The Blood Red Experiment: Tom Leins

Featured Image -- 2588The Blood Red Experiment:
A Serial of Giallo-Inspired Novellas
Tom Leins
Didn’t Bleed Red

  • How did you first discover Giallo?

During my late 20s I worked for a now-defunct UK home entertainment magazine called DVD Monthly – a national publication which was improbably run out of a sub-let box-room on Marsh Barton industrial estate in Exeter. A grizzled old-timer known as ‘The Grifter’ quickly took me under his wing and introduced me to the dubious charms of what were dismissively termed the ‘back-end features’.

Among the regular back-enders were ‘5 Minute Film School’, which scrutinised various obscure sub-genres – the bulk of which weren’t even available on DVD. The Giallo film school piece captured my attention and prompted me to write about everything from Bruceploitation to Poliziotteschi to Hindi Horror in subsequent months. If it’s weird, violent and slightly shoddy I probably like it.

  • Do you have a favourite film or director?

One of my favourite movies within the Giallo sub-genre is probably Dario Argento’s feverish, mind-boggling Suspiria, which comes highly recommended.

That said, a lot of the Giallo films I have watched over the years are at the trashier end of the scale and were released by the Shameless Screen Entertainment label – instantly recognisable in the UK by their lurid yellow (Giallo inspired!) covers and DVD boxes.

When DVD Monthly was abruptly shut down, we literally filled bin-bags with whatever was lying around our grotty little office, and I managed to grab a bunch of these. Weirdly, I found a handful of Shameless DVDs in my attic as recently as last year… Anyway, it’s these deranged, cheerfully exploitative movies that have inspired my story in The Blood Red Experiment, rather than the more sophisticated work of Argento.

  • How would you pitch your story to potential readers?

Didn’t Bleed Red takes place in the Paignton Noir universe that I’ve painstakingly stitched together over the last decade. The story mashes up a number of familiar Giallo tropes – voyeurism and violence, sex and slaughter – with my warped world of shit pubs, grubby sex hotels and sleazy video shops. It sounds incongruous on paper, but I’m confident it works!

(And yeah, sure enough, there’s a deranged sex-killer in a motorcycle helmet running amok with a meat cleaver…)

  • What appeals to you about the serialised format of the magazine? And what were the biggest challenges in terms of serialising your story?

I’m a pretty lousy plotter, so this little project has been a really interesting exercise in forward planning! I have really enjoyed working towards a major cliff-hanger every 2,000 words – so much so that I’m going to adopt the same approach for my next novella. This ‘restriction’ has given my story a frantic, twitchy kind of energy, and it has been a lot of fun to write.

  • Finally, do you have any future publishing plans that you would like to share?

I will have some very exciting 2018 publishing news to share very soon, but I’m keeping quiet until the contracts have been signed. Suffice to say, it involves one of my favourite independent crime fiction publishers. Watch this space!

Bio:
tom-leins-summer-2017Tom Leins is a disgraced ex-film critic from Paignton, UK. His short stories have been published by the likes of Akashic Books, Shotgun Honey, Near to the Knuckle, Flash Fiction Offensive, Horror Sleaze Trash and Spelk Fiction. A novelette, Skull Meat, is available via Amazon.

https://thingstodoindevonwhenyouredead.wordpress.com/

 

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Song for a Saturday: Madonna of the Wasps – Robyn Hitchcock

Coming this Halloween, a neo-giallo serial magazine The Blood Red Experiment. My novella in slices takes its name from this song. An ancient knife, a bloody ritual and a killer obsessed with his queen: get ready for the Madonna of the Wasps and six more compelling thrillers.

Story for a Sunday: The Cabal

“The Cabal” from  Pulp Metal Magazine back in June of this year:

‘I’d kill for more reviews,’ Chris muttered, downing the dregs of his pint. In his head he calculated how much was left of the twenty he was meant to hold onto until Friday.

‘I’d sell my soul for more reviews,’  moaned Sandy. The bartender chuckled but no demon appeared in a puff of smoke at the summons.

‘But your books are so good. Don’t you have a bunch of five star reviews?’ Chris didn’t want to admit that he had long ago decided a four star wasn’t all that bad.

Sandy exhaled noisily. ‘I never get more than three of them though. The one novella I set to free? That one’s got seven. But no sales. People only want free stuff unless you’re famous…

Read the rest at Pulp Metal Magazine and take gander at the other stuff M. Michel has gathered there.

Story for a Sunday: 30 Versions of ‘Warm Leatherette’

The world feels rather Ballardian of late, so here’s an appropriate tale:

30 Versions of Warm Leatherette at Pulp Metal Magazine.

Toy Monkey by Graham Wynd

toy monkeyMy latest up at PMM.

PULP METAL MAGAZINE

The man had a toy monkey. A fucking toy monkey.

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Out Now: Extricate/Throw the Bones

Extricate Throw the Bones Dual Cover

Out now in gloriously shiny paperback: the two gritty noir novellas Throw the Bones and Extricate, along with a selection of Brief Capers that include “Losing My Religion” as featured in Otto Penzler’s Kwik Krimes plus stories featured in Near to the Knuckle, Shotgun Honey, A Twist of Noir, Pulp Metal Magazine and more. Enclosed in a dual cover by Sarah Anne Langton, this is a book that will class up the joint — if you ever let it out of your hands.

‘EXTRICATE is a twisty- turny noir tale of dishonor amongst thieves that is skewered with hot lust and cold blooded murder.’

Paul D. Brazill, author of Guns Of Brixton and Gumshoe

‘Crime meets erotica in a fevered novella. Graham Wynd has written a fluid and tight story with vivid characters in situations that are inextricably charged with a sexuality from which you will find it hard to extricate yourself.’

Richard Godwin, author of One Lost SummerApostle Rising and Mr Glamour

Buy it on Amazon US (click the picture below) or Amazon UK: