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?
Bangkok 8 by John Burdett.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Any of Colin Bateman’s books.
Most satisfying writing moment?
Having a crisis of confidence after labouring over a first chapter for three months, deciding writing just wasn’t my thing, walking away from PC and sitting down for long re-think. One hour later I came up with idea for prison doctor and Betrayal was born. It flowed like water.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Ambush, by me. It’s got all the right ingredients and is under evaluation as I write by a major TV/film production company (then again, Scalpel was optioned for about 10 years and never saw the light of day!).
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst: it’s bloody hard work and you do have to take the bad reviews on the chin. Best: seeing the books on the shelves and on the bestseller lists.
Why does John Banville use a pseudonym for writing crime?
Kindest evaluation: to distinguish his literary writing from his more commercially minded book. Lots of writers use this (Martin Waddell pens the most wonderful children’s picture books under his own name and has a separate name for his teenage-audience works). A spiteful and mean-spirited interpretation would be that Banville isn't really comfortable with crime fiction and doesn't want to be so obviously selling his soul. Personally I couldn't give a damn and I suspect he couldn’t give a damn either. Life’s too short to bother with such trivia.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Pacy, racy, spicy.
Paul Carson’s Betrayal is available in all good book shops
“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.