The tiny but perfectly formed feedback to the post below suggests that folks aren’t all that optimistic about the short-term future for books, and particularly sales, but I don’t know. I think bad times can produce more great books than good times ever will. As the Chinese proverb-curse goes, ‘May you live in interesting times …’
Anyhoo, I’m going to end the year on a up-beat note, for – lo! – I got good news last week regarding a project I’ve thinking about for quite a while now. The idea is for a book of essays, interviews and conversations about various aspects of Irish crime fiction, each chapter being written by an Irish crime writer. The names already confirmed include – although this may be subject to change – Colin Bateman, Gerard Brennan, Ken Bruen, Paul Charles, John Connolly, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Reed Farrel Coleman, Alan Glynn, Declan Hughes, Arlene Hunt, Gene Kerrigan, Brian McGilloway, Adrian McKinty and Neville Thompson. Messers, sorry, Messrs McKinty and Brennan are also on board as editors. Some of the writers’ chapters have yet to be confirmed, but the proposed material that has been is, in my entirely biased opinion, seriously interesting stuff.
Anyway, the good news is that the project has been given the green light by the Arts Council with regard to commissioning funding, which means that we can afford to pay the writers a token gesture, at least. That means we’re over the second hurdle, and there’s only about 198 left to clear.
The only downside at the moment is that there’s so few women on board. I have approached a few, but they’ve all been too busy to commit, unfortunately; and I’m still waiting to hear back from a few more. Hopefully the finished product won’t be entirely drenched in testosterone.
Anyway, if the sound of this beeps even your smallest jeep, don’t be shy about letting us know or spreading the word. Oh, and feel free to suggest a title. I was thinking about using “WITH DARK JOY, THE MADNESS”, which is from a line in Liam O’Flaherty’s THE ASSASSIN. But I don’t know, it doesn’t sit right. Any ideas?
Praise for Declan Burke: “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – The Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “A hardboiled delight.” – The Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review). “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre, was ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL.” – Sunday Times. “The writing is a joy.” – Ken Bruen. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.