Thursday, November 7, 2013

Lou Reed

A few months ago I wrote an article, an obituary in fact, for Lou Reed's liver. A few weeks after that I played and sang a Lou Reed set in downtown Bangkok. Now the sad news has sank in that the rock and roller has died aged 71. Time to write a bit more about the man and how he had made such an influence, not just to myself, but on 20th century culture.

I recall quite clearly hearing I'm waiting for the Man for the first time. The time. The place. 1993. A friend's house, the record was unlike anything I'd ever heard. That violent piano, sardonic bass-line, that cynical vocal range and Moe's tribal drum bothering. And the subject? Scoring drugs....What more could a sixteen-year-old school boy want? I ended up buying the record from the friend there and then.

The new wave of indie bands in the early 90s, were for the most part, obviously not going to last. We had bands with names such as Cud, The Family Cat, Half Man Half Biscuit, Four Heads in a fish-tank...On and on it went.... The Mary Chain I rated and was also smitten with Luke Haine's outfit the Auteurs and their first recording New Wave.

Of course I, like any other young kid in a band raided my parent's record collection. The Stones were all attitude and guitar riffs. The Beatles were always a little bit twee even during their Sergeant Peppers exploration.

VU: Here were a group that sang about drugs, darkness, loneliness, despair. They also sang about escapism and mental explorations without being all West Coast flowery.  Jim Morrison was closer in terms of image and attitude and while the Doors were more solid musicians I'd say Lou wrote the stronger lyrics. He also wrote tender songs - Check out the third Velvet recording.

His solo career was shaky. Highlights included Berlin, New York, Take No Prisoners, Magic and Loss, and The Blue Mask. I saw Lou perform live several times and the acoustic set (in the Queen Elizabeth Hall South Bank) recorded as A Perfect Night is still one of my favorites. I won't discuss Metal Machine Music here - but I still have the original vinyl with the sleeve-note - 'My week beats your year."  

Lou Reed introduced me to literature. On the final pages of Victor's biography there's a transcript of a conversation between Lou and William Burroughs. Reed also dug Raymond Chandler, Selby Jr, and John Rechy's City of Night. He was well read and wrote well.

I feel that there is a line of creative people that stand out from the crowd. Lou Reed held that line strong for many years. Burroughs held it, Bukowski held it; who will hold it now?

Does it even need holding?

Do we need original cult writers and musicians possessed with a special talent and the confidence to just be an artist?

Of course we do.

Lou Reed -     .

Wednesday, November 6, 2013





Sunday, September 1, 2013









Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Late Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules...

Went like this:

1. Never open a book with weather.
2. Avoid prologues.
3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”… he admonished gravely.
5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”
― Elmore Leonard

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Live Reading at Jazz Club - This Saturday 24th August

Download checkinn the vibe.jpg (37.3 KB)



Writers, poets and musicians performing in harmony. 

Hosted by performance poet JOHN GARTLAND


Images, Paintings and Photography by CHRIS COLES & ERIC NELSON.

Film - A Beat documentary starts at 2pm.




Here's the running order...

The Vibe.
Readers in order of appearance.
First hour
First 20 - 30 mins.
Movies / slide show/ music / announcements.
John Gartland intro.
Rob Caprilles
James Newman
Second hour
JG intro.
Collin Piprell
Peter Montelbano
Joe Shakarchi
Tom Vater
Third hour
JG intro
John Marengo
Charles Chester
Open Mike session.
The Vibe : Musicians
Keith Nolan
Franco Garcia
Warren Fryar

The Checkinn99 is the place to be in Bangkok this Saturday 24th August.


Friday, August 16, 2013

13 Words of Advice for New Writers

A few simple rules for new writers of fiction or non-fiction, young or old.

1. Write the book yourself. 

2. Write that book from start to finish. Polish it best you can.

3. Find an agent and a publisher.

4. It you can't find a publisher - keep writing. Submit to forums. Discover your craft.

5. If it still don't happen consider self-publishing. 

6. Do not write your own reviews. NEVER. Nor pay people to write reviews for you. When the public find out that you have then your career is dusted.

