of Writers and when it was published he added a “J” to his name to differentiate it from the work of his talented U.S. namesake.

He is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website http://www.crimesquad.com and his blog, May Contain Nuts can be found at http://mickmal1.blogspot.com/

He can be found on twitter – @michaelJmalone1

About the book:

Blood Tears.jpg

The first in a series of books with D.I. Ray McBain – a Glasgow detective who turns to his best friend, Kenny O’Neill when he goes on the run after he becomes the prime suspect in a grisly murder.

An old man is found murdered in his Glasgow flat. DI Ray McBain is called to the scene and is the first to notice that the man’s wounds mirror the Stigmata. The police quickly discover that the victim is a former janitor who worked in several care homes where he abused his charges. Is someone taking revenge thirty years after the fact?

McBain, as a child was a resident of Bethlehem House, a Catholic run care home where the murdered man worked and early on in the investigation, McBain decides to hide a crucial bit of evidence relating to his stay in the convent orphanage.

When his superiors find out, McBain becomes the prime suspect in the case and has to make a decision which will leave him on the run and alone, trying to solve the murders and, at the same time, the puzzle of his past – a past that is pushing into the present with a recurring suffocating dream of blood and feathers that descends on him every night.

Click HERE to get your copy!

Q&A:

Blood Tears

First we do the introductions and get some gratuitous plugs in.  Would you like to introduce yourself and draw our attention to the Michael J Malone books which we should be reading?

I started to take my writing seriously around 1996 – after I found myself saying that once I retired I would write a novel. Then I asked myself: why wait? I discovered my local writing club. Met lots of amazing, generous people – learned lots and put in lots of practise – and it took a few years to get published. My poetry took on more quickly and within 2 or 3 years I was regularly getting poems published. The novels were a different story, and it took until 2012 for my first novel to be released.

As to which MJM books people should be reading? All of ‘em, thank you please very much.

The book I would like to focus on today is Blood Tears which was first published in 2012 – so why have we singled this book out to chat about today?

My publisher for this book (and the follow-up) Five Leaves – to whom I will be eternally grateful to taking a chance on me – are concentrating on their other business (a bookshop) so it felt like this was the time for me to take the right back – and re-publish.

For readers who may not have met Ray McBain before could you introduce your leading man and give us an indication as to what type of guy he is.

He’s abrasive, loyal, committed to the job, doesn’t suffer fools, haunted by his past, has an unhealthy attitude to food – there’s a lot to him which makes it a real pleasure to write.

When Blood Tears was a work in progress was there already a plan in place to bring him back for further outings?

I can barely think beyond the next page that I’m writing so I rarely have a big plan in mind. I just concentrate on the book I’m writing. So, no, I had no idea that this character had “legs” when I started writing him.

I have heard more than one author say that once they publish a book they have gone through it so many times that they never want to read it again…how does it feel to return to Blood Tears after all this time?

There’s been enough distance – 6 years – since I went through that part of the process. A period during which I have published another 8 books, so there’s enough literary water gone under the bridge – if you excuse the strangled metaphor. To go back after all this time, was – how shall I put it – interesting? I’m not sure how to characterise it. I’m not one for self-analysis when it comes to my writing. I’ll leave the critique to others. Friends tell me they can see that I’ve matured as a writer, which I appreciate, but I’m unable to make that judgement. But I can see Blood Tears has a raw feel to it. Not sure if that has answered your question.

Do you have any urge to tinker with the story for this re-release?

I did. But I resisted. It felt dishonest to do so. When it was first released it sold a good few copies and to change it in any way felt like I was cheating those early readers who supported me.

Has self-publishing Blood Tears presented some new challenges?  Are you having to perform roles which previously were dealt with by someone else?

Yes, absolutely. Sourcing a cover. Formatting the script for the various e-book outlets – I’m a technophobe so a good friend of mine (thanks, Martie) was a massive help. And now that the book has been re-released I need to help people discover it and that’s where marketing comes in.

Do you have any other manuscripts lurking on a hard-drive somewhere which you may consider self- publishing?

The VERY first book I wrote hasn’t been published – and the story in there deserves an audience and I’m hoping my publisher will help me whip it in to shape. So the answer is no, but I have a number of poems that could be released in a collection when I get the time.

Catch up with the tour:

Blood Tears Tour Dates.jpg

*Blog Tour* Dog Fight by Michael J. Malone

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Dog Fight by Michael J. Malone and I get to share a guest q&a with you all today. First though, here’s all of the bookish info!

