I’m so excited to share Sara Jay’s Erotica’s first non-erotic interview with Charlie Flowers!
OK, hello, I’m Charlie Flowers and I write the Rizwan Sabir Mysteries series. We’re up to three books in the series now. They feature Riz Sabir, an ex-terrorist turned investigator for British Intelligence, and his other half, Holly Kirpachi, who is a burlesque artiste by trade, and a hacker. And also a mildly psychotic, murderous lunatic, but more of that later.
hare a little bit about your writing style. What genres and types of heroes/heroines are you attracted to? What do you love to write about?
I am influenced by classic Sixties spy writers like Deighton and Fleming… I’m also heavily influenced by the modern, more gonzo/punk rock style of Andy McNab. I am attracted to: hard-boiled crime fiction; horror; classic technothrillers.
I love to write about: characters! And action! I love setting up scenes with chalk-and-cheese characters, and then letting the banter just flow. A lot of my characters are based on my friends, so the material is always there.
What can we expect when we experience one of your books?
Twists. Pulse-racing action. Realism. Very, very dark humour.
Tell us a little about your latest release, or your favorite among all of your books.
My latest release is the third in the Riz series, “Blood Honeymoon.” http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Honeymoon-Rizwan-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00CK6F7RI
If you could have one date with a crush (before marrying your spouse if necessary!), who would it be and why? What would you do?
This one makes me laugh because I once DID have a date with a complete crush. Her name was Marta Sebestyen and she took me to the Groucho Club in Soho!
What’s the most romantic thing someone ever did for you, or that you did for someone else?
Good Lord. My mind’s gone blank! OK how about late-night calamaris at Marathon Restaurant in Chalk Farm, while the man known as The King Snake plays rock and roll on the dancefloor. You had to be there…
Share your favorite romantic or sexy song and why you love it so much.
My favourite “romantic” song is “Love Is A Losing Game” by Amy Winehouse. I knew her in real life and she was lovely.
And now, stand by for an excerpt from BLOOD HONEYMOON, the third in the trilogy!
The Mystique Club was on Leman Street, directly opposite the headquarters of SCO19, the Met’s firearms teams, who had been strangely quiet in the area for the last six months. The poster read “Bang-Bang Khan and The Perils Of The Desert Exotica!!”
Directly under it was a pasted sign that said “last week before council closure.”
‘Looks great’, said Maryam. Fuzz and Calamity laughed and brought up the rear. ‘She’s gonna kill you’ said Calamity. She was probably right.
We made our way through the box office, down the velvet-themed bar and into the auditorium. On the way down, Maryam bought a bucket of popcorn the size of an ornamental vase. Calamity and Fuzz glared at some classic dirty old men, and some City boys shrank away from our approach. I was guessing they didn’t get too many women in here. We took the seats at the front. Also purple velvet, nice.
The curtains drew back.
With an almighty crash Rob Zombie’s Dead Girl Superstar started up from the PA system and dry ice whooshed left and right. Bang-Bang strutted out from stage right, clocked us all giggling in the front two rows, and leant down to my face. She was grinning too. Her nose was blackened and she’d drawn the whiskers on with shoe polish, as befitted a Fox Princess. She yelled for my benefit over the thumping beat. ‘Don’t you worry, Sabir, I’m gonna get my own back.’
I couldn’t stop laughing. Ah well. She stepped to centre stage and stopped. Ostrich feathers to south. One Christian Louboutin cocked. A smoky look over the shoulder. And we were off. The strobe lights started up. Our lot whooped. Calamity placed her hand over Maryam’s eyes. I nudged Fuzz and shouted in her ear over the piledriving bass. ‘Remember why we’re here. Take a look over your shoulder.’
She nodded and started taking glances backwards into the audience. Calamity fought her way backwards to the bar, stumbling and apologising. I knew what she was doing, though. She was bumping into people for Fuzz to take a photo of. I nodded inwardly. Very good. Slick.
Onstage a guitar solo squalled into life over B-movie samples. The crowd cheered as Bang-Bang did a bump with her hip and turned her back on us. She looked over her shoulder, fluttered her batwing eyelashes, did a little teeth-biting-lips vamp, artfully unhooked her bustier one-handed and flung it offstage. The crowd went mental. The city boys were throwing notes onto the stage. They flickered downwards in the harsh blue lights.
Calamity came back from the bar carrying three wobbly plastic pint glasses and handed them out. ‘Where we at, what we looking at?’
‘WHAT? I can’t hear you.’
She dropped into her seat and began flinging popcorn into the air. Fuzz grinned and nodded at the stage. ‘Bit of blue for the lads.’
Tinsel shot into the air from cannons and fell in our drinks. Maryam started cursing at this. The lights went out.
Then it started again. The stage was dimly lit, and populated by Nubian slaves and harem girls in artfully draped deshabille. Orchestral music hummed ominously and then a strange Middle Eastern snakecharming tune started up.
Calamity stood up and whooped. ‘Hayyeeee!’ We pulled her back down.
We looked out onto a desert scene. Sand. Asps.
Bang-Bang rose like a twist of smoke and growled ‘I’m mad about a Sheikh…’
Oh, I knew this one alright. I nudged Fuzz. ‘Holy shit. Stand back.’
BB turned her back to us again and snapped some Chinese finger cymbals. She shimmied across the stage and dipped down and tipped a guy in the front row under his chin. She cooed at him. ‘You belong to me…’
Her chorus girls snaked behind her, following the moves. She let go of the guy’s tie and danced away, snapping the finger cymbals. ‘We both have a horse..’ she sang, and the whole chorus line’s butts seemed to do the standard boom, tish; ‘but mine is big and white…’
The horns blared and the spotlights glared gold. ‘On the desert sand. Ha-ahhhhhhhh…’
The harem girls, the slaves, and Bang-Bang, all draped themselves slowly to the ground. The audience behind us was whooping and on their feet.
Darkness fell onstage.
I nudged Calamity. ‘D’you reckon this is when they bring the icecreams-’
The stage lights flared actinic blue and Rob Zombie punched from the PA again. Dead Girl Superstar reprise. The guy next to me jumped in fright and dropped his drink. The Nubians now all wore voodoo skull makeup. They carried an open coffin, which they placed upright before us, centre stage, and from which stepped Bang-Bang. The feathers were now wings, which unfurled. She regarded the paralysed audience, twitched her black nose, and smiled.
Onstage, two slaves carried Bang-Bang to the sacrificial tinsel volcano. Fake tinsel-strip flames erupted. Then died down. An allegory? She was dropped back to centre stage and spread the feathers like the wings of a swan and glared at the audience like a challenge. The track ended in a howl of distorted guitars and drumbeats. Silence.
The crowd roared and we rose to our feet in applause. Suddenly there was an almighty boom and a cartridge splattered stage blood all over her, and all of us in the front row. Bang-Bang stood in the blue-white stage light and the blood dripped. The audience was muzzled, stunned.
Bang-Bang bowed, curled the blood-smeared white wings into herself and the stage lights dimmed, died. Black.
The lights went up again. Lounge exotica music was playing and everyone was piling into the bar before the next act. I coughed and wiped at the blood. Tasted it. Syrup? ‘Erm. Right. Fuzz. Get anyone?’
‘Maybe. We’ll have to look at the shots in better light, or on a PC.’
Calamity nudged me. ‘I didn’t know your other half shaved her noo-noo.’
Our contingent cracked up. What could I say. ‘Showbiz, folks. OK. Follow me. Backstage to grab my other half.’
Fuzz and Calamity saluted.