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Where does Vye come from?

The first influence for Vye was the famous Seattle tattoo artist, Vyvyn Lazonga (aka Madame Lazonga). She opened a tattoo parlor not unlike Vye's in 1989, and was a famous fixture on the Seattle scene about five minutes later. Vye is a window into that scene - the scarification described was based on a 'party' I went to at my friend Izzy's apartment where there was a display of S&M - no scars, but whipping and piercing. It was the early days of the body mod scene and it was very much tied up with the Industrial music scene too - with performance artists like Survival Research Labs (I briefly toyed with the idea of Vye's amputation being from an accident similar to Mark Pauline's but rejected

Mature Content

Warning, Badly Cut Up contains: Frequent Violence Gang violence Sexual violence Threatened sexual violence Violence to the eye Violence to a corpse Violence against the police Dog fighting Scarification Body modification Swearing Torture More torture Threats of violence (acted on) Threats of violence (not acted on) Drug dealing Drug use Drug abuse Sex on drugs Mental health issues Anxiety Therapy (problematic) A generally neutral attitude to sex work A general belief in the equal ability of men and women to undertake criminal acts Both positive and negative attitudes to law enforcement Criminality Home invasion Property crime A brief reference to the Holocaust Expressions of racist beliefs (

Where does Ash come from?

Ash was ‘born’ from a very particular set of influences in my life. I’d recently spent a summer living in the Central District (CD) in Seattle, and it was a ‘hot’ summer as they say. Gunshots were often heard in the night and what I thought was a bum sleeping it off as I headed out one morning was surrounded by yellow tape and turned out to be a murder before I headed home that night. (It’s a largely gentrified neighbourhood now, for better or worse, so don’t be afraid to walk there in 2018). I saw a lot of drug dealing, some street fights, and businesses that made you wonder if they were really all they seemed. Years later, living in Tottenham, London, I was reminded of that thought by a ga

What is Badly Cut Up like?

It's like this: Ash threaded his way through the crowd, slouching back towards Viktor's, and home. The flow of the crowd was against him. Everyone wanted to leave that part of town. A Suit brushed Ash's shoulder as he passed, briefcase thudding into Ash's leg, setting off alarm bells that echoed in the considerable space occupied by Ash's fear. Watch them, watch. A sweet faced woman in a thick winter coat stepped out of Ash's way, no obvious disgust on her face, just two tiny patches of red on her cheeks fighting the cold. She was just being careful. Kid in a leather jacket detached himself from a building up ahead, walking with eyes down, slight angle in his walk like he was making to cross

A note about Badly Cut Up

This book has been a number of things in its writing. The first draft of the first 10,000 of its roughly 50,000 words was written a long time ago – the early 1990s in fact. That’s part of the reason the book is set in 1996. At the time I’d recently been bereaved and, strange as it might seem, the early chapters are not that far off autobiography. I was not in a good state. In my mind I was writing like Andrew Vachss. I was not. A great many florid constructions were edited out when I found that old manuscript and decided to see if there was more to the story. It’s still a weird thing: a young man’s book, finished by a not so young man. It felt a little bit like collaborating with myself. I t

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