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?
ENDLESS NIGHT by Agatha Christie. It’s a late novel of hers, and oddly reminiscent of the Angry Young Men novels. It’s beautifully crafted, haunting, with a killer ending.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
James Bond - he lives well, saves the world, and survives.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Dennis Wheatley’s Gregory Sallust spy thrillers.
Most satisfying writing moment?
Coming up with the title for my first novel: FREE AGENT. I wanted something that was very simple, in the vein of Geoffrey Household’s ROGUE MALE, but that would also reveal another layer once you’d finished the book. I just felt a great burden had been lifted and it acted as a kind of mini-tone poem guiding the rest of the book.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
Not exactly a crime novel, although it features plenty of crimes, Joseph Hone’s THE SIXTH DIRECTORATE, part of the superb Peter Marlow spy series, sadly long out of print. Gripping plot, beautiful prose.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
THE BIG O, of course!
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The worst thing is the mental strain of putting it all together. The best thing is being paid to do what you love.
The pitch for your next book is …?
1969: a British spy on the run in Biafra has to confront his past.
Who are you reading right now?
George Blake’s memoirs, NO OTHER CHOICE.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Spare, gripping, sweat-inducing.
Jeremy Duns’s FREE AGENT will be published in May 2009 by Simon & Schuster.
“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.