…any serious Harley-Davidson rider, who also writes great books and gets playing blues guitar, automatically commands my attention… Author friend, Frank Westworth, is no exception in that regard… have a read of his WURDS of wisdom…
Frank Westworth’s new crime-thriller, ‘The Redemption Of Charm’, arrives at the end of March. In the meanwhile he ponders a topical peril of political correctness…
Writers have a problem. Readers. OK, so writers have many problems, among them … readers. What do readers do which is a problem for writers? Surely they’ve paid their sixpence, bought the book, and everyone is happy. What can possibly go wrong? What goes wrong is that readers sometimes read the books they’ve bought. No no, do not doubt me, for I know this to be true. It gets worse. After reading some of the book some readers write to the writer – to the author. This can be good. This can in fact be great. This can also be a peril.
The peril – one of several potential perils – comes when the reader fails to read what the writer has written. And then takes offence. Takes offence not at what the writer has actually written but at what they’ve read. Let me stand proud and confess here: I write books which are adult. They’re written for adults. They contain adult situations, tales of adults doing adult things with and indeed to other adults. They swear. I write a lot about military and police types. I’ve known lots of guys like this, girls and boys both. And let me reveal here that they can – and indeed do – swear. They use bad language. Profane language. And slang.
I am entirely prepared for any reader who’s read a book and been outraged / appalled / horrified / rendered speechless with jealousy at what the characters in my books get up to. They fight, they fornicate, they do inhuman things like that … and they enjoy it so much that they do it again and again. They eat and drink and do other deadly stuff too. These books are intended to be entertaining, and they’re intended to offer views and perspectives on unusual situations. They are not obsessed with the latest food fads, with girls on trains, memories of empire, lost youth or with flower arranging. I make this plain on the covers. It’s best to do so. And some folk are a bit horrified, but that’s OK so long as they knew what to expect. And if they didn’t and they can’t handle guys saying words beginning with ‘f’ and ending in ‘k’ then … well, enjoy the cloister. Really. Be happy.
I got a letter today. An email. It accused me of being racist. Curious. This does not happen every day. Two things upset the reader. In one scene in a short story one of the characters – a black US Navy SEAL – refers to the occupants of a faraway land from which he has just returned as ‘towelheads’. You’re shocked by this? It’s military slang. Talk to soldiers. Read what they write. A soldier – a Brit who’s closely related to me – served in Germany for many years and referred to Germans as ‘boxheads’. There was no malice in this. It’s pejorative slang, but it’s hardly malicious. Using slang does not make you racist. Writing dialogue in which two soldiers use military slang is … accurate. It sets a tone and makes a scene.
In the same story the same soldier refers to his doubtless mighty manhood as ‘the black torpedo’. This did not bother my reader. Oddly.
Let’s try another. In another story which my reader cited as evidence most profound of my racism there’s a scene in a desert, after a battle. There are some prisoners, they have surrendered and given up their weapons. Except one hasn’t, and knifes and kills a soldier, a Brit in this case (Note: ‘Brit’ is not a racist slur – not an intentional one at any rate). The sergeant in charge asks, kindly enough, who did the killing. No replies. His justice is short, effective and entirely old testament. Is this racist? I think not. The sergeant’s actions would have been the same regardless of the race, colour, creed or gender of the killer. In fact, I wanted to set up a moral puzzle, and I wanted it to be plain, so I called the story ‘Two Wrongs’. This is a clue, right?
And there’s more – always more. Like many other scribblers, I write about nutjobs, psycho killers, paid professional killers (mainly soldiers here). Does that mean that I am one, a nutjob psycho killer? Who knew? Consider this: psycho killers may have views which others may find objectionable – it would be strange if they didn’t, really.
It’s a dangerous world … even the fictional worlds have their own dangers, apparently.
THE REDEMPTION OF CHARM
In ‘The Redemption Of Charm’, anti-hero JJ Stoner prowls the threatening territory familiar to readers of ‘Galveston’ or ‘The Winter Of Frankie Machine’ but with a distinctly British twist. Imagine what might happen if Jack Reacher lost the only fight that really matters…
Black humour and wry realism underscore intense episodes of brutal, no-holds-barred conflict. Snappy dialogue segues into surreal, sometimes deadly sexual encounters.
Finally, Stoner must take his last stand and face his ultimate foe. Survival is far from certain.
Perfect for fans of Lee Child, Don Winslow and Nic Pizzolatto.
JJ STONER HAS EVERY REASON TO KILL
The ex-black ops assassin and former soldier has been betrayed three times over. His enemies brutalised his woman, corrupted his best friend. Stoner is now a danger to anyone who knows him. He’s isolated. Neutralised. Vulnerable.
Now he must confront Charm, the final Killing Sister, and find out whether any of his former friends and allies will stand by his side when the bullets start flying.
JJ Stoner has every reason to die.
Can he find a reason to live?
THE REDEMPTION OF CHARM is published on 28 March 2017 by Book Guild Publishing Ltd at £2.99 in ebook or £7.99 paperback. ISBN: 978-1911320555, available at good booksellers and online
FEEDBACK FOR THE KILLING SISTERS SERIES
‘The writing is stylish, clever, razor-sharp, and we are left in awe of the Killing Sisters, with all their murderous skills and their sexual savagery’
Crime Fiction Lover
‘Guns, girls, guitars and scenes of gruesome violence, all shot through with a wit sharp enough to draw blood. Westworth delivers a plot that drags you along relentlessly’
Award-winning author RJ Ellory
‘A fast-paced, high-powered thriller. Terse and stiletto streamlined and sharp as the blade of a knife.’
Maxim Jakubowski, lovereading.co.uk
‘When the fighting starts, you want JJ Stoner on your side’
Quentin Bates, best-selling author of the Icelandic murder-mysteries
‘A dark, grievous tale of hanging out with a nihilistic killer and enjoying the ride’
Eden Sharp, author of the Vigilante Investigator Justice Series
‘This book is the definition of guilty pleasure with explosions, intrigue, and beautiful murderous women’
Jeffrey Keeten, Goodreads top reviewer
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frank Westworth shares several characteristics with his literary anti-hero, JJ Stoner: they both play mean blues guitar and ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Unlike Stoner, Frank hasn’t deliberately killed anyone. Frank lives in Cornwall in the UK, with his guitars, motorcycles, partner and cat.
…thanks for this, Frank… okay, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… go check out my pal, Frank’s great books… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!
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