7. Promote - don't SPAM. Use the internet as a pub not a notice board.

8. Don't pay people to LIKE you or FOLLOW you on facebook or Twitter.

9. When interviewed don't talk about your sales figures - talk about your craft.

10. Review books - interview fellow authors and get involved in local events.

11. Learn to play the guitar.

12. Drink and smile.

13. Be happy. Not a race - It's a journey.

Buy the ticket. Enjoy the Ride.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Did I mention The White Flamingo is now out?

Oh, I did. Ok.

Grinding you down.

The Flamingo peaked at number 26 in the Amazon Crime Noir chart and now is hovering in the top 100.

Some early reviews to follow....

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A drink with John Daysh.

JIM'S BEACH HUT, a rude construction nailed together from palm timber and corrugated iron. A well stocked bar and a floor covered with cushions, ashtrays, and editions of bizarre Asian jazz mags. Three hammocks, a chessboard, and a sign: No Tracy Chapman.

Jim's Hut

JN: So, John Daysh, short story prize-winner, novelist, editor, educator, and now publisher, welcome to the beach hut, baby. Two questions, off the bat, as it were. First: What can I get for you from the bar, and second what record shall we slap on the old gramophone?

JD: Johnnie Black with soda, thanks.  And how about a bit of Radiohead.  Some of the early stuff.  Pablo Honey maybe.

JN Sure. [Jim walks over to an old icebox and swings the lid open. Takes out a bottle of Johnnie and pours, adds some soda, no ice, and hands the glass to his guest. As an afterthought Jim cracks open a coconut with a rusty machete, pours out some of the milk onto the sand and fills it with vodka, sticks a straw in it and sits on the hammock.] This will do me. How did Cut out the Middleman come about, originally? What was the seed? Where were you and what were you doing when you decided to write the novel?   

JD: Don't forget the music.

JN: I’m getting to that.

JD: Let me have a bite or two of the whiskey before we start talking about my seed. I guess the seeds came early.  As they often do in your early adolescence.  All dick jokes aside, for now....

JN: [slurps from the coconut] Toilet humor is encouraged in the Rude Hut. I deplore censorship. Speak easy- imagine I’m an abusive shrink.

JD:  Well, other kids dreamed of being an All Black.  I dreamed of being a writer - mostly because my mum was afraid I'd get hurt playing rugby and made me play soccer. I found my danger through travel later in life. It wasn't until I started to travel in my late 20's that I had any stories to tell.  I always wanted to write but until then I had nothing to say.  I wrote the first half of the novel during the evenings in a secret underground bar in the basement of a cheap hotel in Muscat.  The rest of it followed the next year while living in China and holidaying frequently on Thai beaches. Some in London, too.  I finished it in a hotel in Bangkok.  I wasn't much bothered about publication; completing the writing of it was a Cathartic moment.  I've never been very good at finishing things, aside from relationships, so to whip up a complete story of 300 plus pages and hold the book in my hands was a nice moment.

JN: [slides in the CD.] This is the UK version of Pablo Honey, with the original lyrics to Creep. None of that radio friendly fodder in my Hut. What writers, if any, influence the way you write, or have any impact on your attitude to all this lit business. Can you remember the first adult book you read. By adult, I don't mean Jazz mags - Razzle, Knave or Reader's wives. I mean what author first floated your boat? 

JD: As a young teenager (and ever since) I read everything that Stephen King wrote.  And Ernest Hemingway.  King's storytelling and characterization is second-to-none.  And Papa's style is so important.  He taught me that you don't have to be a literary purist to be a writer.  Simplicity beats a Fancy Dan every time.  Verb and dialogue trumps metaphor and adjective

JN: Should an adverb ever be used?

JD: Sparingly
John's novel.

JN [recklessly pours Gin and Vodka into two glasses, adds a splash of lime and then a healthy measure of Vietnamese Snake wine.] Try this. I call it the Singapore Slag. The wine is distilled with a venomous snake inside the bottle. Going back to Hemingway, I once read in the Paris Review that Papa wrote standing up. Do you have any strange rituals or quirks when it comes to writing?   

JD: Mostly I try to be conscious.  Then I can delete what I wrote when I was unconscious. All ball-bouncingly hilarious comedy aside....I have always been a routine writer.  I need the alarm to go off at 7:30, to have breakfast by 8:30 and the wife to fuck off by 9.00.  No contact until midday at the very earliest.  That gives me the time and space to write.  Nothing quirky, I don't think.  Just peace and quiet. Jim, that snake wine isn't going to blur my slurred words is it?

