A Frog on a Blog Interviews Fictitious Private Investigator Joe Dylan at Koh Samui "Health Spa"

 | Thu 20 Mar 2014 08:28 ICT

Chiang Mai City News looks to interview cutting edge and break-out literary talent. Efforts were made to secure an interview with up and coming pulp fiction writer, James A. Newman – author of the Joe Dylan private detective noir crime series. The Joe Dylan series has two published novels in pulp and ebook formats: Bangkok Express and The Red Zone.  The third in the series, The White Flamingo is now available on Amazon.com and has been charting in the Top 50 Noir Bestsellers List. Really. 

Author, James A. Newman. Available for a game but not for a blog …

Repeated calls to James A. Newman’s office were finally returned by his publicist (no name given).  Chiang Mai City News was told, due to ongoing negotiations for an interview and cover photo with AFTER DARK MAGAZINE, James A. Newman would be unavailable for “bloggers”.  As a result we pursued the next best thing. Gop, the literature loving, tobacco(?) smoking, sex-on-the-beach drinking , frog in the coconut shell was retained for one purpose: find protagonist, Joe Dylan and interview him for that impossible to work for Chief Editor, James Austin Farrell. Joe Dylan had last been heard from on a binge in The Zone after solving a murder mystery in Fun City for the famed ex-catwalk model, the widower, Mrs. Bell. Also known as, the White Flamingo.


Gop Joe, you are a hard man to find. It took me days to track you down here at Last Chance Samui Health Resort & Spa and I live in the south.  Big fan, here. I read all my books on the beach and a Joe Dylan novel  is the perfect beach book. There hasn’t been a noir style, hard-boiled detective like you since Nick Danger. Security at the main gate and the check point at the front desk informed me we haven’t much time before your next session. So let’s jump right in: the question all your friends, fans and readers want to know is, you seemed to have it all under control – what went wrong?

Joe D Well, I took a slide in the Red Zone following the White Flamingo caper. I guess you can fill in the details whichever way floats your lilly-pad. Let’s just say I broke a case. When I break a case I like to celebrate. Hard. The therapy here sucks, baby. The place is full with tree-huggers and eco-warriors bringing down the tone of the establishment. The joint used be run by some gimp called The Elf before he took the night train following a puffer fish salad served by an Aquarian temptress.

Gop Say no more, Joe. Your true  fans will stand by you and those that know the Red Zone can imagine those details. The White Flamingo case was quite a walk on the wild side up in Fun City. Congrats for cracking it. Let’s talk about the therapy game. The tone may be down but this spa is superb  – dragonflies are everywhere. Sliding appears to have an up-side. What are your days like here at Last Chance Samui Spa?

Joe D You’re kidding right? That asshole Newman wrote me into this place so I could research his next book “The Black Rose”, when I finally get to go back to a decent restaurant city, London. So while the author’s up there in the big smoke hanging out with guys blowing their trumpets at the Checkinn99 and chewing the fat with comedians and actors I’m here sitting in a hut shoving a rubber tube up my Harris every four hours to cleanse the colon (whatever that is), and there’s no food. At least nothing solid. Two protein shakes a day and as much co-co-nut milk as you can vomit. You wanna swap places man, say the word, give me back the city. You got any smokes?

Gop Smokes? Sure, but they confiscated both along with my Altoids tin at the front desk. Juicy Fruit? … Negative on the swap, Joe. Sounds to me like someone needs to recite their Serenity Prayer.  The pipe cleanings explain the color choice for the staff uniforms and the incense. For a second, I had a Lumphini Police Station flashback. C’mon, Joe this is not your first slip and fall. I’ve read all Newman’s stuff – even the strange one about the lizards. Shouldn’t you know the rehab drill by now after what happened to your protagonist pal, Johnny Coca-Cola during his Buddhist temple gig?

