Thursday, January 15, 2015


NEWMAN, talks and talks in this interview with People, Things and Lit, a popular site hosted by Kevin Cummings.

You can read the interview HERE

IN OTHER news the third international Night of Noir has passed with a full house. Every seat was reserved before the show. To a standing room only crowd James hosted the show and read his earliest published short story CARMEN published with Freedom Fiction. He also read his friend and mentor, Hugh Gallagher's, college essay which you can read HERE and excerpts from OPIUM SPARROWS by musician and writer Kevin Wood. Other guests included Dean Barrett, Tom Vater, John Gartland, John Daysh Jame DiBiasio, Thom Locke and Harlan Wolfe. Noir artist Chris Coles exhibited his paintings. Writers Jim Algie, Stickman and Joe Cummings were in the crowd.

The beat goes on....

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Night of Noir 2015

THINGS REALLY got started when an author by the name of Christopher G. Moore wrote and published a book called A Killing Smile in the early 90s Bangkok. This groundbreaking novel was dark and menacing, brave, humorous, a meditation on the underbelly of the city of Sin.  An expose of an exciting city at one of her most exciting times – Bangkok at night, millions flock to admire her night markets, her bars, food stalls, her endless strips of neon blinking under her starless light. There are no stars in the Bangkok night for they are all on the street. Look at them. Here they are. Buck-toothed street vendors, spikey transsexuals, immaculate prostitutes hand in hand with tattooed Vikings. Men with beards, beggars dragging their crippled bodies along the streets, the man who looks like he swallowed a golf ball sells watches to tourists. Have you seen him? Other books followed including The Big Mango by Jake Needham, Skytrain to Murder by Dean Barrett, Kicking Dogs by Collin Piprell and Private Dancer by Stephen Leather. The mainstream commercial world of literature paid full attention when the talented John Burdett and Timothy Hallinan achieved international acclaim and success with their respective Bangkok based series. Bangkok was in. 

The internet followed and Stickman launched his hugely successful site. The visual arts took note with Chris Coles bursting onto the scene with expressionist paintings that perhaps capture the Bangkok night life better than any other medium. Then came the music with Cambodian’s internationally acclaimed band Krom led by Christopher Minko. The movement gains speed with Poet Noir John Gartland.  Perhaps the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle fell into place when the bar and restaurant Checkinn99 run by Chris Catto-Smith opened his arms to the arts and finally the movement had a headquarters. Once a year we celebrate this artistic movement with music and readings and displays of art and photography at the Checkinn99 between Sukhumvit Sois 5 and 7.

Be there on January 8th 2015 to enjoy a celebration of an artistic movement. James Newman is to host a cast of authors including Tom Vater, Dean Barrett, Jame Dibiasio, John Daysh, and poet John Garland. Art exhibition by Chris Coles and photography showcase by Stickman. Hosted by James A. Newman January 8th 2015.            

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Return to Battle

LAST OCTOBER my grandfather spoke of his time in the army. In Egypt. A twinkle danced across his eye as he recalled those times. He sat and smiled and spoke to me about my decision to leave the country of my birth at the age of twenty-four. I could not compare my act of exploration of the Far East to his act of bravery for his country. Well, his was not a matter of choice whereas mine certainly was a matter of choice. We both got something good from our experiences. The ordered life of military, living among hard smoking, courageous men, men who made decisions were clearly the best times of his life. A world of men in hats and sweethearts keeping the home fires burning. 
This Christmas morning, 2014, he lay in a nursing home motionless apart from the odd breath. I wondered did he remember the army or Egypt, did he realize that the year 2015 may be his last?
But I had to move on from the east of Kent to the Sussex coast and then back to London and Bangkok. Looking at my grandfather for perhaps the last time I realized that the battle for him was over. A game waiting where he knew not the concept of time was about to run out.  
With these thoughts I travelled on.

Train to the Sussex town of Battle, where Harold took an arrow to the eye as legend and tapestry would have it and William the Bastard (or conqueror) whichever source you please, began his campaign.

The rolling stock with automatic doors rather than the slam shut doors of old. The drinks trollies seem to have disappeared. Where did they go? The seats are functional rather than comfortable. We pass Sevenoaks, the town where I lived for the last five years of my life in Britain, Tunbridge Wells. We pass small villages of Wadhurst, Stonegate, Etchingham before we reach a beautiful old farm house with a room, antique desk by the window overlooking what was once a rose garden, now mostly lawn. Cold sunlight shines through willow branches chancing spidery shadows on the lawn. A fine line of frost covers the grass and the lake is partially frozen.

Writing room
So here I write the new novel. Plump wood pigeons, jays, magpies fly from tree to tree. A red fox darts across the farmer’s field where highland cattle graze in the tall grass.
Last night I dreamt that I had returned to Battle and when I awoke I realized I had. Can my grandfather realize such dreams? The nurses told me he screams in the night. When the screams are over, perhaps so is the battle.
For now the beat goes on.