Aidan Thorn is an emerging crime-writing star, what Paul D Brazill might call a Brit Grit writer. He has a highly entertaining short story collection out now, Criminal Thoughts, so I thought I’d kick a few questions at him to see if he put them away like Sturridge, or flapped a bit like Manchester United’s current attack.
Hi Aidan, do you write for pleasure, or would your soul burn in torment if you couldn’t get your stories out.
I write for pleasure, but part of that pleasure is having my stories out there and being read. Creating the story is great fun but for me there’s no greater pleasure in writing than having people tell me they enjoy what I’m doing, and it’s even better when it’s another writer that I respect. So, getting my stories out is part of the pleasure. It would be great to one day make a living from this thing I love doing, but forgive me if I get a little buzz every time a Gareth Spark or a Paul D Brazill says, nice work about a piece of mine.
You have a novel placed out of sight in a dusty drawer. What is it about, and when do we get to see it?
I think it’s unlikely you’ll ever see the novel, in its current shape anyway. It’s the first thing I ever started to write, and if I was starting it today I wouldn’t write it the way I have. There are around 30 pages before there’s any dialogue and some of the writing is embarrassingly clumsy. What I’ll say is I still think the story and characters are strong, and so one day I might try to reshape it, but it needs a significant edit. Rather than tell you what it’s about here’s how I used to pitch it when I was trying to get the attention of publishers and agent…
The Anti-hero is king, Tony Soprano, Dexter, Ray Donovan… When the Music’s Over introduces the reader to a new anti-hero, Wynn MacDonald and he’s been in the game since the others were in diapers. When Wynn’s ex-employer’s son is murdered he is called out of retirement to find the person that committed the crime and see justice served. Wynn is not a well man but returns to his employer out of duty. Wynn’s investigation leads to some shocking discoveries and he learns that the organisation that he gave his life to was not all that he thought it was and when he eventually tracks the murderer down he is left with some difficult decisions.
When the Music’s Over is a story about relationships and families, tackling the themes of betrayal, murder, dealing with terminal illness and evaluating how life has been spent. This is all explored through the lives of members of a criminal organisation and the families affected by their actions. The story explores how changing circumstances and environments leave once powerful, confident and fearless people feeling vulnerable, isolated and obsolete. This is a character driven story spanning two decades of deceit.
So, that’s it… As I say, I still love the story and characters so if a good agent, publisher is reading this and fancies working with me to edit this into shape, I’m all ears!
You also have two novellas in progress. When do we get to see them. What are they about?
I’ll still be writing, in about four years of writing so far I’ve got a novel (needs work) 20 short stories and a couple of novellas in the works. So in 10 years there will probably be 100 shorts, and a couple more novels. Maybe I’ll make some money from it, but if I’m honest as long as I’ve got money to look after my family and self I don’t need much more than regular trips to the cinema, a PC and books.
More Liverpool than Man Utd, then. Result.
You can read my review of Aidan Thorn’s Criminal Thoughts here.