Two very different people. One very common enemy.
Call centres. Contact centres. Outsourcing specialists. Whatever you want to call them, they're the bane of the lives of every poor soul who earns their crust shackled by the ear to a never ending stream of faceless voices, security questions and brown nosing colleagues desperate to get off the phones. Hanging on to their sanity and their jobs as a river of crap rolls downhill from above, Barry and Penny are two such souls.
One is a born loser, HR department harasser and victim of bullying from every angle, rapidly descending into a mental pit of darkness he may never get out of. The other is a popular and attractive party girl who contracts some unwanted guests and vows sweet revenge in the wake of her rise to national notoriety. Both have an enemy in Stevie; shagger, bully, and all round bad boy.
It's only a matter of time before somebody snaps, and it's not just the customers that are paying.
A blacker than black comedy from the mastermind behind The Switched and The Dead Man Trilogy; when all that matters is your handling time and your compliance, how the hell are you going to fit in your After Call Work?
What do you get if you cross a French sex addict hitman, a self righteous left wing blogger with a spam problem, a racist bar room regular and his penchant for porn, an American gangster with a lot of reflecting to do, a small time journalist who dreams of the big time, a weak-willed loner with a Victorian lion hunter alter-ego, a flamboyant PR guru and his devilish plans, a very recently unemployed call centre drone, an old man with a hell of a grudge, and A LOT, of dead bodies? You get this.
The naked corpse of a young man is discovered with his throat sliced open on a cool autumn morning in a park in Sheffield, northern England. By an elderly dog-walker, as usual. He is the first of a rapidly increasing number of seemingly random killings in the city, all in that same way. This leads to a frenzy of media and public speculation, where everybody is a suspect, and everybody has an opinion. Daisy is pointing the finger at the media, rookie journalist David is dreaming of future awards for his coverage of the whole thing, and Terry blames the Asians.
What's actually happening is a far more sinister affair which threatens to spiral out of control. Across the city Tom, call centre outlaw, cast out for his lack of respect for faceless voices, is drinking and snorting himself into a collision course with some very very bad people indeed, how it will end, well that depends on how much of an outlaw Tom's prepared to be.
Strangers Are Just Friends You Haven't Killed Yet is a funny, satirical, sexy, and very violent tale of poverty, addiction, the fickle finger of fame, love and questionable mental health.
Next time you'll maybe want to look that gift horse in the mouth.
The above is a video for The Hurriers'
Truth and Justice. This band allowed me
the use of their track Happy Families forthe trailer for Paul Carter is a Dead Man.
Here are the cover art and blurbs of my novels, novella, and my collection. Let's see if I can't have this page so you would have to take a day off work just to scroll to the bottom. By that I mean I want to write lots of books. By having to take a day off work I mean it would take ages. You could just do it on a weekend. Or your day off in the week if you work in retail
The above is a video for Campag Velocet's superb 'Ain't no Funki Tangerine', the lyrics of which I borrowed for The Banjo String Snapped but the Band Played on. I was lucky enough to get the personal permission from Campag lead man Pete Voss, now a very talented and exclusive belt and leather maker. A bit of product placement, go and look at his quality goods here. Tell him Ryan sent you.
In 2009 a bomb exploded, killing over 400 British citizens, including three generations of heir to the throne. Religious extremists took responsibility and the country went into meltdown.
The British government was overthrown, and its troops withdrawn from overseas. The one-time empire closed its doors to the rest of the world. Law enforcement as it was no longer existed. The power was returned to the British people, and criminals were placed in online public courts for twenty four hours, to be judged.
The sentence for murder, death.
The sentence for anti-British behaviour, death.
The sentence for swearing, death.
In 2014 Paul Carter kills a man, and is now on the run. The thing is, Paul is smart. He's had enough of the new regime, and he's not the only one. He finds himself as an accidental revolutionary, and the voice of the disillusioned masses. He must learn to embrace the responsibilty that has been thrust into his lap, and kick hard against a system which has failed everybody.
One summer morning, totally unconnected people wake up as somebody else. They have their names, their lives, and their problems. Nobody knows how or why it's happened, and nobody knows if or when they'll ever get their own lives back. They must quickly learn to accept, adapt to, and in some cases embrace their new personas if they are to survive in a world where the people known as The Switched will do anything to get their old bodies back from others who will desperately do anything to protect their true identity, and hide deep behind their new face.
Against the backdrop of a nationwide search for popular television presenter Francesca O’Reilly, whose very public breakdown and disappearance sparks chaos on social media, it quickly becomes apparent that the switching phenomenon is far more widespread than anybody could have known, and The Switched become the most famous people in the country.
Take a trip into the darkest corners of the darkest minds in this supernatural thriller, the blackest work yet by Ryan Bracha, the best selling author of Strangers Are Just Friends You Haven't Killed Yet and the Dead Man Trilogy.
Phoebe's just a girl who likes a guy.
He's different. His mind doesn't seem to work like everybody else's. She's not sure yet, but he could be a keeper. What's really interesting about him, though, is his job.
His job isn't work. Not really. It's more an extremely lucrative hobby, with an added dash of fun and amusement. He annoys people intentionally. There's not just him, either. There are hundreds of them, and they work on a commission basis.
The man who pushes the trolley into the back of your legs at the supermarket without apologising. The chances are, he's one.
The bartender that serves everybody but you. The man who peed on the public toilet seat just before you get there, bursting to do a dump. The self published writers who flood the market with unfiltered crap. All of them get paid to do it.
But how do you get into the professional annoyance game? Who runs it? Who's paying and why? Phoebe wants to know, and she's not leaving his side until she knows everything.
The best selling author of The Dead Man Trilogy, The Switched and After Call Work is back with a brand new novel. It's a love story, but not really.