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?
A TOUCH OF FROST by R.D. Wingfield – in fact, anything by Wingfield, the man was a master of twisty multiple plotlines and brilliant characterisation. It’s a sin more people haven’t read him.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
I don’t think I’ve got any guilty reading secrets. Well, except for Allan Guthrie. His stuff makes me feel dirty and in need of a TCP bath. I suppose the nearest I get to it is when sometimes I’ll dip into a book that I just know is going to be crap, just for the twisted delight of hurling abuse at the printed page, its author and whoever ‘edited’ it. I don’t finish those books, I just like to wind myself up from time to time, makes me feel better about whatever it is I’m writing.
Most satisfying writing moment?
Probably when something finally clicks in the spider-infested basement of my brain and I suddenly realise why I stuck all that unplanned stuff into the book nine chapters ago and everything now makes sense. Tends to be short lived, but it’s nice when it happens.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
I’m going to go with THE KILLING KIND by John Connolly. Mr Pud and his hairy fingers were a great creation.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Pretty much any of the Connolly ones. I’d worry that someone would screw them up, though.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The best thing about being a writer is not having to get dressed to go to work. The worst part is never getting away from work – it’s always there, festering away in the back of your head.
The pitch for your next novel is …?
FLESH HOUSE basically goes like this: nasty stuff happens. Abduction. People run around a lot. PANIC. Cannibalism. Kermit the Frog’s sex life. Partial nudity. More cannibalism. And some of the darkest stuff I’ve ever written. It actually gave one of my test readers the screaming nightmares – so you know it’s going to be good, wholesome family fun.
Who are you reading right now?
I just finished BURIAL GROUND, by that little eldrich pixie John ‘Spanky’ Rickards. In it he gets his revenge for me making him a bondage-obsessed constable with Grampian Police in my last book BROKEN SKIN. Short people can be so vindictive ...
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Beard! Monkey! Fish!
Stuart McBride’s BROKEN SKIN is released in paperback on January 2. FLESH HOUSE will be published in May.
“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.