“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.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?”: Mark Coggins

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?
I’m a big Chandler fan, but I’m feeling sentimental because of the announcement of this author’s death today. I’ll go with Crumley’s THE WRONG CASE. Up until today, I used to say Crumley was my favourite living writer.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Jack Reacher. No worries about wardrobe, women or kicks. There’s adventure around every corner and I’d be more than ready to handle it. Although in the last book, he was told by a woman he wasn’t a very good lover. That part would bruise my ego.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
If we are really talking guilty, Dorothy Sayer’s Lord Peter Wimsey books. The guilt comes from being a hard boiled writer and reading a novelist that Chandler specifically criticized in ‘The Simple Art of Murder’.
Most satisfying writing moment?
Killing off a character based on an old boss.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
Although he beat me for the best first Shamus the year we were both first published in the US, I’m a big fan of John Connolly. I’ll go with EVERY DEAD THING because of its primeval power.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Same as above.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst is the ever-expanding requirement to be a sales person and marketer for your own work. Best is picking up one of your own books after you’ve had a few drinks, flipping it open and actually enjoying what you read, even (or especially) if you don’t remember writing it.
The pitch for your next book is …?
It’s under wraps, so you’ll just have to trust me.
Who are you reading right now?
I just finished Connolly’s THE REAPERS on my Kindle flying back home on a plane last night.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Read. Like Red Smith is supposed to have said, “Writing is easy. I just open a vein and bleed.”
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Crimson, corpuscular and coagulated.

Mark Coggins’ RUNOFF is available now.

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