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?
Wiseass answer: I’ve already written it, The James Deans. Won the Shamus, Barry, and Anthony Awards and was nominated for the Edgar, Macavity and Gumshoe. Wise answer: For a long time I would have said The Long Goodbye or Red Harvest, but lately I’ve come under the spell of Daniel Woodrell and think Winter’s Bone might be the choice.
What do you read for guilty pleasures?
Pop song lyrics. For years, I’ve been trying to figure out the irony of Cher’s Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves. If you read the lyrics carefully, you’ll note that the female narrator (singer) is complaining that she and her family are thought of as nothing but scum by the local townspeople, that they are perceived as nothing but crooked gamblers, alcoholics, prostitutes and con men. Then she proceeds to describe her family as nothing but crooked gamblers, alcoholics, prostitutes and con men. I’m like …Yeah!
Most satisfying moment as a writer?
I was sixteen and saw my name in print in the high school literary magazine. It was for a poem called Monopoly about unrequited love. What else would a sixteen year old boy write about, for fuck’s sake? That’s when I knew I had the bug.
The best Irish crime novel is…?
Ulysses. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. I’m partial to Ken Bruen here, so I’d go with either The Killing of the Tinkers or Rilke On Black.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Either of the above.
Worst/best thing about being a writer?
The worst is dealing with the small indignities to which writers are exposed to at every turn. The stuff that when added up makes you wonder why on earth you put up with it. The best is when you write that perfect sentence, phrase or paragraph. When you read it and know no one else alive who ever lived could have written that same phrase the same way or done it more effectively.
Why does John Banville use a pseudonym for writing crime?
Usually I feign ignorance. Here I claim it.
The three best words to describe your own writing are…?
Out of print. Sorry. Philosophical, hard-boiled, emotional.
Reed Farrel Coleman’s Soul Patch is the sequel to his multi-award winning The James Deans
“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.