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?
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
I don’t know if I read a particular genre or author in a guilty way—I suppose the most guilty pleasure in my reading is the aimless promiscuity of my choices—I train-commute to work and read anything (as long as it’s portable—is that a genre?). This last week I’ve read magazines (Wired, American Scientist, The Walrus), articles downloaded from the internet, a and collection of poetry ( SITCOM by David McGimpsey).
Most satisfying writing moment?
A story I wrote won a writing contest (this in itself wasn’t the most satisfying thing). It was a contest with blind-judging and I wrote the story in the voice of a pregnant woman. They presented the award at a local literary festival and with the congratulatory handshake, the judge leaned in and said ‘I didn’t think you were a man.’ This was the most satisfying (and contextually-dependent) compliment I have ever received.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
John Banville’s THE BOOK OF EVIDENCE.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Recently I came across Gene Kerrigan’s THE MIDNIGHT CHOIR—it caught my eye for the Leonard Cohen reference in the title—and enjoyed it very much. I thought it would make a great film.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst thing: You’ve only got your skill with words to convince the reader to turn the page. Best thing: See above.
The pitch for your next novel is …?
A man recovering from a head injury (the nature of which renders him unable to understand the extent of his perceptual deficits) finds his world utterly changed and the narrative follows him as he tries to negotiate his way towards an explanation for what is happening to him. As you can see, I just can’t stay away from romantic comedy …
Who are you reading right now?
CITIZEN VINCE by Jess Walter.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Style, plot, relevance.
Liam Durcan’s GARCIA’S HEART is available 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. “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.