Sunday, April 10, 2011

RAT PACK REVUE: "You Know What I Like" ~ It's the MATT HILTON Debut ~ AT THE BIJOU

A special guestappearance
just walked on our stage.

Thisfella said he had
RatPack on the mind too.
Like me,
like you.

 By ~ Matt Hilton

Helloooo, Baby. You know what I like… 
Some friends affectionately call me The Big Bopper – as in Chantilly Lace, you know the big guy who went down in the plane with Buddy Holly and Richie Valens? – and it’s probably down to my retro look and musical tastes as much it is my girth. I’m big and, yeah, I bopped (when I was a lad and sans the dodgy knee). I’ve also been known to get up at a mic at a karaoke gig and give it big licks and jazz hands. I don’t mind the moniker, to be honest, but I’ve always fancied myself more of a crooner than a country rocker. Four or five pints in and I think I can sing like my musical heroes: namely Dino and Bobby Darin. It surprises people when I get stuck into Little Ol’ Wine Drinker Me or Mack the Knife, but that’s the way my heart lies.  

Bobby Darin was always on the fringe of The Rat Pack, but to me he should be an honorary member. The guy was awesome, and his voice moves me. Not to mention being cool as hell and as slick as oil. I’d love to dress with his panache. But I’m the wrong build, and dare I say it, not cool enough. So, I resemble the Big Bopper instead, and I’ll live with that. But I want to sing like Darin. 
 I’m old fashioned, but I don’t care. You can’t help the music that moves your soul. When I’m writing, I like to have something playing in the background. I’ll often slip Dino or Bobby or Frank or Nat or even Gene ‘n’ Eddie onto the CD player. Occasionally I’ve looked back at what I’ve put down on paper, and those ol’ crooners or rockers have left their mark. Author intrusion. Hell, yeah!  There’s a reason beyond his penchant for knives why Tubal Cain – the bad dude from Dead Men’s Dust – was listening to Mack the Knife on his car’s CD player while hunting his next victim. That was me, I guess, playing his part and loving being the bad boy for a change.
It wasn’t until I realised that, that I thought back to other hints in my writing, and how much music – particularly the Legends – have influenced my books. Most notably, Elvis Presley, or at least characters from his movies, has cropped up in some of my Joe Hunter books, as has Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran. In an upcoming tale, Joe does his thing along Route 66, where Nat King Cole gets a mention. In one book, a bad dude also drives a Coffee Coloured Cadillac a la Chuck Berry, and there’s also John Lee Hooker’s Boom, Boom in there somewhere. And, coming up, Tubal goes Somewhere Beyond the Sea. 

Nuttin' like a good cup of Joe for Joe
People often ask the question: What do I have in common with my character Joe Hunter? Well, people expect to hear me say that we both have a background in law enforcement or the military, or maybe that we are both highly skilled martial artists. We do, but that’s not it. Some even expect me to be a frustrated vigilante and that it’s my politics I’m slapping down on the page. None of those are the truth. The things I share most with Joe is his love of strong coffee and the old songs. Joe is a fan of the same singers as I am, and it’s probably the greatest influence I have over him as his chronicler. So if you’re looking for author intrusion, look for the hints and you’ll probably guess what was playing in the background while I was typing.
 © 2011 ~ Author Matt Hilton AT THE BIJOU debut
PHOTO CREDITS: Perfect Coffee: Skylar  / Mr Darin: Screengems / Mr Hilton: his vast PR'realm

Curiousity of the Absolutely*Kate ... a-s-k-s
Matt ~ Though I'm pretty excited you're coming around soon during our next NOIRAMA AT THE BIJOU . . . it was quite cool to hear you snappin' your fingers back stage during our RATPACKREVUE, repeating (in a stage-whisper naturally), "But what about Bobby Darin? But what about Bobby Darin?" I've learned now if one challenges one of their crime'thriller heroes to spin eloquent on one of their music'enhancing heroes . . . good vibes churn, all in an afternoon's muse. I thank*you good sir and fill and spiel our audience in the further on your thriller eloquence:

Very much appreciate this, Kate. It's very good of you, and of course I'll inscribe your Joe Hunter stuff for you.

