Crime Thrillers

From bullets to bang. How did I start writing my latest work in progress? Or Crime writing generally? No, not bullets to bang. Rather, I felt the soil under my fingernails as I dug up the antique pistol in the garden, and held it limply by my side with no one to shoot.

Felt? Limply? Damn filter words and adverbs…

I wouldn’t know what gunpowder’s made of. So why do I like to read and write about the fierce breed? Well, I’ve encountered that type. No beast so fierce. Always preferred the company of choreographers to assassins, but have had many conversations indeed I’ve shared episodes of my life with both. I’m lousy on the dance floor, and couldn’t shoot the side of a barn with a blunderbuss. So I write. When I blog I tell stories—true stories—from the darker chapters of my life. Read them as warnings, fairy tales, anecdotes—you decide.

Viscount C.B. Hastings IV is the subject of my three book series. He’s in his forties, decadent…determined…deadly… His partner is crime is also his adopted daughter, the eighteen year old Chinese girl, Miss Sedona Li. She’s. . . Well, she’s everything he is not. They share a sweet and rather innocent bond. His old-world erudition is complemented by her modern street smarts as they bring out the best and worst in each other.

Book 1 in the series is a called Night of the Infidel   “A thousand civilians will be slaughtered if an aristocratic former assassin can’t re-awaken his criminal wiles and bring down a powerful young extremist.”    Set in Australia.

Book 2 is Execution of the Beloved      “When a fallen assassin attempts to resurrect himself by avenging the murder of a friend, he lands on the trail of a mysterious treasure hunter.”    Set in Cambodia.

Book 3 is The Suicide Race   “A terminally ill assassin sets out on a final mission, not knowing his adopted Chinese daughter is launching a mission of her own—to stop him assassinating the mayor’s 13-year-old son.”    Set in England.

I hate log lines. Summing it all up in less than 30 words. They’re fun to construct, but rarely completely accurate. Blurbs are better. Book 1 completely ready to go, whereas Books 2 and 3 will get their final edit in March.

The Hastings chronicles began in 2008. Christ, that’s a decade ago. I saw an English aristocrat arguing with a religious extremist on a YouTube video. The total contrast in their characters, outlook, speech patterns –everything, it amazed me, and I got to work writing about them. My outline boiled down to a 3 paragraph blurb, which I shoved into a suitcase along with the hundreds of songs, poems, scripts, treatments, and a 220-page novel written about my Berlin days -all of which are strictly for my eyes only.

On a cold, wet Sunday early in 2015, I opened the suitcase, pulled out the blurb and got to work.

Research.

Legislation, firearms, government counter-terrorism policy, airport security, prostitution, extremism, bare-knuckle-boxing, GHB and Methamphetamine -at the end of week one my head spun. I love research. My Masters Degree is Research (Educational Management), and that doesn’t hurt when it comes to methodology and analysis. Melbourne University. Aaah Melbourne Uni. Uncle Monty loved Oxford. I love Melbourne Uni.

But writing the prose? 430am to 730am every day except Sunday (need a lie in, and it becomes a Reading Day) although Sundays can become nothing days if I’ve been out the evening before. Then off to teach writing all day. Evenings I read and do research. 415am I’m up, drinking earl grey tea and going at it again. If you’re not obsessed, this line of work is not for you.

I am.

In  New York at Thrillerfest last year, I pitched Night of the Infidel to a host of agents –am communicating with some of them now, so it was a very worthwhile excursion. I don’t bother with Query Letters. Better to get in there, face to face. That’s not entirely true, I do send out Query Letters from time to time. At ThrillerFest I did a Masterclass with the great Steven James. Loved it.

Now, I can feel that impulse rumbling in my belly. It’s not the prawn cocktails I had for lunch. I need to knock out a few more reflections on my tumultuous voyage through the human jungle. Lotsa real people and actual events, but flashed up with a bit of saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal. That’s gunpowder.

About

Peter L. Abram is a former London, Berlin and Melbourne-based rave promoter, sometime underground journalist and documentary producer, ex-serviceman, English Language education professional and Melbourne University graduate. He has produced music events all over the world. Peter grew up on a tiny and extremely remote island (his father was a lighthouse keeper) in the Indian Ocean. He was then primarily educated in England and served in the Royal Australian Navy.

After receiving an honorable discharge, he endured a spell of homelessness and almost succumbed to the dark ways of the street before finding a home in the world of underground theater. He performed at the Blackwattle Studios in Sydney, and was a member of the Wet Paint theatre group in London before moving to Berlin where he initially worked with the British Army before turning his attention to nightclub event production and live poetry performance. In 1989 he diarized the tumultuous events in Berlin and ultimately the fall of the Wall. For inspiration in his writing he still draws on the characters he met and adventures he stumbled into at that time. His X-Ray events were some of the most popular club shows of the late 1980s. The night after the wall came down Peter’s X-Ray Brainstorm show was filmed by French Television and screened all over Europe.

In the 90s he returned to Melbourne & began organizing raves. He also wrote and co-produced the documentary The Love Parades, which still stands as the most insightful record of the underground rave scene of that era. Peter appeared on numerous television shows, including A Current Affair and Today Tonight discussing the club and rave scene. Aside from being a frequent guest on Talkback radio, he has hosted his own radio shows, presented regular segments and conducted scores of interviews, usually featuring DJs from all over the world.

In the second half of the 1990s Peter moved back to London and later Hungary where he turned his attention to education. He returned to Melbourne in 2000 and produced what was denounced on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) as the most controversial education course in Australian history, The Entertainment Operations Program. The course was initially designed to train young rave promoters, although in later years it shifted its focus to fashion events. Despite the controversy he endured earlier, Peter is now widely regarded as a seminal figure in the realm of Event Management education and has appeared many times in the media, including Good Morning Australia where he discussed his program, his graduates and their work in Events. A short film promoting the program shot in 2011 can be seen here:

In 2013 and armed with a Masters Degree in Educational Management from Melbourne University, Peter walked away from the entertainment industry to focus on directing English Language Studies which he saw as being more accordant to his first love, writing fiction. In 2014 he left Melbourne to take up permanent residency in Asia.

Currently, Peter directs English Language Studies at an International School in China. In his spare time, he reads crime novels and film scripts. His first novel was a self-published Crime novel, written as a True Crime memoir. He is working on a 3 book series following the adventures of aristocratic English assassin, C.B. Hastings. He recently stopped a long stint publishing fictional crime stories in a monthly Shanghai magazine.

Peter was at the ThrillerFest in New York in July of 2017. He’s currently residing in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Stop by and say hello!

Contact

This is a contact page with some basic contact information and a contact form.