Yep, it’s rubber-hose time, folks: a rapid-fire Q&A for those shifty-looking usual suspects ...
What crime novel would you most like to have written?
John Berendt’s Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Too many thrillers and crime novels, I’m afraid: just finished Jim Rollins’ Map of Bones, Lee Child’s One Shot, Simon Kernick’s Relentless, Harry Hunsicker’s The Next Time You Die, Doug Preston’s The Book of the Dead, Stuart MacBride’s Cold Granite, Bob Liparulo’s Germ, Gayle Lynds’ The Last Spymaster, Barry Eisler’s Choke Point … and I’m in the middle of Rob Browne’s (Robert Gregory Browne) Kiss Her Goodbye. To absolve my guilt, I have stacked up and waiting: Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, John Berendt’s The City of Fallen Angels, Michael Collins’ The Secret Life of E. Robert Pendleton.
Most satisfying writing moment?
The chapter I just finished this morning in my WIP, Creatures of Habit.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
There are so many that it’s quite impossible for me to select one and call it the best. However, a work that falls into both the crime and the thriller category captured me when I first read it: Victor O’Reilly’s Games of the Hangman.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Well, I don’t know about movie, maybe TV series: definitely Ken Bruen’s White Trilogy series about Brandt and his corrupt, almost comical, associates. Let Jimmy McGovern do the screenplay and I say it’d match the ratings of The Sopranos! So, any film / TV producers reading this – what are you waiting for?
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst: in the beginning the worst thing is rejection – until you find out that every writer, famous and obscure, suffers from the same chronic disease. Best: simply being a writer. I’ve done a lot of other things in my life but being a writer is, by far, the best!
Why does John Banville use a pseudonym for writing crime?
I’d sure like to ask him that! If I run into him at one of the writers’ conventions, I promise you I’ll ask him. And John (er, Benjamin) if either or both of you are reading this, please let me know. He’s not the only one: recently, Peter Cunningham, using the name Peter Benjamin, (what’s with this word Benjamin anyway ?) published a thriller, Terms and Conditions. Why not do what Iain Banks does? For his science fiction, he simply adds a middle initial: Iain M. Banks. Still proud to have his own name on the genre!
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Fast-paced, intelligent, gripping.
Pat Mullan’s The Root of All Evil is on its way to a shop near you
“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.