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?
TO THE POWER OF THREE by Laura Lippman.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Since I review almost all the books I read these days I guess I’ll have to say Ian Rankin, because I won’t review the Rebus books.
Most satisfying writing moment?
When you know you’ve nailed a scene and created the exact mood or elicited the specific emotional response you were after.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
Oh, probably THE GUARDS by Ken Bruen. It’s hard, because there’s a lot of fantastic Irish crime fiction I’m discovering.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Oh, really, which one wouldn’t make a great movie? That’s probably the shorter list.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
I love writing, so the process of creating a work and being satisfied with it (until self-doubt kicks in) is probably the best thing for me, but a close second is when someone reads the work and they get what you wanted to do with it. That’s incredible.
The pitch for your next novel is …?
When the body of a missing girl is recovered at an arson scene police suspect a link, but by the time they discover the real connection between the fires, abductions and a serial rape case it may be too late to save a child’s life and when an officer becomes the latest rape victim the cases collide, with devastating consequences. (Can I amend my answer to the worst thing about being a writer? Writing pitches. I hate writing pitches. Really, WHAT BURNS WITHIN is all about sex. Can you just say that?)
Who are you reading right now?
SATURDAY’S CHILD by Ray Banks, HEAD GAMES by Craig McDonald and EXPLETIVE DELETED, edited by Jen Jordan.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
I’m actually considering using a pseudonym, because I really have two personalities with my writing. Some of it is action-packed, dialogue-driven, page-turning stuff. And some of it is more emotionally charged, the kind where you don’t want to turn the page to see what happens next but can’t help yourself. What I aim for is to tell a captivating story, with tight writing and believable characters.
Sandra Ruttan’s WHAT BURNS WITHIN will be released by Dorchester in May 2008, to be followed by THE FRAILTY OF FLESH in November 2008.
“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.