Pulp in Italy: An interview with author/editor/publisher Matteo Strukul, Part I
(Read Part II of the Detectives Beyond Borders interview with Matto Strukul.)
Detectives Beyond Borders: Talk about the Revolver imprint, about the authors you chose, and why you chose them.
Matteo Strukul: First of all, Peter, thank you for the opportunity that you have given to me. It's great to answer your fantastic questions. I’m honored. Now, about Revolver… Revolver is an imprint focused on pulp crime fiction. We love to collect fast-paced novels. Every story has to be a real roller-coaster, a furious, well-plotted patchwork of wit and wise guys, ultra-violence and thrills, and unpredictable, lunatic characters. For these reasons we chose authors like Victor Gischler, Allan Guthrie, Tim Willocks, Christa Faust, Ray Banks. Personally, I love all these authors who are completely crazy and original but all of them have an intriguing, fascinating, irreverent approach to the genre. We want to have authors who have courage enough to break rules and to have faith in their stories and characters, doesn’t matter how crazy and strongly cruel those stories are.
DBB: Your online biography says you were discovered by Massimo Carlotto. How did this discovery happen?
DBB: Italy has produced some excellent, dark crime writers, such as Leonardo Sciascia and Giorgio Scerbanenco. Besides Massimo Carlotto and Carlo Lucarelli (with the De Luca novels), who are the best modern-day Italian noir, pulp, and hard-boiled writers? And what does the Anglo-American tradition give Italian readers that they will not find in Italian crime writing? Who are your favorite writers, artists, and filmmakers from that tradition?
MS: Modern-day Italian noir, pulp, and hard-boiled writers are Giancarlo De Cataldo, author of Romanzo Criminale and many other novels. A bigger-than-life and epic criminal saga, a cruel, merciless, bloody and magnificent tale about Banda della Magliana: a gang of thugs and mobsters that during the end of the seventies created a criminal empire in Rome and Italy. The novel tells the story of the relationship between criminals and corrupted politicians in Italy at that time, with gangs fighting for the control of drug traffic, prostitution and gambling in the different quarters of Rome. Another wonderful Italian novelist that I love is Maurizio De Giovanni, author of the Commissario Ricciardi series set in Naples in the early ‘30s, a fantastic police-procedural series.
DBB: Your own first novel, La Ballata Di Mila, reminds me of Quentin Tarantino’s movie Kill Bill, which was based on a comic book. You also publish a novel by Victor Gischler, whose work sometimes reads like a comic book without the pictures. How do comics influence the fiction you write and publish?
DBB: A number of the authors published by Revolver write slam-bang, action-packed novels: Allan Guthrie, Ray Banks, Victor Gischler, and Christa Faust, for example. But you also publish Brian McGilloway, a quieter and more reflective writer than some of your other authors. How does McGilloway fit in with the publishing philosophy of Revolver?
MS: You know sometimes, we have to breathe. As you said, we love to publish action-packed novels, but at the same time we would like to offer different kind of crime fiction, different tunes and tastes, and Irish noir, for instance, is a wonderful new creature that, as publisher, we would like to show to the Italian readers. I hope to publish as soon as I can guys like Adrian McKinty or Stuart Neville but sometimes you cannot publish everything you want.
© Peter Rozovsky 2013
Labels: Allan Guthrie, Brian McGilloway, Christa Faust, comics, graphic novels, interviews, Italy, Massimo Carlotto, Matteo Strukul, Matteo Strukul interview, publishing, Ray Banks, Russel D. McLean, Victor Gischler