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 admire tons of books - even worship some - but don’t wish I had written them. However, there’s one by John Franklin Bardin called THE DEADLY PERCHERON that seemed to be successfully doing a lot of the things that I try to do, so I guess I wish I had written it.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Probably a boring, minor character. Most great protagonists are seriously flawed in some way, which is what makes them great but doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness for them. Added to that, my favourite crime novels are the noir ones, where the hero is always doomed. But it would be cool to see a werewolf or a ghost or something, wouldn’t it? OK, Arthur Holmwood from COUNT DRACULA - he gets to help destroy Dracula. Plus he inherits a massive estate during the story.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
I don’t feel guilty for anything I read. Books, anyway. I hate the idea of certain genres of books having more worth than others. You know what? I’d rather be seen reading something trashy than the latest Booker-nominated snooze-fest. But sometimes I’m caught looking at things like Hello magazine, so I guess that is the answer.
Most satisfying writing moment?
Any time I have actually laughed at something I’ve just written ... good or bad.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
RILKE ON BLACK by Ken Bruen. Not actually set in Ireland but he’s your boy. I love his other books but this is my fave. Brilliant and underrated.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Probably the above. Amazing that it hasn’t been done yet.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Getting to tell new people you meet that you are a writer. That is both the best and worst thing, depending on who you’re telling it to.
The pitch for your next book is …?
“In the 1970s, David Bowie used to store his urine in the fridge to stop people from stealing it and using it for black magic. What if someone got hold of it anyway? What if that person was Jimmy Page?” Hey, you asked. And no, it’s not really a crime novel in the accepted sense.
Who are you reading right now?
Nothing. this is one of those rare inter-book times. The literary world is my oyster! You know what? I can’t even remember the last novel I read. Can’t have been that memorable.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Hmm ... you need sustenance but you need an outlet too... OK, I’ll say read. And I’ll take up painting or something.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Strange. Funny. Compelling.
Charlie Williams can be found right about here
“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.