Care for a bite?

JN: Snake wine takes no prisoners. [Opens a mother of pearl tobacco tin and offers John a smoke.] Something I ask a number of writers is 'can creative writing be taught?' It’s a good question. Is there such a thing as an artist, and if so can an artist be taught to have an original idea, or is it all down to genetics and bad parenting?  

JD: I took a bottle of Vietnamese snake wine through New Zealand customs once.  They confiscated it until they could determine whether the snakes curled up in the bottle were endangered species.  I didn't expect to see the wine again but it arrived by courier a few days later.  Drank it too.  Tasted like shit. Can creative writing be taught? [lights a pre-rolled cigarette]  I don't think so. Can grammar, spelling, structure, punctuation be taught?  Yes it can.  Creative writing can be practiced but can't be taught. I think most good writing is a result of a good writer sharing a good story.    Not easy to manufacture that.  Good stories come through experience and good writing comes with practice.  Good writing takes time.

JN: Well this bottle houses the Naja siamensis or Thai Spitting Cobra, while rare it is not an endangered species. Its an old Chinese practice, bottling reptiles with booze. Supposed to have a curative effect. Well here's to it (necks a shot) What are you working on now, John?
JD: Am working on another novel at the moment - Like a Moth to a Flame.  Set in Bangkok and Koh Chang.  All going well it should be out by the end of the year.

JN: And rumor has it there's an anthology in the works?

JD: There is another rumor that you and I might co-edit it.

JN: Really? 

JD: Yes. The book market is drenched in bad expat novels set in Thailand.  It is really easy to write a bad novel.  It is also tough  to write good short fiction.  In fact, many say it is harder to write a good short story than a  novel.  But there are some damn fine writers out there and a good concise and powerful short story can help identify who they are.  There are not many short story anthologies out there than look to explore escapsim in the eyes of expat writers.   That is the vision. Can I have some more of the snake piss?

JN: Trust in me [sings jungle book song, pours another glass, downs it.]

JD: I think we're a good way into things and hopefully it'll be out in a few months time.  Good fun.

JN: Sure [Jim pours two more glasses of snakes piss, necks his and hands the other to JD] this all goes back to the days when we would feature more heavily on the Thailand Stories website. So many talented writers publish their stuff there it would be a shame not to have a collection of that wave of authors, who came after the first wave of Bangkok fiction writers (Asia books, etc) and before the recent ebook tsunami. That is the idea, and to make some money for a good cause, of course. A snake farm or endangered reptile orphanage, a baboon sanctuary of some kind perhaps?

JD: We've not shied away from hedonism over the years, Jim.  Maybe we should just blow the cash on a big night out in Bangers. Or maybe we should do it for the kids....  And I'm not talking about free snake piss for orphans.  Let's find a good honest charity where the cash will help some underprivileged kids.  Perhaps you or one among your hoards of pulp groupies knows how we can do some solid good.  Screw the writers.   They'll just piss away the money anyway.

Jim drinks.
JN: Yes, I just feel lizards need love too. But seriously the money will go to one of the Klong Toey projects, direct to the needy, not swallowed up in administration. I used to work at one of the slum schools a few years back, the whole of Thai society looks down on the poor and uneducated. Its not like it is in the west where a bit of street smart and a few contacts can see you rise up. Hell, its not like what it used to be here when the Chinese were poor immigrants and made it up to the position they now find themselves in. Education is key. But sorry, reptile urine, makes me emotional. Shit.

JD:  Yeah, me too. mate.  Me too. Latest project?  We're juggling a few projects at the moment which doesn't leave many hands to do a bit of spanking. Along with a novel in progress and the anthology, my favourite Bangkok detectice, Joe Dylan, is about to make his third appearence in The White Flamingo.  And can I say cheers and congratulations, Jim.  I think your fans will love it.  Your writing keeps getting better and better. Shall we crack another bottle?

JN: When in doubt, bring the Mekong out. [Jim cracks open a bottle of the orange labelled fire water the Thais call whiskey but is actually some kind of filthy chemical rum] Ice?

JD: You have Mekong?  Vintage Mekong?  Hey, I'm not royalty.  Just a cube thanks.  And fill it up a bit more ... bit more ... bit more... just under half .. okay, just over half.  Thanks, Jim.  Chok dee.

Respect this shit.