About the book:

Dog  Fight.jpg

Kenny O’Neill, a villain with a conscience, returns in a hard-hitting thriller of exploitation, corruption and criminal gangs. When Kenny’s cousin, Ian, comes to the aid of a fellow ex-squaddie in a heap of trouble, he gets caught up in the vicious underground fight scene, where callous criminals prey on the vulnerable, damaged and homeless. With Ian in too deep to escape, Kenny has no option other than to infiltrate the gang for the sake of his family. Kenny is an experienced MMA fighter, as tough as they come, but has he found himself in the one fight he can never win?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

Michael J Malone.jpg

Michael Malone was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country, just a stone’s throw from the great man’s cottage in Ayr. Well, a stone thrown by a catapult, maybe.

He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His career as a poet has also included a (very) brief stint as the Poet-In-Residence for an adult gift shop. Don’t ask.

BLOOD TEARS, his debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize (judge:Alex Gray) from the Scottish Association of Writers and when it was published he added a “J” to his name to differentiate it from the work of his talented U.S. namesake.

He is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website http://www.crimesquad.com and his blog, May Contain Nuts can be found at http://mickmal1.blogspot.com/

He can be found on twitter – @michaelJmalone1

Q&A:

We never start on a question – this is your chance to introduce yourself and tell us about Dog Fight.

Cool. The blurb runs thusly – Kenny O’Neill, a villain with a conscience, returns in a hard-hitting thriller of exploitation, corruption and criminal gangs. When Kenny’s cousin, Ian, comes to the aid of a fellow ex-squaddie in a heap of trouble, he gets caught up in the vicious underground fight scene, where callous criminals prey on the vulnerable, damaged and homeless. With Ian in too deep to escape, Kenny has no option other than to infiltrate the gang for the sake of his family. Kenny is an experienced MMA fighter, as tough as they come, but has he found himself in the one fight he can never win?

 

What do we need to know about Kenny O’Neill?  Dog Fight is not his first appearance, does he have baggage?

Our Kenny first appeared in Blood Tears alongside his bezzie-mate, Ray McBain and he has appeared in every one of those novels. He took centre stage in Beyond the Rage and does so again in Dog Fight.

As the blurb says, he’s a villain with a conscience. Kenny is a lot of fun to write, he says and does things I wouldn’t dream of, nor would I (mostly) want to.

As for baggage? A shit-load. That’s an official psychological term by the way. You just have to read the books to get the detail.

 

It gets a bit “punchy” in Dog Fight, have you a history of getting into scrapes and scuffles which helped with your research? Rumour has it that Ayrshire is the Dodge City of Scotland.

Hell, no. I’m the biggest wimp you’re ever going to meet. I did karate for about 6 months as a teenager and learned all about “control”: striking without contact. And I practised this assiduously, while other people were actually hitting me, the bastards, so I gave it up. For research I read some books on MMA fighting, watched some clips of fighting techniques on Youtube, and I also watched some actual fights on satellite TV – through my fingers. These guys are brutal.

As for Ayrshire being the Dodge City of Scotland? My lawyer says I should reply with No Comment. There are restraining orders in process.

 

If you could pick one highlight from your writing career to date which memory brings the biggest smile to your face?

Aww, man – so many, and you want me to pick one? I will say that each time I get the first copy of one of my books, fresh off the press, that makes me smile bigly (to paraphrase a certain orange-tinged fellow).

 

Which book has made the best transition to film or a tv series?

Too many to choose from, and on a different day my answer would change, but today I’ll go with the first four series of Game of Thrones. After that the pacing went to shit. It’s still way ahead of most of the stuff that makes it onto our screens, but the more recent series could have been edited with more care.

 

And the obvious follow up – which of your books would you want to see make its way into film? You get to pick one and explain why that was your choice.

The Guillotine Choice. It’s set in the 1930’s and 40’s and is based on a remarkable true story about a hugely inspiring man from Algeria called Mohand Kaci Saoudi who submitted to a 40 year sentence on Devil’s Island rather than have his cousin guillotined by the colonialial French power. It would make great viewing – it has resonance with the state of the world today and is a demonstration of the power and strength of the human spirit when faced with potentially overwhelming adversity.

 

What was the last film you saw at the cinema?