Joe D Talking of color – you look a bit green yourself, Gop. Johnny Coca-Cola is another one of Newman’s dysfunctional creations. Let’s not talk about recovery for much longer. It kinda bores me.  You see the trick is to stop trying to keep clean and then there is no conflict, works for a while. The other side of the coin is that if you take your foot of the break too often, you may slide on the ice. We have the sea here and the beach, a couple of Hollywood types in the steam room. What could be better?

Gop  No worries, Joe. The color blonde is on my mind. Stop trying, eh? Sounds like a day at Beach Road. Let’s talk about your last client – the White Flamingo. Everyone knows these spas charge an arm and a leg to stick a rubber hose up, what you call, your Harris. Every country has a different name for it; all I know is, everybody has one. The Fun City telegraph was burning that private dick business wasn’t the only thing going on with you and Mrs. Bell at her mansion on the hill. And the word on the street is, the Flamingo has spent time at this very spa.  Is that a coincidence, Joe or is the Flamingo your Mrs. Jones, because it seems you gotta thing going on?

Joe D    Some reviewer said recently that I have a problem with women. Well, anyone who’s in a relationship has a problem and anyone who hasn’t got a piece of skirt or leather vest has a problem. Money and women are the same – they mean everything and nothing… You’ll have to ask the Flamingo herself if it’s serious – all I can tell you about the Flamingo is like the bird that gave her her moniker. Each way her head turns there’s a big bill in front of it.

The White Flamingo steps out with Joe Dylan for a ride in Fun City – Paparazzi photo credit to Johnny Coca-Cola

Gop  I figured you for a gent, Joe.  And a wise one at that. I’ve always liked the way Joe Dylan sees the world. I don’t like to pry into people’s personal lives.  But I am a bit concerned for your mental health. So I must tell you.  There’s a Full Moon Party in two days just a short swim from here that will knock your flip flops off. The here and now could be a lot worse than this seaside spa. What does the future have in store for you, Joe? What can your fans expect from you while you still have a pulse?

Joe Dylan ponders the meaning of life in a James A. Newman novel and/or a swim on the beach …

Joe D Pulse? Odds are you’ll croak before me, frogman. My plans? Well I’m checking out of this here new age cesspit  when the doc gives the all clear. Then it’ll be swimming to the full moon, have a party, and the next assignment is something tasty. It involves a rich kid who leaves behind his promising career to live in a utopian society of naked chicks in the jungle in central Thailand. I get my assignments from the higher power.  This time Newman threw me a paddle. Talking of paddles why don’t you grab yourself a paddle and hit some ping pong balls in the rec room, I have an appointment with the enema tech in twelve, we get together this time everyday and just like to shoot the shit.

Joe D’s toilet … clean as a whistle …

Gop Ping Pong’s my game, Joe. When I was in California last summer I won a little tournament down in Big Sur. You’d love it there. Redwoods. Ponds. Beautiful. But I see you as more of a Paris kinda guy.

Joe D Sure, in another lifetime I lived in room .25 the Beat Hotel, Left Bank. I can picture it now – gazing out that window across the rooftops and chimney pots. Up close a chimney pot’s a work of art. Yeah, Paris, the 1950s – shore leave. Picked up a taste for the Chinaman’s curse, and discovered my first case of the clap. Both imported from the East. But that’s another story for another waiting room.

Gop I learned a lot today. And I hope to forget it pronto. Time for you to play your game of hole-in-one with the long haired beauty wearing the latex gloves. I need my Altoids and Camel’s to fuel me back to The Big Weird. It’s been a real pleasure, Joe. Before I get out like trout is there any message Joe Dylan would like me to bring back to the City of Angels? 

Joe D Yes. Buy the White Flamingo by James A. Newman. If my benefactor doesn’t come up with the readies to spring me from this joint then we’re looking at selling enough copies to spring me free. Listen, Just tell your readers, to buy the god darn book.

The White Flamingo by James A. Newman – Third in the Joe Dylan Noir Crime Series Gop You got it, Joe… Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the frog on the blog and a pulp fiction private eye and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Chiang Mai City News. This interview first ran at THAILAND FOOTPRINT