Narc interview

Lee Fisher interviewed me for the latest issue of Narc magazine. Out now…

Ahead of the publication of his new novel Turning Blue, Lee Fisher speaks to Durham-born author about folk crime, violent gamekeepers and Jimmy Savile

Ben Myers is undoubtedly one of the most impressive new voices in English fiction – both Pig Iron and Beastings were widely acclaimed and very powerful pieces of work. His new book, Turning Blue – the first of a pair of novels – is out this month and sees Myers turn his hand to what is being described as folk crime. Always disarmingly honest, Myers admits “That was the marketing man within me, I thought I’ve got to come up with some name for this.”

“I wondered how much it had in common with the rest of the genre. “It’s being sold as a crime book but for me it’s a continuation of what I’ve done before really, there just happens to be a police character… I’m quite selective about what I read… There’s a couple of writers I do really like – one of whom is Derek Raymond. I discovered him through Gallon Drunk and I’ve only read some of his work but I read Dora Suarez a few years ago and it was really dark and violent. I had a powercut at home and I ended up reading the climax of the book by candlelight and it’s a really grim experience. 

“The other writer is Ted Lewis, who’s famous for Get Carter, although it’s actually called Jack’s Return Home, and it’s originally set in Scunthorpe… Those are the two crime writers that I’m into, but it’s a very specific 70s – early 80s period in a way very different to the Ian Rankins and Val McDermids, the mainstream bestselling crime writers. I’m more into the cult, noir stuff, so I’m more attracted to that sort of element, time and place more than plot and police procedure. I mean, Turning Blue’s not a police procedure novel to me. It’s a landscape novel… Originally when I wrote Turning Blue it was about the pig farmer who kills a girl by mistake, and then sort of falls in love with her after she’s dead – that was it really, it was a novella about a guy who’s in love with a corpse…”

Read the full piece here.

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