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 FATAL INVERSION by Barbara Vine (aka Ruth Rendell).
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Charlotte Gray, eponymous heroine of Sebastian Faulks’ wartime novel, for sheer bravery and guts, with a yearly sabbatical as Daisy in THE GREAT GATSBY: how utterly relaxing to be that shallow and careless of others while remaining adored …
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Not who but what: arty picture books of houses in the South of France.
Most satisfying writing moment?
Selling the rights to my fourth novel THE ART OF FALLING to Random House after having published it myself ten months earlier.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
THE STATEMENT by Brian Moore. Hope that counts. I love the way he writes sparingly yet lyrically, as tension builds.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Well, genuinely, I’d like to see THE BIG O make it. With Billy Bob Thornton as Frank.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst: sitting at my desk and realising I’d be better off on a ten-mile run before sad case of Writer’s Bottom becomes irreversible. Best: sitting at my desk for hours playing around with words.
The pitch for your next book is …?
A cycle of interlinked stories set in Provence, exploring themes of age and experience, youth and innocence, reality and imagination - and a cold murder investigation.
Who are you reading right now?
THE LEVANT TRILOGY by Olivia Manning, alongside the biography of Olivia Manning by Neville and June Braybrooke.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Reading – without hesitation.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Evocative, sensuous and derriere-enlarging.
Deborah Lawrenson’s SONGS OF BLUE AND GOLD is published by Arrow Books.
“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. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “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. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.