Hi peeps, we have debut author Lindsey Black stopping by today with her upcoming debut novel Fishy Riot, we have an epic guest post from Lindsey that gives you just a taste of the humor in Fishy Riot and we have a fantastic excerpt that gives you a glimpse at the fantastic characters, so check out the post guys and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~
Most people think riot squad officer Taylor Jameson is an asshole. Little do they know his apparent indifference stems from having a meddlesome family always butting into his business. And little does Taylor know he’s about to stumble into a situation that’ll make indifference impossible.
When everything goes horribly wrong at a political rally on a harbour ferry, Taylor encounters Sietta Salisbury. The son of a wealthy politician, Sietta is a revered—but presumed dead—musician, and an enigma who is so strange, Taylor is compelled to look into his background. What he discovers draws him into a bizarre mess of prisoners, politics, and attempted murder that makes him realise what he’s been missing.
Falling in love isn’t hard. Trying to convince someone else you’re worth loving despite your crazy family and the people trying to kill you? That’s a whole other can of worms.
About taking life less seriously.
by Lindsey Black
Take the piss
To tease mercilessly or in such a way no one would believe you or to treat someone badly in order to get what you want.
- (British & Australian very informal) to make a joke about someone or to make someone look silly (often + out of).
-from Urban Dictionary
Please note: I think if the word ‘piss’ offends you somehow, you shouldn’t read this post. Just remember it’s not meant in the urinary sense. Entirely.
I think if you’re going to enjoy Fishy Riot you have to take yourself less seriously. Actually, you might need to take absolutely everything less seriously. That’s because it’s Australian. It’s set in Australia… and in Australia we take the piss. Out of absolutely everything. I once had an overseas friend ask, quietly in a carpark where we could not be overheard lest I be offended, if anything I ever said was meant seriously. I said yes, obviously. Because obviously no.
Australian humour is more often than not taken poorly, and I feel that has a lot to do with taking the piss out of something. It’s a hard thing to grasp if people have always taken you seriously. Unfortunately, in Australia no one really does that. So there’s not a great deal in Fishy Riot that can be taken seriously. That’s not to say there are not some serious issues in the book (or that the book doesn’t have serious issues), there are definitely things that should be taken seriously like PTSD, domestic violence, politics… Okay, no one really takes politics seriously here (probably because no one understands politics here) but you get the idea. These things are serious, it’s just Aussies have a weird sense of humour and the more serious something is the less seriously we feel inclined take it. Because life is far too short to take yourself too seriously, or something to that effect.
This results in taking the piss. Taking the piss can be pretty benign, like ribbing a mate over the recent failed dating attempt (but making sure you do so in front of everyone you know, so that everyone can join in), or it could be exceptionally epic and remembered for all time. Like the time Australia lost a war to Emus (admittedly they’re basically a modern velociraptor so it’s not entirely our fault). When you lose a war to a bird, you realise life really shouldn’t be taken too seriously (You can read a little about our emu war here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emu_War if such things interest you as they do me).
So when you’re reading Fishy Riot it’s important to remember that nothing is supposed be written in stone (or on paper, or whatever). The book is set in Sydney. I’ve never lived in Sydney, so any local who reads it is probably going to wonder what I was thinking. But the choice of Sydney came from two things; one, they have a riot squad (I know this because my brother in law works for them and I thought it hilarious to give Taylor the same job, because I was taking the piss out of my brother in law…), and two, Sydney has this epic historical war with Melbourne about which city is better. I’ve never lived in Melbourne either. As someone who hates cities and lives in the smallest capital city in Oz, I just think they’re fun places to visit. But it’s fun…imagining a local reader flinging the book across their room and wondering why I had no idea if Point Piper was considered a Southern or Eastern coastal suburb. Apparently it’s Eastern, in case you were wondering, it just happens to be on the southern side of the harbour. Coz that makes sense.
I think one of the best things about Australians is their ability to look at everything like it’s one great cosmic joke that only they’ve been let in on. There’re hints of that all through the book, but again if you haven’t had those sorts of experiences yourself you’re probably going to think it’s over the top, or trite, or just plain stupid (it might be). But the truth is, weird stuff happens here every day. Well, weird stuff happens everywhere every day but Australia’s this little island of weirdness all on its own down under, right (shhhh, New Zealand)? If you’re not from here then it might be a little hard to understand just how weird some of the stuff is.
Do you know most Australian kids get their first sex and health education class from a talking giraffe puppet in a travelling caravan?
How about the fact the first winter gold medal we won was won because we were coming last and everyone else in the race fell over? And we celebrated like crazy. This guy is a national hero.
Or how about the fact we eat one half of the fauna on our coat of arms, and eat the eggs of the other, and they’re both delicious (though eating emu eggs is now frowned upon and mostly illegal, I believe it persists because of the epic emu war I spoke of before).
I could go on, but the point is we don’t really take things seriously, and neither do the characters in Fishy Riot, not because they’re trying to be funny but because funny stuff happens every day. And when the funny stuff hits a little too close to home, well that’s when you’ve just gotta take the piss out of it.
I hope you enjoy the book, I really do, but if you don’t that’s okay too. I hope it at least gives you a good laugh, and a glimpse of what life can be like when you take things less seriously.
“IS THAT an RPG?” Clay squinted through the dirt haze engulfing them. “No, seriously… I think that’s an RPG!”
