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?
AMERICAN TABLOID by James Ellroy. Pace, plot and superb writing. How I envy that man’s ability to make it look so easy.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
John Carter of Mars, pulp hero of the first order (and yes, I know he probably doesn’t fit into the CAP crime ethos but what the hell, he’s my fictional alter-ego so there!!).
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Edgar Rice Burroughs, especially his Mars novels (see above).
Most satisfying writing moment?
Most satisfying writing moment? Getting that phone call. No, not the one from the clinic, the other one; the one where someone says they’d like to publish you.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
PRIEST by Ken Bruen or EVERY DEAD THING by John Connolly. Depends on what day I’m asked. THE BIG O is pretty good too by the way – not that I’m sucking up or anything. Oh no, not me. Nosiree.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
EVERY DEAD THING – or any one of John Connolly’s. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened yet.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst: not having an agent so having to do the heavy lifting myself. Best: when someone (who isn’t family) says that they really enjoyed my book.
The pitch for your next book is …?
THE HO HO HO MYSTERY. A somewhat familiar large man dressed all in red, with a penchant for saying ‘ho ho ho’ a lot has disappeared. Has he been kidnapped, murdered or is he just hiding from the very formidable Mrs. Claus? With Christmas only two days away and counting, can Harry Pigg solve the case in time especially when he doesn’t even believe in Santa?
Who are you reading right now?
I read in bulk so the current list includes DEAD I WELL MAY BE by Adrian McKinty (THE BLOOMSDAY DEAD, which my dad is now enjoying, gave me a taste for more), MEMORIES OF ICE by Steven Erikson (one of a handful of decent fantasy writers), THE DRAINING LAKE by Arnaldur Indridason (far superior to Stieg Larsson) and KEEPING THE DEAD by Tess Gerritsen (we like Tess).
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Who is this God person and what gives him the right to decide? I’ll have to send the boys around to rearrange his kneecaps then I’ll bet we can do both. See, everything is negotiable.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Nursery Rhyme Noir.
Bob Burke’s The Third Pig Detective Agency is published on June 25th.
“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.