JN: Watch yourself on that shit. I've lost a few good friends, houses, vehicles, and crazy girlfriends due to the liquid gold. Tell me John, what’s the strangest thing you've seen on you travels?

JD: The following excerpt is from another "novel in progress" buried deep in a drawer somewhere but I swear to Robbie Fowler that it is from experience and it is honest and accurate.  Saw this in a village in Jiangsu, China.

    “I saw a head once,” said Dan as they wandered along, their pace slowed by Joe’s mood.
    “A head. A human head. No arms, no legs, no body as such. Just a head sitting on a cushion at a roadside stall in some desolate town out in the middle of nowhere.”
   “Bullshit,” said Joe.
   “No shit, man. I swear. It was amazing. It was a woman. Her face was old and worn. But her eyes were perfectly clear and deep.” He shook his head and chuckled, awed again by the memory.
   “How can you be just a head?” Joe snorted.
   “I was walking along and I looked at some fruit at a stall and there she was, staring at me.”
    “There must have been some thing below the head, surely?”
    “I stopped and looked at her and I just couldn’t look away. Her eyes were sparkling and I gave her the biggest smile I could. And she smiled back at me. It was amazing. Most beautiful smile I ever saw.”
    “You can’t be just a head. It’s crazy. You’re crazy,” said Joe. Dan laughed at him.
    “Yeah, there was this tiny little bundled wrapped up below the head. Must have been the organs. But it wasn’t a body. I don’t think there could have been any bone structure. It was smaller than the head.”
    “A head. Just a fucking head,” said Joe. Dan nodded.
    “Was tempted to ask for a....” 
     They laughed hard and lifted their pace again

JN: Is that the Mekong talking? Jeeze, I can’t top that. Let’s finish this bottle before the roosters start crowing. I'm struggling for more questions. Must be the Mekong. Should we mention publishing? And be prepared I start ranting when I get on the subject of art and publishing. The whole kindle thing has blown the barn doors off the establishment, right?

JD: We're in the middle of a publishing re-vo-lu-shun.  The pulp is rising to the top.  

JN: Yeah, it all looks good, mate. Looks like another scorcher.

The sun begins to rise above the tropical sea in purples, oranges, and pinks. Jim picks up an old guitar, constructed from driftwood and strums a few chords. John lights up a pre-rolled cigarette and starts beating a battered set of bongos. It seems that any more conversation would be less enlightening as the sounds of the waves breaking over the rocks...

.....Nick Adamson only planned on being in Thailand for a week. But a week later he is running a beach bar, selling drugs to tourists, falling out with the police, falling in love with a hot blonde, and duelling with an out-of-control, drug lord. Cut Out the Middle Man follows Nick’s descent into the illicit underworld of beach life and the dysfunctional characters who operate beneath the thin veneer of paradise islands.....

John Daysh's novel Cut out the Middleman is for sale here for the super price of 3 dollars and 4 cents.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


New short story updates...Two of my stories published in print books...

The guys at freedom fiction have put out a new print anthology including one of my short stories....

Buy here...

Twisted Tales...

And the guys at BIG PULP magazine also included my short flash story 'Two lumps and a Pair of Glasses.'

Buy here...

Big Pulp Magazine...

The Beat Goes on...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

5 Quick Quotes from the D section...

"Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."
Roald Dahl

“There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.”
Charles Dickens 

 “Writing: Turning one's worst moments into profit.”
J.P. Donleavy

 ““Right or wrong, it's very pleasant to break something from time to time.” 
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 “Behind every beautiful thing, there's some kind of pain.”
Bob Dylan

Friday, June 14, 2013

Indie recall.

I grew up in the 90s. The music was great. From the age of fourteen I was sneaking up to town to see bands play. One of my favorite bands were Adorable, and this song seems to be about the life I later led. Moving from hotel room to hotel room writing fiction...

Man in a Suitcase

Like all the great indie English bands of that era - Th' Faith Healers, Compulsion, Kingmaker, Thousand Yard Stare, Sensitize, Eat, The Senseless Things, nobody has ever heard of them. They were our heroes. And still are.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Lou Reed’s Liver – An Obituary.

Lou Reed’s Liver came into the world March 2nd, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York.

Nourished from milk from birth until infancy when the organ switched to a diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, tutti fruttis, and Mary Janes.