Annoyed, Taylor finished reloading and traded places, giving Clay the time he needed to do the same while he took a look for himself. It was hard. They were perched midway up the wall on a crate shelf beneath a mezzanine, trying to get a better vantage of the enormous shipping warehouse. Manoeuvring around one another and the crates without giving away their position was proving difficult. Sure enough, one of the morons was hefting a rocket launcher onto another’s back while he sighted. A small, decrepit-looking piece of machinery that had no doubt seen better days, before it had endured several wars and a rebuild in the back of a Cambodian arms house.
“What the fuck.” He took aim and got rid of the shooter in the top right end of the warehouse, not far from where they were huddled. It was hard when you weren’t allowed to fire without risking severe disciplinary action. Needing to be able to prove every bullet that left your weapon was necessary to subdue a deadly threat was almost impossible. Once people started shooting at you, decisions weren’t being made rationally. You were just reacting, and there was always the chance you were going to have the wrong reaction, but Taylor would rather lose his badge than his life.
“I told you. Rocket launcher.” Clay grinned at him, finishing his reload and pushing in hard against his side.
“I’m not sure you can call that a rocket launcher. That’s like calling a slingshot a gun,” Taylor argued, mostly because he could. He shifted uncomfortably around the next crate to get a better line of sight, pleased with the clear view he then had of the main floor.
“Can you see Jones and Hale?”
Taylor shook his head. He’d lost them in the initial fire, somewhere off near the front of the warehouse, when he and Clay had made a run for the stash they had come to find. No matter what else happened, Taylor wasn’t letting them get away with the guns. A whole lot of guns, as it turned out, and that was weird, considering gun laws made it damn hard to get arms into Australia, let alone this many. Or this kind.
“Seriously, who even needs an assault rifle?”
“Some dude with a really small dick.” Clay laughed at him, spotting movement on the mezzanine and firing. They watched the man jerk and wail, and then he fell, hitting the floor hard, knocked out cold from the impact. They stared at the still body, following the strange wire attached to him back to the gun in Clay’s hand.
“That’s a Taser,” Taylor pointed out, biting his lip to keep from laughing because these things were not supposed to be funny. Clay’s Glock was still in his right hand, but for whatever reason, he’d pulled his Taser and shot with his left, his gun still pointed down at the warehouse floor.
“I did not mean to do that,” Clay mumbled, shoving his Taser back in his belt and slipping off the shelf, landing hard on the cement floor. Taylor leapt down beside him, the impact jarring his knees.
Movement by the doors caught Taylor’s attention, and he swore under his breath as he grabbed Clay and hauled him down behind more armoured crates just as the roller doors smashed inward, ripping off the roller and sailing through the air. The doors hit two of the gunrunners in the chest, downing them permanently. The sound was deafening and bullets ricocheted around the warehouse as whoever was left tried a last-ditch effort at the riot squad armoured vehicle.
Taylor waited, because, really, the vehicle was effectively a tank.
The rocket launcher fired, but missed the squad truck and the warehouse was effectively a titanic-sized tin can. The rocket punched a hole through the wall and disappeared, a loud explosion echoing from outside a moment later. The explosion sent the crates inching back toward the wall, pinning Clay and Taylor momentarily.
“That sounded bad,” Clay hissed. “Right?” He was rubbing his knee where a crate had collided with him, but otherwise seemed fine.
“Well, it hit something,” Taylor sarcastically rumbled. “So, yeah. Probably bad.” He checked the mezzanine but couldn’t see any movement through the smoky haze filling the warehouse from the rocket.
“Reckon it was a ship?” Clay was crawling to the edge of the crates and peeking around the edge, trying to see what was going on.
“Seriously?” Taylor focussed on trying to shove the crates back to free them from where they were pinned so they could get back out. “Just, coz the ship might sink then, right? Can you imagine what the boss is gonna say if we sink a ship?” Clay’s hands were moving, indicating where there was still movement happening in the warehouse.
“Can we finish the gunfight?” Taylor interrupted. “Then we can go see if there’s a ship sinking, okay?”
“Of course we’re gonna finish the gunfight….” Clay scowled and nodded his head in the direction he intended to go, still able to find cover behind the crates if it was needed but otherwise ready to push forward. Taylor agreed with the course of action.
Guns up, they forced their way into the fray, aware of the other officers doing the same, the flash of gunfire the only thing they heard for several minutes, until as quickly as it had all erupted, an eerie silence fell over everything.
Dust wafted through the air in lazy spirals.
Amazingly, the dead were limited. Bodies lay scattered throughout the warehouse, mostly foe, blood pooling around riddled forms, men clutching burned limbs and bleeding wounds. A few were loudly demanding help, screaming about their rights at the top of their lungs. The guns sat innocently in their crates against one wall. Taylor glared at the mess all around them while Clay spun in a slow circle, taking it all in.
“Fuck,” Clay swore. “This is gonna be so much freakin’ paperwork.”
Lindsey Black lives in Darwin, Australia, where the weather report permanently reads ‘humidity at 100%, only going to get worse’ for ten months of the year and ‘monsoon at 4:00 p.m. for exactly fifteen minutes’ for the remaining two. Between teaching and studying full-time, she escapes this oppressive environment to bushwalk for weeks on end wherever the mobile phone reception has zero bars for as long as possible and the weather report reads something along the lines of ‘blizzard likely.’ She enjoys martial arts, music, and mayhem, which explains the untidy state of her home where she attempts to write while splitting her minimal amounts of spare time between her incredulous husband, lazy Chinchilla cat, and crazed Siberian husky. If you expect her to sit and have a chat, it’s best to have a matcha green tea latte with almond milk on hand and your hiking boots within reach. Oh, and be sure to bring a guitar for impromptu jam sessions.