Logan. It was excellent – and a lesson to all the other superhero film-makers that having a few exciting set-pieces isn’t enough. You need an actual story if you really want to engage the viewers.

 

Lots of discussion on whether the next James Bond and also the next Doctor Who should be a woman.  Do you agree (and if you do – who should get the roles)?

I’m not a big fan of either of these franchises so I haven’t spent much time thinking about it. However, I do think it’s important that we have a wider representation of humanity in our popular media – and Tilda Swinton would make an awesome Doctor Who.

 

What book(s) are you reading at the moment?

I just started an advance copy of Dennis Lehane’s next book, Since We Fell – out in May. He’s edging into psychological thriller territory here and I can’t wait to see what he does with it. I’m a huge fan of his work.

And nestling in my kindle is an advance of Lucy Cameron’s debut novel, Night is Watching. I’ve heard big things about this book and can’t wait to get stuck in.

 

You’ve hit your daily word target and saved some seriously good content into the WIP. How do you clear your head and unwind?

Walk the dog, go to the gym, binge-watch something on Netflix, eat too many sugary snacks. Not necessarily in that order.

 

What advice would you give to your 15 year old self?

Where to start? I was SO self-conscious and it was such a waste of energy. People look at you for like a second, dismiss you and then go back to inhabiting a world with their ego at its centre. Mostly, you don’t mean shit to them.

When in company and struggling for something to say ask the other person a question about them. If you are interested you become interesting.

You won’t always be this skinny. The cakes will catch up with you.

The things that come easy? Work harder at them, then you get a career you enjoy.

Embrace your love of cinnamon. Add it to everything. Especially porridge.

Brussel Sprouts. The curse of your childhood. You’ll never get over it. Not even garlic will make them palatable. You will continue to barf at the sight of them for the rest of your life.

You will develop a healthy disregard for the celebrity obsessed culture that is coming your way. Try to spread this particular view to as many people as possible. In fact make it your life’s work.

And finally, if my young self is going to pay attention to any of this it should be: ignore everything you’ve just read – the most effective lessons are the ones you learn for yourself.

 

What is the best job you have ever had?

This one. Writer. 100 per cent the best job ever.

Follow the blog tour:

Dog Fight blogtour.png

Dog Fight by Michael J. Malone

 

About the book:

Dog  Fight.jpg

Kenny O’Neill, a villain with a conscience, returns in a hard-hitting thriller of exploitation, corruption and criminal gangs. When Kenny’s cousin, Ian, comes to the aid of a fellow ex-squaddie in a heap of trouble, he gets caught up in the vicious underground fight scene, where callous criminals prey on the vulnerable, damaged and homeless. With Ian in too deep to escape, Kenny has no option other than to infiltrate the gang for the sake of his family. Kenny is an experienced MMA fighter, as tough as they come, but has he found himself in the one fight he can never win?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

Michael J Malone.jpg

Michael Malone was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country, just a stone’s throw from the great man’s cottage in Ayr. Well, a stone thrown by a catapult, maybe.

He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His career as a poet has also included a (very) brief stint as the Poet-In-Residence for an adult gift shop. Don’t ask.

BLOOD TEARS, his debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize (judge:Alex Gray) from the Scottish Association of Writers and when it was published he added a “J” to his name to differentiate it from the work of his talented U.S. namesake.

He is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website http://www.crimesquad.com and his blog, May Contain Nuts can be found at http://mickmal1.blogspot.com/

He can be found on twitter – @michaelJmalone1

 

My thoughts:

Dog Fight is a Scottish crime/gangland thriller that follows Kenny O’Neill and his cousin Ian. Ian gets into a spot of bother after trying to help out his friend Dom and he doesn’t bank on the hassle that he gets in the aftermath.

Ian gets dragged into the world of underground fighting. Basically beating the living daylights out of an opponent until they can’t take anymore. When Kenny finds out where Ian has disappeared off to, he has little option left but to try and find a way into the fights to see if he can reach his cousin.

What follows is a dark and gritty tale of violence and retribution. The elements of the gangland culture that are woven into the novel make for interesting reading. Power and greed also play a large part in Dog Fight, in many different ways.

I don’t usually read books that have a gangland type theme as I’m not the biggest fan of them. That being said, Dog Fight is a decent read. It has some shady characters, and more than one story going on. I think if you enjoy the likes of Martina Cole et al, then you would enjoy Dog Fight immensely.