Tag Archives: The Man in the Gray Tie

“The Man in the Gray Tie” – what’s behind the tie?

auction-houseWhat is it about a man in a gray tie? The blandness, the dullness, the downright boring person behind the clothing item? Well, yes, but also the mystery, the possibility that they are not who they seem.

Such is it with the title story of my first collection of three stories, Trio 1, The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Crimes. The man in question is Dr. Sidney Holton, a chiropractor with a peculiar hobby behind his demure dress sense…he likes to provoke people. But not directly. He likes to visit auction houses and push up the prices, for fun, to make people buy things at elevated prices. It gives him a devious thrill.

There are consequences, of course, and escalation. First he meets a mysterious woman, Valerie Eden. She chats to him at the drinks table during a break in the bidding. She’s seductive, middle-aged like him, and very soon she’s sitting near to him as the auction restarts. Except she’s a distraction. What will happen to his hobby? Will he buy her something he can’t afford? Will he get stung by the auction house? Will she seduce him? To check out how deep Sidney gets into hot water, the first page of “The Man in the Gray Tie” is available on my website.

I see Sidney as one of life’s daredevils who has no conception that there are professional fraudsters and conmen out there, hiding in plain sight. He thinks he can roll up to any business or individual and have his fun, a selfish thrill that actually causes a little harm: that’s how he gets his pleasure.

But when the tables are turned, it’s not quite so much fun, is it?

Check out what happens to Sidney when he gets ‘backroomed.’ The boss of an auction house can be worse than the boss of a casino!

Press Release, The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Crimes (publishing November 5, 2015)

The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Crimes (cover)FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Matt Fullerty’s ‘Trio 1’ of criminally-minded short stories is publishing on Bonfire Night!

ISBN 978-1-937056-55-1

THE MAN IN THE GRAY TIE AND OTHER CRIMES

BY MATT FULLERTY

The Brits and Americans are as crazy as each other!

In three stories about fraud, sexual indecency and, of all things, plagiarism, Matt Fullerty has crafted three modern tales of danger, duplicity and escalating violence.

Will Doctor Sidney Holton escape a criminal gang running a secluded auction house in the English countryside? Will young city professionals Danny and Meredith agree to disagree about what happened on a fateful London night after drinking too many in the pub? Will middle-aged Seattle best buds Judy and Soo help each other get into print with the Great American Short Story—or will they just rip their typing nails into each other’s throats?

You guessed it. Sometimes, in British lives too, there are no second acts.

Matt Fullerty’s story collection The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Crimes (144 pp, $5.95/£3.95/€4.95) is released on November 5, 2015 by Parkgate Press / Dionysus Books. It forms Trio 1 of his nine story collection, Rising Apes, Falling Angels.

Patrick Willers, University of Michigan and Maxwell School, Syracuse University, says:

“‘The Man in the Gray Tie’ captures the anxiety of losing everything for a thrill. The whole premise is discomforting: the doctor despises his wife and gets his sensual thrills from bidding-up at random auctions, but just can’t curb his cunning fun. Story two, ‘(He) Said, (She) Said,’ conveys the awkwardly optimistic anticipation between two friends who meet for a drink—that game of Red-Light/Green-Light, that discomfort of ‘not knowing’ and being trapped in the ‘friend-zone.’ Finally, in a nod to Hitchcock’s Vertigo and Rope, ‘The Last Page of Friendship’ explores betrayal between best ‘frenemies,’ wannabe writers who try to control each other’s story, with horrific consequences.”

Dr. Dean Lawson, East Carolina University and the University of Alabama, says:

“The title story is reminiscent of an O. Henry story with the unexpected twists, also of the Roger Moore Bond movie Octopussy where Bond bumped up the price of a bogus Fabergé egg. The second story is a human sexual roller-coaster exploring the paradoxes of missed social cues, the characters hitting all the wrong notes in a story of guilt and shame. The third is my favorite, setting up a poisonous literary rivalry between old West Coast friends, and should be read with the lights off.”

Matt Fullerty lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and expanding family. The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Crimes is Trio 1 of the criminally-minded short story collection Rising Apes, Falling Angels. Matt’s novels include The Knight of New Orleans about American chess prodigy Paul Morphy and The Murderess and the Hangman about hard-drinking Kate Webster who murdered her London landlady. His website is mattfullerty.com.

