Yep, it's rubber-hose time, folks: a rapid-fire pick-'n'-mix Q&A for those shifty-looking usual suspects ...
What crime novel would you most like to have written?
No Country For Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy. That book has put me into more arguments with my publisher for failing deadlines. I keep rereading it and rereading it and …
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Nelson DeMille. A master storyteller. Fluent and effortless. Oh, and Marvel comics and Stan Lee.
Most satisfying writing moment?
Getting a phone call from my agent in New York informing me that Warner Brothers had bought the rights to On The Brinks. I had about ten quid left in my bank account (now I have even less).
The best Irish crime novel is …?
Anything by Maeve Binchy. I think all her books are a crime.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
On The Brinks.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
People thinking I’m rich / People thinking I’m rich.
Why does John Banville use a pseudonym for writing crime?
Why do men wear women’s clothing? You would have to ask him that. If he tells you, please let me know. Perhaps he wants to be a tough guy, and slug it out with the rest of us losers in the down and dirty ring of crime writing, without his legion of adoring fans finding out that he’s a roughneck underneath all that suave complexity. Anyway, I guess it’s better than using a condom …
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Should Be Banned (so says Ian Paisley).
Sam Millar’s Darkness of the Bones is available in all good bookshops, and most of the bog-standard ones too
“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.