It’s a pleasure to announce that my next guest on the Crime Cafe podcast is crime fiction author Phillip Thompson.

Phillip is giving a copy of his novel OUTSIDE THE LAW to one lucky winner. All you need to do to enter the giveaway is email Phillip at tombigbeewriter[at]gmail[dot]com with the subject line “Crime Cafe giveaway” by Tuesday, July 24, 2018. So, don’t wait. Enter today!

Phillip is also here today to talk about Noir at the Bar. What’s that? Well, here’s Phillip with the low-down on that. 🙂


The mythical image of a writer – a novelist — of a grizzled, tortured man (or woman) hunched over a typewriter, brow furrowed in angst, bottle of whiskey on one side, butt-choked ashtray on the others is not entirely a stereotype. Most of us know the work of the writer is a solitary one; many of us even embrace the solitude to find whatever muse compels us to write or evokes the range of emotions all writers feel – the thrill of inspiration and the soul-crushing self-doubt.

So, it’s no surprise that many writers don’t get (or take) the chance to interact with other writers in a social setting that allows for a free exchange of ideas, camaraderie and feedback – or just an opportunity to put on shoes and go have a drink.

That’s where Noir at the Bar comes in.

Noir at the Bar!

What exactly is a Noir at the Bar? Well, you can get the full download from the folks at Lit Reactor here, but basically, a “N@TB” is simple: a bunch of crime fiction/noir writers, usually somewhere between six and 10 come together for an evening with the public in a bar and read their work at a microphone, then socialize with their fellow writers and the audience. It’s like a poetry slam, but with a lot more swearing. Sounds pretty standard, right?

“Not exactly,” according to Jen Conley of the LA Review of Books website. “We’re talking crime. Noir. Pulp. Hardboiled. Violent. Twisted. Bukowski, Cain, O’Connor are revered. If you go to a reading, you’re going to hear bad words. There’s going to be blood. Things are going to get dark. You might be offended.”

There are several “best things” about a N@TB, but one is the opportunity for writers, those solitary, hermit-like creatures, to meet other writers and, who knows, maybe even establish friendships. Another “best thing” is that anyone can host an event. N@TB is all grass roots – one person decides to host, does the leg work, contacts some writers who agree to come and, bam, you have an evening of some damn good crime fiction being unleashed on the masses.

Given the state of publishing these days, with New York publishing houses and agents growing ever more finicky as the opportunities for independent publishing grow exponentially, nothing works like a network, and these events are great way to build your network as a writer. I’d met several writers via social media, but never met them in person until my first Noir at the Bar in Durham, NC. Three years later, I have a growing network of fellow crime fiction writers I see and communicate with on a regular basis. And not because I owe them money.

And while we may enjoy the solitude that comes with the job, we all want (and need) the feedback from an honest source – our own peers. Noir at the Bar does that.

Read more about writing at my blog, “Grace and Violence” at


A native of rural east Mississippi, Phillip Thompson, received a journalism degree from Ole Miss. He has served in combat as a Marine, covered capital murder cases as a journalist, and wrote speeches for top military leaders in the Pentagon. He has worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Mississippi and Virginia, and his journalistic work has been featured in newspapers across the Deep South and the East Coast.

Thompson is the author of four novels: the Amazon best seller, Outside the Law; Deep Blood; A Simple Murder; and Enemy Within. His short fiction has appeared in O-Dark-Thirty; The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature; Out of the Gutter Online; Thrills, Kills ‘N’ Chaos; Near to the Knuckle; Yellow Mama; and The Shamus Sampler II. He attended the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference as a fiction writer. He lives in Virginia.

Publishers Weekly described his first novel, Enemy Within, ” … as timely as the morning headlines [and] asks some probing questions about national apathy, the abdication of responsibility for one’s own country and the resulting decay of U.S. civil rights.”

His latest novel, Outside the Law, the second Colt Harper novel, reached #1 on the Amazon Best Seller list (ebook) this year. It received excellent reviews from top crime fiction writers such as Reed Farrel Coleman, New York Times bestselling author of Robert B. Parker’s Debt to Pay: “Outside the Law is a winner in the tradition of Justified and Walking Tall. There’s right and there’s wrong and the no man’s land in between. Thompson explores them all, but it’s the reader who gets the big payoff in the end.” Publishers Weekly called the novel “tough and fast-paced” with “convincing characters.”

More about me at my blog, “Grace and Violence” (


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