Author August: Nick Bryan – Top Five Hobson & Choi Scenes

To view all guest author posts so far and for a chance to win a £40 Foyles Giftcard visit the Author August Page.

Hi, I’m Nick Bryan and I write the Hobson & Choi series, an attempt to channel my own neuroses about modern life into two messed-up characters and an improbably awful version of London.

The Girl Who Tweeted WolfIt’s a dark comedy crime series which has now been running for four books (as of the second half of 2016 when Case Four comes out) and I was interested to try and think of my five favourite individual scenes from the series.

What makes a great scene? Is it me being pleased with my own writing, or is it the heft they have in the story? And could I ever write this blog post without including any spoilers?

Let’s find out!

#5 – Death On Toast (from Trapped In The Bargain Basement)

This is the climactic “action” scene of Case Three, and since it is literally the end of the book, I probably shouldn’t tell you who is fighting and why. But I will say that it takes place in a kitchen, which let me bring on some fun improvised weaponry, as well as give work experience detective Angelina Choi an entertaining taste of brutal face-to-face violence, for the first time in the series.

#4 – Bad Breakfast (from The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf)

Possibly the most commented-upon sequence from the first book, especially during the early webserial phase, this scene introduces evil pub The Left Hand! This is part of the H&C extended universe I have almost limitless affection for. It also gives us a sadistic chef torturing Hobson for fun by giving him the world’s worst friend breakfast, which meant I could describe food in the most horrible ways possible. I’m told it’s truly nauseating, which is reason enough for it to be on this list.

#3 – #HobsonVsWolf (from The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf

The first scene of the whole endeavour, featuring Choi arriving for her work experience placement and meeting Hobson for the first time. I think it whips the characters into their rightful place with speed, the jokes are decent, it’s exactly the right place to start the story (he says, modestly) and it’s just hard not to look back at it fondly. I’ve read it out at various reading events, because it’s the beginning, and it always lands well.

#2 – The Hammer Falls (from Rush Jobs)

The climactic scene of the first half of Rush Jobs, this is definitely a hard part to describe without spoilers. But vaguely speaking: it’s a melodramatic chat between Hobson and a major supporting character about recent revelations. I enjoy the mythology building stuff in Book Two – in fact, even though it has the least places on this list, it might be my favourite of the first three – and this was where I made the emotion of it work for me as well.

#1 – A Date With Terror (from Trapped In The Bargain Basement)

To celebrate reaching #1, I’m going to stretch the idea of a “scene” – this Is Angelina’s date sequence in the third book, where she and the guy she’s tentatively seeing try to go on a date. Inevitably, crime has other plans. I’m a big fan of those moments in ongoing serialised fiction where enough balls are in the air for them to start colliding with each other, and this was a huge one of those for me. Loved writing this part.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS – “Infernal Accounting”

me-squaredNot a scene by any charitable definition, but just for the record, very much like the bonus story I included with Rush Jobs, in which we dig a little further into the dark heart of the Rush Recruitment concept introduced earlier in that book.

If you haven’t been bothering reading the bonus stories, I’d at least recommend checking this one out, it came off really well. The Left Hand bonus from the first volume is fun too, but Infernal Accounting is one of my favourite attempts at a short story in my entire writing life.

So there you go, those are my five favourite Hobson & Choi scenes (plus a short story). Check those out, but probably in context of the entire books they came in, as otherwise they won’t make a lick of sense.

My personal thanks to Nick for taking part in Author August!

To view all guest author posts so far and for a chance to win a £40 Foyles Giftcard visit the Author August Page.

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