Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Day 9: Between the Flakes by Roger Price

What gave you the idea for your Snowflakes story?

As a retired detective inspector I've come across the horrors that hard drugs can do, but also witnessed some amazing outcomes when an addict can come out the other side having kicked their addiction. I felt this gave me an opportunity to write a first person piece through the eyes of a heroin addict; a tale of crime, sorrow but with hope and redemption from a unique viewpoint.

 How would you describe your normal style of writing? 

I write crime thriller novels as my staple, so tend to write pacey narrative populated with characters that catapult the story along and stay with the reader long afterwards.I love to read crime thrillers that grab you by the neck from the outset and just don't let go, so I aim to emulate this in my own writing.

 Have you published other material? 

My first novel 'By Their Rules' was published in 2013 and its sequel 'A New Menace' came out in 2014. I'm currently working on the first in a new series entitled, 'Through a Twisted Prism' which will hopefully be published next year.

 Do you have a writing routine? 

I'm engaged with the business of writing from 9 am  to 5 pm Monday to Friday. That includes a fair amount of time on marketing via various social media outlets - including arranging and attending an ongoing schedule of talks - doing research - both on-line, and out and about - and of course, new writing. I stop writing at weekends, though often get my best plot-line ideas then. My dictaphone is never far away.

Do you have a favourite place for writing? 

My main writing station is in an annex to my kitchen overlooking the garden, though if I'm struggling there, then I relocate to the loft. The total isolation there often kick-starts the creative juices.

Tell something quirky about you.  

I'm a writer; I guess that means there is nothing normal about me. My web history would stand testament to that; recent searches include; 'Can you fit a silencer to a Glock handgun?' and 'How long do houseflies live for?'

An excerpt from Between the Flakes 

I awoke around 9 a.m. Not that I’d slept much; my legs had ached on and off all night. I just couldn’t seem to keep them still. When I did doze, all I dreamt about was getting my next fix of heroin. I was glad it was morning; nearly time to go and ‘score’ from my dealer, then maybe the pain in my legs would stop. But it wasn’t just my legs; I seemed to ache all over it was just worse there. The cold didn’t help.
 I slowly orientated myself out of bed; I felt slightly heady and had to wait a minute for the ‘mist’ to clear. Then, the coughing started. I rushed to the sink where I was violently sick. That over, I steadied myself against the wall whilst I recovered, glancing around the hovel my squatter’s room had become. Spartan. Anything of value had long been taken and sold for drugs. There was no heating, no hot water, nothing. How the heck had I let my life reduce to this, barely an existence? A single bed - with sheets I hadn’t cleaned in weeks - was the only furniture. I hadn’t washed the covers because I couldn’t be bothered as it didn’t seem important. Cardboard was taped to the window as makeshift curtains, and the cold dew held them to the panes. It wasn’t very effective. Maybe after I’d scored later I would sneak down to the household tip and see if I could find some old cloth. Mind you, that would mean playing ‘hide and seek’ with the council workers: ‘smack heads’ weren’t welcome there, ‘smack heads’ aren’t welcome anywhere. And especially at this time of year.
I splashed some water on my face and cleaned my teeth with my finger, before putting my shoes on. They were still damp from yesterday’s trudging through the snow. I was already dressed; I never got undressed, as there seemed little point. I then realized I was starting to shake and shiver; and not just because it was cold. I was starting to ‘rattle’, I had to get some gear soon, it was only going to get worse, a lot worse.
I picked the purse up off the floor and took out a ten pound note; it was full of notes, tens and twenties, over £300 in fact. I hadn’t checked the rest of the purse, never did, I was only interested in cash. But, as I took the note out, a wave of guilt hit me; what kind of man had I become? One who could steal from an old lady.
  Her bag had gone before she’d known it, and I’d been off before she could have done anything. That had been last night when she’d left the cinema around midnight. She’d probably been working there and on her way home. I hadn’t hurt her or anything like that. In fact I’d made sure so; I was quite adept now at sneaking up from behind, cutting the strap on a shoulder bag and taking it before the owner knew anything. I never hurt anyone, though I knew plenty of ‘smack heads’ who did. Even so, she must have had one hell of a shock, but I was desperate. I’m always desperate. All that ever matters is getting enough money for my next bag of heroin. Mind you, I’d hit the jackpot this time, over £300, I couldn’t believe my luck. I was due a bit of good fortune. That amount of money would keep me ‘sorted’ for a few days at least. And, I could buy some proper food instead of the usual rubbish I ate, which mostly came out of skips at the back of the supermarket.
 Anyway, time to get going. The dealer would be open for business from 9.30 a.m. That’s what he’d said last night after I nicked the old dear’s bag. It was around midnight when I rang him. “Too late,” he’d said, he’d sold his last bag. I’d have to wait until the morning. That’s why I’m starting to suffer withdrawal symptoms; I’d missed my late night fix.
 I’d hid the purse in my room in the squat; other addicts were always coming in and searching it, looking for things to nick. Thieving swine would have probably overdosed if they found all this. But it was too risky to take it out on the street with me; I was always being turned over out there. This neighborhood had really gone down the pits; it used to be such a nice area a few years ago. I’d lived around here all my life, though I didn’t recognize the place now; but I don’t suppose the place would recognize me either.

About the author:

Roger A. Price is a writer of crime fiction. After thirty years in the police he retired as a detective inspector and draws from those experiences to inform his writing. He has published two five-star rated novels with more on the way. Further details are available via his website:





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