Strong coffee in hand and another full day ahead. Now back to the writing. Open-mouth smile


Contrary to popular belief, Matt Hilton is his real name. Well, actually it’s ‘Matthew’ but he wouldn’t thank you for his Sunday name. He was born the same year that England won the World Cup which is a very long time ago. Not that he’s interested in soccer, his sporting interests are in boxing, MMA and martial arts. It probably comes from having four brothers and scrapping his way through meal times when he was a lad. As you can tell from his chunky build he looked out for himself OK.
Matt was born in Scotland, but followed his family south to England and grew up in Carlisle, Cumbria and has stayed in the county since (apart from a two year sojourn back to his ancestral land during his late teens). Growing up he listened to tales of horror and adventure told to him by his father, a natural story-teller, and it was only natural that his over-active imagination be funnelled into books, both reading and writing them.
One of 5 greats - #6 on the way!
From a very young age, Matt scribbled down short stories, and even attempted his first novel at age 11. In his early teens he wrote a ‘coming of age’ novel called 'AGGRO', followed by a couple heroic fantasy books before discovering a new love of action thrillers and crime. He was once shortlisted for a national 'write a novel' competition, and came fourth in another, as well as having some non-fiction articles in magazines. For more than twenty years he submitted his books to publishers without success (writing seven stand-alone action/crime thrillers), until in 2008 he finally managed to secure an agent and a record-breaking 5 book deal for his Joe Hunter series. Since then Matt has secured a 3 book deal in the USA, a further 2 book deal in the UK, and translations in Germany, Italy, Romania and Bulgaria. His debut novel - Dead Men's Dust - reached Number 11 in the Sunday Times bestseller list, and was named as one of the  'Thrillers of the Year 2009' by the Daily Telegraph. DMD was also shortlisted for the ITW Debut Thriller Award 2009.
Matt worked at various mundane jobs, before going into the private security industry for 18 years, followed by 4 as a cop. He quit his career as a police officer with Cumbria Constabulary to pursue his love of writing tight, cinematic American-style thrillers, and to date has five Joe Hunter books on the shelves with more to come, as well as a short crime story in the anthology Even More Tonto Short Stories, and an up-coming zombie tale in Wild Wolf Publishing’s ‘Holiday of the Dead Anthology’.
Known as a British thriller writer, you might be surprised to find that Matt’s influences incline more towards the horror and fantasy writers of the 1930s, the ‘men’s action’ writers of the 1970s, and American thriller authors including Robert Crais, Jeffrey Deaver, David Morrell and Dean Koontz. His favourite writer is John Connolly.
Matt also writes horror and humorous crime short stories under the pen name of Vallon Jackson – the worst kept secret on the internet - as well as co-editing fiction webzine Thrillers, Killers ‘n’ Chillers with those loveable crime and horror gents Col Bury and Lee Hughes.
You can find more about Matt and his books here and here, as well as insight on Joe.

"Thanks Big Bopper! - I mean Joe, I mean Matt!"  
   ~ Absolutely*Kate, heralding ~

~ ~ ~ ~ ~




Sunday Matinees too.

Be there or be square.


Always swell to see you here.

~ Absolutely*Kate,
and our swanky staff of renown


Sinatra: "If power doesn't mean that you have the opportunity to work with the people that you love, then you haven't really got any."

Opening Night: "RAT PACK REVUE TO YOU"
RAT PACK REVUE: "How Did All These People Get Into My Room?"  By Robert J Randisi,
working the lounge before he hits the main room
RAT PACK REVUE: "Ain't That A Kick In The Head"  By Robert J Randisi, paying homage to Ocean's 11, the original . . . for all the right reasons 

RAT PACK REVUE:  "Who's Got The Action"  By Kevin Michaels, knowin' more than the night club scene  
RAT PACK REVUE:  "STAR"  By Julie Morgan,  hitchin' TinselTown to a dick's star
RAT PACK REVUE:  "OH SOUL O'MIO"  By Absolutely*Kate,  mirroring where scars shine bright
RAT PACK REVUE:  "Divorce Your Loved One With Dignity"  By Anthony Venutolo,  oozing atmosphere, over the border
RAT PACK REVUE:  "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime"  By Paul D Brazill, giving Dino a whole new swan song  
RAT PACK REVUE:  "THE GREAT AMERICAN SAILING HERO"  By Absolutely*Kate, scuttling the way the tides roll in
RAT PACK REVUE:  "DON'S DILEMMA"  By Eric Beetner, definitely digging deeper . . . 
RAT PACK REVUE:  "BUNG HO!"  By Sean Patrick Reardon, hosting a classic party? 