During adolescence Lou Reed’s Liver suffered severe trauma, by way of electric shocks administered weekly. Some have suggested that this early trauma may have contributed to Lou Reed’s Liver’s later legendary live performances on the metabolism circuit.

Lou Reed’s Liver’s most notable and remarkable accomplishments are in the field of drug metabolism and sulphation. Although early experimentations with morphine and heroin indicated the brilliance to come, it wasn’t until the organ began work in the field of amphetamine metabolism that scientists took note. For a period of five years during the seventies, the only nourishment that Lou Reed’s Liver received was in the shape of coffee flavored ice cream.

As the seventies slid into the eighties the drug of choice switched to alcohol. Lou Reed’s Liver wrestled with whiskey, beer, and peach schnapps, along with the occasional chemical bender. One day in 1987 Lou Reed’s Liver stopped ‘playing live’ to toxins.

Lou Reed’s Liver passed away recently in Kansas during a complex and amazing feat of modern medical science.  Those closest to it will remember the organ fondly. Lou Reed’s Kidneys were unavailable for comment, however his gall bladder has said it looks forward to performing alongside the new replacement.

The beat goes on.

Seriously, please; if you haven’t already done so fill in one of those little donor cards. You may just save a legend’s life. Get well soon Lou.

BKK 8.6.13

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Natives. Auditions June 13th.

What happens when you throw a vegan eco-warrior, a part time carpenter, an academic, a star wars geek, and a Vietnam veteran into the same rice bowl?

Come and find out on June13th at the Checkinn99 Bangkok. An audition / script reading session in Jim's Dungeon, the downstairs green room of the historic Bangkok venue,Sukhumvit between sois 5 and 7 ---- Directions are (from bar manager Chris) as follows: over Soi 7 towards Soi 5 from Nana BTS exit one .. running the gauntlet of Indian tailors, lady boy massage shops, market stalls of picture frames, golden posters, copy tshirts, sunglasses, handheld electrocution devices and when you come to Bangkok's biggest market stall of viagra and erotic toys you hang a right and walk down the alley.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Red Night and Lists...

Tom Vater reviews Newman's Red Night Zone for the Chang Mai City News, the first reviewer to note the link between beat, the pulp novels, and the Bangkok night that influence Newman as an artist.

Bangkok pulp writer James Newman has hammered out another shot-from-the-hip fast-as-they-come thriller, featuring recovering alcoholic and PI Joe Dylan drifting through the Zone, a sly reference to William Burrough’s Interzone – a place where all races lead to the bottom, all smiles are false and everyone is out to kill everyone else for a few bucks. Like Burroughs, Newman both despises and admires the darkness he has witnessed and he manages to harvest a modicum of sloth and violence in his newest story.....

Read it here.

In other news Newman made it to the best ten crime novels set in Bangkok, Thailand....
Amazon list...

The beat goes on...


MUG SHOT........




BKK. 12.5.13

Friday, May 10, 2013


Out there in the night of a thousand crimes people were dying, being maimed, cut by flying glass, crushed against steering wheels or under heavy car tires. People were being beaten, robbed, strangled, raped and murdered. People were hungry, sick, bored, desperate with loneliness or remorse or fear, angry, cruel, feverish, shaken by sobs. A city no worse than others, a city rich and vigorous and full of pride, a city lost and beaten and full of emptiness.

The beat goes on...

BKK 10.5.13

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Coles Paints Newman


James A. Newman is now officially part of the Bangkok Night with this portrait by American expressionist Chris Coles.

A former Hollywood producer Chris Coles has been painting in Bangkok for many years. His work has been shown all across the world and is part of emerging, and major private collections.

His excellent book Navigating the Bangkok Noir is avaiable here...Navigating the Bangkok Noir

Visit the blog here....

The artist is Newman's personal favourite contemporary living artist working in  the region, so it is a thrill for him to see this portrait.

The beat continues,

BKK May 2013.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Top Ten Zombie Quotes......

The undead is all the rage.

And why not?

Living is overrated. The world is being increasingly populated by us zombie-like creatures pecking into our mobile telephones and stroking our iPads. 



The lot of us...

Besides nothing better than a night in with a good Zombie flick.
Here's my top ten all time quotes from the world of Zombie cinema...

10) Zombieland

"It's amazing how fast the world can go from bad to total shit storm."

