The tickle of curiosity. The gasp of discovery. Fingers running across the keyboard.

The tickle of curiosity. The gasp of discovery. Fingers running across a keyboard

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bounced: An interview for Writers with Bouncer/Author Bill Carson.



Fiona -
Well, hello there - who are you and why are you here?

Bill -
Hi all, My name is Bill Carson writer and ex- bouncer among other things. I worked as a nightclub bouncer for about five years back in the nineties.

Fiona -
Good to have you here. You know, I came across your book, Modern Warrior Handbook, and I was a little dubious, so I only got the Kindle free sample. It was tasty though - so now I have the whole platter. You're very violent.

Bill - 
It's a good book, and I have to disagree with the last statement, Fiona. I'm just quite good at defending myself.

Fiona - 
I don't mind the correction - violence is often required to defend oneself. How did you get this good?

Bill - 
Amazon Link
I started to learn Karate as a teenager I was bullied a few times and decided to take up Karate and was lucky enough to have an excellent teacher. I have been training ever since.

Fiona - 
How old were you when that turned into a career as a bouncer?

Bill - 
Oh I was pretty old for this game probably about thirty I think

Fiona - 
So you had some wisdom behind your techniques. What is life like for a bouncer? Can you walk us through a typical night?

Bill - 
Well it's dangerous, as you might imagine.
I always wore a bulletproof vest. 
Two of my compatriots had been stabbed to death, so that 
type of thing was always in the forefront of my mind. I would park my car in different places vary my arrival times.

Fiona - My understanding is that a bulletproof vest does not protect against stab and slash wounds - did your vest also have stab plates? Was it cumbersome?



Amazon Link

Bill -
 I had a stab proof vest with the ballistic trauma plate in the front pouch. Yes, it was a little awkward, but it definitely was a great piece of kit. 

I would recommend that anyone in that line of work to obtain one.
Fiona - Anyone trying a rabbit punch would have had broken knuckles - just another bonus for the vest.

So you were making enemies - people who would want to get back at you? Why did you need to vary time and route to work? Were you concerned that the issues would follow you home?

Bill -
You will inevitably run into a few lunatics in this line of work. I lost count at the amount of death threats. I employed a whole range of techniques of avoidance.

Fiona -
I assume you never sported a fake mustache. Can you add a few to the list you started?

Bill -
 
I learned from the mistakes of others. Well, I never went in for disguises, but I didn't use my real name,

for example; you could get away with that in those days not so now though.



Amazon Link

Fiona - 
Yes, well now you're a famous author. Can I just pause here to say that your book is very accessible to writers who need to write a fight scene and they have never had to fight - or had any training. There are great graphics to make the move visual. You really go step-by-step. I would caution those who think that reading your book will give them superpowers - you can't read about a move then apply it under bad circumstances.

These are skill sets that are trained and practiced.

Bill - 
Thanks, I tried to show the reality behind a violent confrontation. There's so much rubbish out there on this subject.

Fiona - 
Sadly true. Okay so back to bouncing. You arrived safely with your vest in place. Now what?

Bill - 
When I arrived at the door, I would have a little briefing with my team to remind them to stay switched on. The thumping soundtrack would then start up the noisy punters (patrons) would begin to arrive. You spend half the night checking ID's and staying on the lookout for drugs and the dealers.

Then the tell tale signs of a fight - the breaking glass, the high pitched screams - that was our cue. We would go in.

I had a system. Basically if a fight broke out, we were alerted by an alarm or the lights would flash on and off at the front door to alert me. I would always sneak in around the back of the disturbance and take down the troublemaker from behind with a technique that we had developed back at our little gym. Then I'd show them to the nearest exit.



Amazon Link

Fiona - 
How often were these women?

Bill - 
Quite often I found some women to be most aggressive.

Once, I was called to a disturbance where two women were fighting. They weren't pulling hair and scratching one another; they were throwing punches like boxers. And one of them was heavily pregnant!

Fiona - 
How do you unravel the girls who have entwined themselves into each others' long hair? Do you just jerk them apart and let them rip each others' heads?

Bill - 
I tried to be as gentle as possible. When fisticuffs broke out between the ladies, it was difficult to know where to put my hands. But yes, we just yanked them apart basically.

Fiona - 
Bahaha! And did this ever cause "wardrobe malfunctions?"

Bill - 
I've seen some sights Fiona, scary. Yes, interestingly not so much with women,

but almost always when guys had been in an altercation their shirts would end up in shreds.

Fiona - 
Why does that surprise me? That seems more of a cat fight kind of move - nails and all.
What sort of place is this? What kinds of clientele?

Bill - 
I worked in a huge night club at Kings Cross in London. Rough was not the word to describe it.

I have worked in lots of different venues some were rough, some really rough, and some that were okay.

Fiona - 
And you mentioned drug users and pushers - what cued you in about them?

Bill - 
Well they are not very bright, or they just don't care. But if you are vigilant enough,

you can spot them dealing and also cannabis smokers usually reek of the stuff. 
Horrible sickly bitter sweet smell.

Fiona - 
Eventually, you decided to impart your wisdom and write a book. How did all that come about?

Bill - 
I always took a small diary with me and entered the nights shenanigans into it. One of my brethren saw it and suggested that it might make a good book. After I hung up my stab proof vest and gum shield, I wrote Show No Fear a bouncers diary.






Amazon Link
Fiona - This quote from Amazon gets to the core of it:

"Time for a bit of scum bag cleansing." In this eye-opener of a book, the author records the "more unusual and violent incidents" in his career as a bouncer. It may shock you to realise exactly the risks that bouncers take on the doors of night clubs and pubs, and even at private functions. If the bouncer is to "show no fear", he must build up strong mental and physical toughness through disciplined training. The author gets plenty of opportunities to try out the techniques he learns in the gym, whether it's a stranglehold or a right hook. If you have a run-in with some "weekend warriors", words are simply not enough to deal with it. But this is not a disheartening story of mindless aggression. Some incidents are really funny, and the author's colourful language and wry humour help soften the blows when they come. Read this book, and next time you'll spare a thought for the bouncer who takes the crap so you don't have to.

Fiona - I'm sure it's a fantastic resource for people who want to write bouncer characters correctly in their books. You have been awesome Bill, and I know you are hot and sweaty from your workout - I really appreciate your stopping what you were doing to chat with us. I will just keep you for this one last question. Can you please tell me about your favorite scar?

Bill - 
I have a few, not sure about having a favorite though. I do have one just above my right eye. A chap punched me in the face one day, not an unusual occurrence in that job but the problem was that the had two sharp door keys protruding between his fingers which left a nasty little scar. He had one two though afterwards.

Fiona - 
Oh you know that the ladies love it - it makes you very rakish. Bill, thank you so much for your time.

HERE'S A video of bouncers talking shop and how to avoid a bad night.


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