~ ~ ~ ~

You're nobody til somebody love you,
and we love you AT THE BIJOU.
~ ~ ~ ~


Paul D Brazill said...

Good call, Matt! Bobby D was the biz!

Unknown said...

Really enjoyed that, Kate/Matt!

Matt will always be an inspiration to me, and I'm so proud to call him my mate.

The BIJOU has to be the most entertaining blog on the Net!

I promise to visit more often.


David Barber said...

Great post guys. A piece I really enjoyed, Matt.

ratatouille's archives said...

Hi! Absolutely~Kate...
Oh! yes, I think that I'am getting in step with and marching to the same "tune" as your regulars.

Kate, The read was very..."interesting."

Kate, The Links...Well, they "are appreciated."
Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

Anonymous said...

Matt, this was a great write. Congrats on your sucesses. I remember you from Thrillers, Killers ‘n’ Chillers. You and Kate* are a pretty good team. Thanks for an enjoyable stroll down memory lane.

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Great fun to read. Nice to learn more about Matt, and Joe Hunter. Enjoyed this very much. Like Col mentioned, you always get your money's worth At The Bijou.

Kevin Michaels said...

Great read Matt - nice perspective on Bobby D (a great performer who often gets overlooked). Welcome aboard!

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

Speaking of WORTH . . . Have I a pile of treasured books to make pots of coffee for ~ Yesterday's mail brought my personally inscribed MINDJACKER and what the Russian mob is going to do - according to that crack writer Sean Patrick Reardon. Prof, my Matt, grabbed it up instead of grading papers and I have to 'take turns' -- sheeeesh. LOST EXIT by soaring (and surfing) author Kevin Michaels of Rat Pack, AT THE BIJOU and WebTowne fame has passages that take me back with the kid's basketball to follow this book's full court press of opportunities or potentials or -- well you read it, you'll see.

There's a six-pack of Pally RJR - that's the great Randisi's Rat Pack Mysteries before I pick and choose into the 540 (or so) books under a few pseudonyms he's scribed in hallowed hours. That kingpin of crime and western fiction can change his name, but not his tell tale talents. I'm knowin' the groove to his style all the more.

Whoa Bookshelves! Now I've been adding in the 5 Joe Hunters before #6 (and playin' Frank and Dean, Satchmo, Bobby and Bopper while I read 'em). Holy lumber company, Prof and I are turning a bookwall of fame into 'splaying those we know who move us with words. Col, Paul, Dee Dee and now Lady Cheezum jump starting good warbles, I'll be delving into all the shadows and lights where your good writes leave breadcrumbs for the highly observant.

SO VERY GLAD to have dared the Big Bopper to spill his spiel on AUTHOR'S INTRUSION. Happens in my writes all the time though I never stopped to realize it had a 'phrase name'. Fascinating what influences are and how they move the groove to us, eh?

Mr Hilton will kick off the annual NOIRARAMA following our Rat Pack Revue AT THE BIJOU. Flex your fine flinging keyboard fingers for something dark or sultry to take stage then, will you great authors I get such kicks to mix with?

Thank*you all. AT THE BIJOU is what YOU guys make it. I adjust the kleigs and spots and dance the author's dance with you along the way ~ but ~ Isn't it always the quantum feel of writers taking writers the higher that lights our heights?

Sean Patrick ~ I noticed you've added Irish coffee to the menu at the Sugar Shack out front. Nice touch.

~ Absolutely*Kate ... inspiring the illustrious Mr Bury to get his initials inscribed on his fave ATB seat. Sit next to Harry or Paul or Jeanette -- they talk during the show and it's always a treat!

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

Mr Barber ~ It's always a thrill when you sneak in the back door. Been noticing you playing fine reprises in some different genre lately. You wanta bring some of that classy stuff up on the stage AT THE BIJOU?

"Writers' raves for Readers' faves" ~ My slogan and I'm stickin' to it.

~ Absolutely*Kate

Author said...

Hey folks,
I just wanted to say a quick thank you to you all for reading and taking time to comment. It's very much appreciated. And THANK YOU KATE for showcasing me alongside all the other greats here. Absolutely*Brilliant of you. Matt 'the Knife' Hilton AKA The Big Bopper.

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

{{ And you wonder why he used to be one of my secret heroes? Secret's out. This Big Bopper is smooth class, all the way he rocks it. }}

You are most welcome Matt the Knife. Much upward swirl is swished to the momentum of your crime'lovin' successes.

~ Absolutely*Kate
and our swanky staff of renown