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?
MYSTIC RIVER. For some reason it’s still meandering through my head, though I read it years ago.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Odysseus. He was brave, cunning, practical, curious, and human.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Baroness Orczy , Alexandre Dumas, Zane Gray.
Most satisfying writing moment?
Someone I sent a piece to responded with, “Damn You!” It wasn’t what I was aiming for, but it obviously evoked a strong emotion.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
I really loved John Connolly’s THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS although I’m not sure it qualifies as a ‘crime’ novel, and The Crying Game though it’s not a novel. I’m sorry to say I’m not really familiar with Irish fiction – I’m hopelessly behind on reading well-known American writers. BTW – Who do you suggest I read after you?
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Guillermo del Toro could do a great job with THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst: Sometimes the words won’t come, or when you have a deadline, you get dozens of ideas for other books, none for the book you’re working on. Best: Total strangers come up to you and rave about something you wrote, speaking as if the characters you invented were living beings. (It’s also nice to kill people off in your latest opus when they get on your nerves.)
The pitch for your next book is …?
In 1998, a young man is dragged to death in Boys Town. A victim of malignant homophobia or something else?
Who are you reading right now?
I’m working my way through the stack of books I brought home from Bouchercon, including Barry Eisler, Jason Goodwin, Lynda LaPlante, and Reed Farrel Coleman.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Neither. MY God would certainly know that you can’t write if you don’t read, and would never demand a such a choice. Maybe the devil...
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
My own style.
Michael Dymmoch’s M.I.A. is published by St Martin’s Minotaur.
“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.