9) Evil Dead Part 2

Bobbie Joe: You're holding my hand too tight.
Jake: Baby, I ain't holding your hand

8) Return of the living dead

"I love you… let me eat your br-a-a-a-a-a-a-i-n-s"

7) Dead Alive. 

 "I kick ass for the lord!"

6) Cemetery Man

"At a certain point in your life you realize you know more dead people than living"

5) Return of the living Dead

Trash: Do you ever wonder about all the different ways of dying? You know, violently? And wonder, like, what would be the most horrible way to die?
Spider: I try not too think about dying too much.
Trash: Mm. Well for me, the worst way would be for a bunch of old men to get around me, and start biting and eating me alive.
Spider: I see.
Trash: First, they would tear off my clothes...
Chuck: Hey, somebody get some light over here, Trash is taking off her clothes again.

4) Dawn of the Dead

"When there's no more room in hell the dead will walk the earth."

3) Day of the Dead

"All you've given us lady is a mouth full of Greek salad. Formulas, equations, a lot of fancy terms that don't mean a thing. I wanna know if you're doin' something that's gonna help us out of this deep shit we're in, or if you're all in there just jerkin each other off."

2) Return of the Living Dead - Part 2

"Get that damn screwdriver out of my head!"

1) Ash Army of Darkness (Dedicated to my late mate Ash)

"Yo, She-Bitch, LETS GO!"

Rest in



April 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Missing in Rangoon. A Review.

MISSING IN RANGOON is not only Christopher G. Moore’s most accessible and finest novel, but a coherent continuation of all the books the Canadian born Bangkok based author Moore has written and published in over a quarter of a century of prolific literary accomplishments.

One can get lost in the language of the early land of Smiles trilogy (A Killing, Bewitching, and Haunting Smile), and reread passages with renewed enjoyment each time. The early Bangkok Land of Smile novels were experimental in their use of POV switches, cutting in of newspaper and magazine articles, seamless dialogue, and dreamlike narrative voice; chapters verging into stream of consciousness voice. The reader could eat the language and recognize the wide, vibrant, colorful cast. Three books of their time and place they indeed were. However, Christopher G. Moore, as a novelist has moved to a more commercial and in my opinion better place.

The publication of Spirit House first in the Vincent Calvino crime series marked a sea change. Moore gets a firm grip on plot, action, and narrows the cast down to a net of familiars and necessary extras. With Vincent Calvino, the writing becomes tighter, more organized. The books become pager-turners. 

Never an author to create fully formed antagonists, and perhaps true to the noir genre, the cities themselves breathe fear and anxiety, mystery and suspense onto the pages.

The big pull with Moore’s work is the descriptions of the exotic places he knows too well. Descriptive passages I feel detailed rather too heavily in some earlier works. I live and walk the same streets as Calvino does.

One way of looking at a brilliant piece of fiction is that if one single paragraph be taken away from the work then the whole story crumbles to dust without making sense. Writing fiction is about taking away what is not required. One must chip chip chip away at a rock to uncover a statue. Missing in Rangoon achieves this.

The balance of dialogue, description, and action is perfect.

The story?

Calvino – half-Jewish-half-Italian private eye and his jazz saxophonist police connection take a trip to the recently opened Burma on a twofold case. One to find the whereabouts of a Bangkok bar-owner’s wayward bass guitar bothering son, and two to intercept the smuggling of over the counter cold pills smuggled across the border from Rangoon into Bangkok for the production of methamphetamine. Calvino encounters an interesting cast of characters including a fine noir vixen, a fortune-telling private dick, the mob, and the usual cast of ways and strays flung to any South East Asian city. I recommend reading Missing in Rangoon, even if you have not read Christopher G. Moore’s novels before and especially if you have.

His best yet.

Christopher G. Moore reading in the Bangkok Night.

Review by James A. Newman

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bangkok Night of Fiction

The classic old school night haunt Checkinn99 was filled to capacity. The readers gave an excellent performance. The audience were receptive and respectful. It was a success.

Thanks to all authors and artists for making my job easy.

I will blog about this after the nervous exhaustion wears off...

In the meantime here's a fine article from literary reviewer Kevin Cummings....

And some photographs from Aroon Vater....

Bangkok Fiction Night of Noir

And some more pictures from the club manager Chris Cotto-Smith


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Read more about the Red Night...