The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Crimes is available to purchase at Buy Books.

ISBN 978-1-937056-55-1

To place orders for The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Crimes, contact:

Editor, Parkgate Press / Dionysus Books                                                               7796 Marshall Heights Court
Falls Church, Virginia 22043
Email: editor@parkgatepress.com                                                                                             Website: www.parkgatepress.com

To arrange a book signing or interview, contact  editor@parkgatepress.com.

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Trio 1 publishing on November 5, 2015 (Stories 1-3)

The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Crimes (cover)I can now confirm that the first three stories of Rising Apes, Falling Angels will publish on November 5, 2015. They will form a standalone trio (Trio 1) called The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Crimes.

Each story focuses on a particular theme: fraud in “The Man in Gray Tie,” consent in “(He) Said, (She) Said” and plagiarism in “The Last Page of Friendship.” Well, plus a little cheating, lust and murder!

The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Crimes will be available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com (in Kindle, nook and iBook formats).

Roll on November 5, 2015!

…And Other Crimes…Inspired by a Spike Lee Joint

spike-lee-joint-1.2A couple of weeks ago, I was wondering how to title my first collection of three stories. Since they were crime stories, I hit on the idea of replacing Stories with Crimes, so instead of The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Stories, I settled on The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Crimes.

I owe this homage to a memory of Spike Lee titling his movies ‘joints’ rather than ‘movies,’ ever since I saw Lee’s joint Do the Right Thing. The opening credits got a laugh just by announcing ‘A Spike Lee Joint.’ Entertainment first! Plus you can get high off a Spike Lee film.

Henceforth, my ‘stories’ for my Trio 1 will be known as ‘crimes,’ hence the title The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Crimes. Fraud is the focus of “The Man in Gray Tie,” consent in “(He) Said, (She) Said,” and plagiarism in “The Last Page of Friendship.”

Smoke ’em if you got ’em.

Introducing “The Man in the Gray Tie” (Trio 1, Story 1)

Have You Ever Gambled and Won Something You Couldn’t Afford?The idea for “The Man in the Gray Tie” (the title story for The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Crimes) was a memory of visiting the English countryside. There was a small auction house in North Yorkshire that captured my imagination, nestled away under some trees and quite posh-looking. I didn’t go inside, but the memory lingered….

It was the combination of this setting and reading Roald Dahl’s short stories that inspired me, in particular Dahl’s “Parson’s Pleasure” (starring the unforgettable Mr. Boggis). In that story, a man tours the English countryside ripping people off–mostly taking their antique furniture. I created a similar character in Dr. Sidney Holton, someone who is not motivated by money, but rather the thrill of duping other people. His victim in this case is the affluent auction house, whoever owns it.

What would happen, Dr Holton wonders, if he bids up the prices at the auction house…for his satisfaction. Well, what happens is not what he expects. This time, in taking his wife’s beloved dog into the auction, his plan backfires. Since the animal’s is his wife’s pride and joy (more than he is), he has something to lose more than his integrity, yet somehow more to gain than embarrassment…

Check out this first story at “The Man in the Gray Tie.”

Introducing…The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Crimes (Trio 1)

gavel

Hi, I am currently working on some new stories. The first three will be released as a mini-collection (Trio 1) and called The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Crimes. So far I’ve written six of the stories (Trios 1 and 2) and about to embark on the seventh. Over the next few weeks I’ll be blogging about the experience of writing these stories, and the inspiration behind them.

Basically, it’s time to give a little behind-the-scenes on the experience. Along the way there are lots of U-turns, hurdles to overcome, dead ends, and so on. But there are also some sweet, funny moments associated with writing (you wouldn’t think it, I know), its pitfalls, and how the most unexpected things can find their way into stories, and improve them.

The first story I wrote for the collection is the title story, “The Man in the Gray Tie.” Hopefully I won’t change the title of this story, but it’s entirely possible. I am already considering a polka dot tie, since the gray tie is perhaps too reminiscent of the lead character of E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey (2011). Given the main character is my story keeps all his clothes on, that should be where the confusion ends. 🙂

Hope to see you here!