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?
CAUGHT STEALING by Charlie Huston. Marcus Sakey read some of my work and compared it to Charlie Huston. It took me a little while, but I eventually got around to checking him out. Amazing. CAUGHT STEALING is totally unputdownable. Lucky Number Slevin has a similar plotline, so when I’m watching that, I like to pretend I’m watching CAUGHT STEALING, even if only for a scene or two. Seriously, there should be a movie made from the book, for sure.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Tyler Durden from FIGHT CLUB, or One-Punch Mickey from Snatch. I’ve often wondered who would win in a fight. Nihilist guru Brad Pitt or derelict boozer Brad Pitt? I guess I’d end up being whoever won.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
I have several books on the IRA and the Catholics of Ulster. Ultimately depressing, but extremely interesting. Sorry to disappoint you ... I know you wanted to hear Nora Roberts or Danielle Steele.
Most satisfying writing moment?
The moment I finished my first book. I didn’t think it could ever be done, especially with the amount of pages I managed to do it in. Nothing to write home about, but for a poet who decided to collect some outlandish thoughts and some moody characters and to luckily tie up all the many loose ends he foolhardily unwound for himself, I was a fox in a hen house. Or a bull in China shop, one or the other.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
HIDDEN RIVER - Adrian McKinty. Strung out Irish ex-cop from Belfast, the Rocky Mountains, a hit squad from the Irish mob, a sexy platinum blond siren as breathless as Norma Jean, and Indian mysticism. What more does a good crime fiction story need?
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
DEAD I WELL MAY BE by Adrian McKinty. Here’s a shocking secret ... I like McKinty a lot.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Being a writer is the absolute best, comparable to being a movie director. Except the movies I’m making form inside my head and I make them come to life on paper. No one will ever see them in the same you light you do. The warm bodies you place into the roles of your characters, the soundtrack you have spinning during your opening and end credits, the directorial tricks that only the recesses of your mind can pull off ... it’s all your creation, yours and yours only. Once you write a few great characters and good strong story around them, I swear, the world could end but you’d always have that book that meant so much to you. No one can take that away.
The pitch for your next book is …?
Dark, pensive. Sad as a Jacobean tragedy but as bloody and gut-wrenching and shockingly brutal as the lingering intermission of a gladiatorial free-for-all.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Well ... all writers have their influences. If I chose to write and no longer read, I’d have my initial style of writing but I’d be forced to add no other spices to it later because I’d no longer have any other gifted writers to inspire me, to fuel my flames. If I chose to read, I could no longer write and therefore this vivid imagination of mine would go to waste. Ultimately, I think I’d go with writing because it’s what I love. A wonderful writer that I took a workshop with told that “writer’s write. That’s it. If they didn’t, they’d go mad.”
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Metaphoric. Poetic. Tangenty. I know that’s not really a word, but then again, neither is strategery, and that worked for George Bush the younger. Well, kinda.
Will Hoyle is the author of KILLING THE SWOON, which is currently under consideration with a number of publishers.
“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.