Review from Amazon...

This is what writing should be about. Great metaphors, brilliant segues from one event to the other, a feeling of living vicariously through the characters inside the world the writer creates.

Perfectly designed character in a PI role, with the right amount of grizzled and jaded views from its protagonist, Joe Dylan. He paints a vivid landscape of his surroundings, while pursuing what it is that comes his way. It's a deep journey and one of the best books I've read in ages.

Buy it.

Read more about the Red Night...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


"The only thing I know about books, is that they should be like a woman's dress: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to be interesting." So says protagonist, Joe Dylan in James A. Newman's RED NIGHT ZONE - BANGKOK CITY.....

Read the review here...

Amazon Review

Red Night Zone - HARD Version

No, you dirty-minded scamps NOT that sort of HARD version

A hard paperback version of the book.

Order on Amazon......

Red Night Zone Paperback

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Red Night Zone 2013

On Sale today!!!!

Click to buy the new and improved Bangkok City,

Now called, wait for it,

Red Light Zone - Bangkok City

Edited and rewritten for 2013...

There's even a spanking new cover...


Follow P.I Joe Dylan through the Bangkok underword... A world of bizarre nocturnal acts, black magic rituals... A seedy Bangkok underworld that picks-up fallen women from the streets and throws them into an evil world of torture and murder...

Now for sale on Amazon....

Red Night Zone - Bangkok City

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bangkok Express, interview, and stuff.....

...Sooooo in this interview with literary critic Voicu Mihnea Simandan I manage to name check...

Ken Bruen, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, James Hadley Chase, Sammuel Beckett , James Joyce, Keith Richards, William Burroughs, Charles Bukowski, Celine, Raymond Chandler, J.P. Donleavy, Dashiell Hammett, Hunter S. Thompson, Alexander Trocchi, Patrick Hamilton, Lawrence Block, Knut Hamson, Jack Kerouac, Christopher G. Moore, Tom Vater, Tom Earls, Lou Reed, Alan Watts, Freud, Jung, John Daysh, Barney Rosset, John Burdett, Joe Dylan.  

Read it here...

And new Title out soon.....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Gaijin Cowgirl by Jame DiBiasio - A Review.

Val Benson – a rich kid with a few family secrets in her locker winds up in a Japanese hostess bar before entangling herself in a treasure hunt for lost gold in the Thai / Burmese jungle. Along for the ride are Suki (great name) her Japanese hostess friend, Muddy (again great name choice) a gritty Australian treasure hunter, and Simon- a sarf Londan kick boxer.

Reminiscent of Karin Slaughter’s Tokyo the beginning opens with Val arriving in Tokyo, finding her feet in a hostess bar, and meeting an old flame who happens to be a lawyer working on busting former Japanese war criminals. One of whom is also Val’s number one customer, painter of female genitals, and holder of a lost treasure map. Val goes to the client’s home, takes the treasure map along with a bag of cash, battles C.I.A agents, watches the old war criminal nearly die, and escapes with her life, the cash, and the map. Her diplomat father gets her out of the country to Hong Kong where she meets up with Muddy and then onto Bangkok where the search for treasure starts proper.

Gaijin Cowgirl is a high-octane chase thriller; the action level only drops when the author fills us in with historical details – all of which are probably not a hundred percent essential to the plot – interesting nonetheless. The cast is wide and colorful and the backdrop always illuminating. This is a fine first novel by author Jame DiBiasio who moved to Hong Kong from New York in 1997. DiBiasio has researched and structured his novel well, tension rises and lowers, the plot is strong and well resolved. Although Val is at times a weak protagonist she finds out something about herself, her family and her place in the world during this adventure. And that, my fellow readers, is what writing character adventure fiction is all about.

Monday, March 18, 2013

From B to C.

Quotes from the ‘c’ section.

First up the one and only Raymond Chandler….

“I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.”

― Farewell, My Lovely

James M. Cain was on the money here…


“If your writing doesn`t keep you up at night, it won`t keep anyone else up either".”


Albert Camus had a point here…

"You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question.”

― Albert Camus, The Fall

And oh, my favorite poet. Gregory Corso...
"Last night I drove a car
not knowing how to drive

not owning a car

I drove and knocked down

people I loved

...went 120 through one town.

I stopped at Hedgeville

and slept in the back seat

...excited about my new life."