Irreverent, informed and downright eclectic crime fiction and reportage from Southeast Asia and beyond
My thoughts on the imminent demise of Bangkok’s incredibly varied, often delicious and pretty cheap streetfood in today’s Daily Telegraph.
“Since the May 2014 military coup, Bangkok has been gradually changing from a chaotic, bustling happy-go-lucky south-east Asian capital with a hedonistic bent into an increasingly drab and orderly bargain basement version of Singapore,” said Tom Vater, our Bangkok expert.
“Street food lies at the heart of this development. The more than 20,000 street food vendors who currently face eviction have long been one of the city’s major attractions and Bangkok is regularly cited as one of the world’s street food capitals.
“Nonetheless, cleanliness issues, control and security concerns are the ruling military junta’s priority and so all street food must go. The vendors have not been offered adequate alternatives and the hundreds of thousands of poor who make the city run – from cleaners to taxi drivers – will no longer be able to afford to eat in downtown Bangkok.
“The tragedy is twofold – tourists will no longer enjoy delicious, cheap eats and Bangkok’s hardest working people will be pushed out of the city. What this will do to public and private services in the long run is anyone’s guess.”
My latest article with Laure Siegel in the Nikkei Asian Review looks at how women enter the motorcycle taxi workforce in Bangkok, a traditionally male bastion. With fewer and fewer job opportunities for unskilled Thai women, riding a motorcycle taxi remains one profession that promises a degree of independence and freedom.
Here’s a little story from us at Crime Wave Press.
It’s about the struggle, as indie publishers, to birth great crime fiction into a market controlled by a few sluggish and conservative giants. It’s a fight we can’t win on our own. Having fantastic authors producing thrilling and captivating stories polished and edited close to perfection is not enough. We need readers who value quality, variety, exotic locations and non-mainstream points of view. Readers who know that freedom of choice is an empty promise when the choice presented is heavily culled to present the familiar.
Are you ready to become our Partners in Crime?
Today’s publishing world is dominated by a handful of giant conglomerates. Their risk averse gate-keeping results in the same authors and the same books being pushed in equally risk averse chain bookstores wherever we look.
The internet, in a counter move, has abolished all the controls and thrown out the baby with the bathwater in the process. Hundreds of thousands of books published with little to no quality control make it harder for talented authors to rise above the clutter.
At Crime Wave Press we’ve been publishing exceptional crime fiction since 2012. We love what we’re doing. Give our authors and books a try, you won’t be disappointed.
Remember: It’s always too late for someone.
Cast: Tom Vater, Hans Kemp, Patrae
Camera: Hans Kemp, Laure Siegel
Thanks to Dasa Book Cafe in Bangkok
The brand new edition(#46) of Rise Tattoo, available at all good newsagents in France at present, features 16 pages on India by Laure Siegel and myself. We look at ethnic minorities tattooing, street styles, the world’s largest tattoo market in Delhi, political tattoos and Mumbai’s celebrity tattooists.
Just attended Bangkok’s International Tattoo Expo with writer Laure Siegel for French magazine Rise Tattoo.
Encountered a great cast of remarkable characters and some old friends.
I have just published a guest post on The Next Best Book Blog on how I got tattooed in Borneo.
Read the full story here.
“Being an outlaw is about freedom, it sets you loose from the boundaries of society, the boundaries of law, and the things that hold you back. The limits of where you can and can’t go and what you can and can’t do. If you have no boundaries there, then that’s the freedom that it gives you.”
Noir on the Radio host Greg Barth interviews Crime Fiction author Roy Harper and it’s absolutely epic.
Roy Harper has been incarcerated in Mississippi since 1981 for armed robbery. He has gained nationwide notoriety for two highly publicized escapes from a maximum security prison in 1983 and 2000 and for his efforts in the courts to reduce brutality and injustice in American jails.
Listen to this truly incredible interview here.
Liz Kingsbury McKeown interviews me about my writing career.
It was fun.
Do something creative with your life. Don’t work for a boss in an office all your life. Don’t fall into consumerist trappings. Don’t get a mortgage if it means having to earn money day and night to make payments. Stay free enough so you have time to write. Once you have to make time, it all gets very difficult. Contribute something to the community. Don’t expect to be financially secure. If that is a priority for you, do something else.
Read the whole story at Creative Writer’s Boost.