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?
Any of Ken Bruen’s would do nicely. If I had to chose one, I would take American Skin. Obviously I would be pretty chuffed to have done The Hound of the Baskervilles too. Or The Getaway.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Comic books – I try to justify myself to strangers on trains. Pathetic. I once went to a newsagent with a friend and he got Time, the Financial Times and the Trib. I got Captain America, Creepy and Batman. We never spoke of it again.
Most satisfying writing moment?
I think when I waited outside the general post office in Wexford for the author’s copies of my first book to arrive. Nothing beats holding the first book on your hand. This is the moment when a dream becomes reality and is all the better for it. Also, on a more Celtic Tiger note, the first movie deal with Miramax.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
Oh, God. Tough one. I loved Vincent Banville’s Canon Law. Also Brendan Landers’ Milo Devine. But at the moment Ken is king. The Guards is the start of an era.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Every Dead Thing by John Connolly - creepy.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Being your own boss, when sometimes you don’t like the boss. There is no one to complain to and the union is shit.
Why does John Banville use a pseudonym for writing crime?
I imagine to avoid being pigeonholed. Perhaps there isn’t much of an overlap between Banville and Black readers. Of course I am guessing, it probably all stems from a childhood incident on the Wexford coast.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony is out now
“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. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “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. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.