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?
MILDRED PIERCE by James M. Cain. I know most people don’t consider it a crime novel, but it does have accounting fraud.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Literary fiction. Seriously.
Most satisfying writing moment?
Finishing the draft that goes off to my editor.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
No way. I’m not well read enough.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
I’m going to cheat here and say A DRINK BEFORE THE WAR because a) Dennis Lehane’s parents were Irish immigrants and b) he has ridiculously good karma when it comes to film adaptation – MYSTIC RIVER, GONE, BABY, GONE, and now Scorsese is directing SHUTTER ISLAND. I don’t know why Hollywood doesn’t screw up Dennis’s books, but so far, so good.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The worst thing is working alone. The best thing is working alone.
The pitch for your next novel is …?
Memoirist in a slump returns to her hometown of Baltimore, thinking she might tease a book out of a little-known murder case and realizes her investigation will come at a great personal cost. Oh wait, that’s the novel I’m writing. The novel I’m publishing next month is ANOTHER THING TO FALL: Tess Monaghan collides with Hollywood, literally.
Who are you reading right now?
David Lodge, Martin Amis, Michael Pollan, Jacob Weisberg, Winifred Watson. I tend to read a lot of books at once, until one breaks away from the pack, and the Pollan is in the lead right now, followed by Weisberg’s THE BUSH TRAGEDY.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Obstinate, angry, inadequate.
Laura Lippman’s ANOTHER THING TO FALL will be published in March
“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.