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?
Anything by Raymond Chandler or James M Cain.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Charles Bukowski and John Fante.
Most satisfying writing moment?
Interviewing John Gilligan last year for a Hot Press magazine cover story. It was 13,000 words feature that ran over two editions of the magazine, which subsequently resulted in Hot Press being banned from Irish prisons. This feature is in my latest book, CRIME, INK.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
Ireland has produced an abundance of excellent crime authors (Connolly, Collins, Bruen, Burke, McNamee, Hughes, Barclay, Bateman, Kerrigan … to name a few) but my personal favourite is THE BOOK OF EVIDENCE by John Banville or Edna O’Brien’s IN THE FOREST.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Again, there are several, but I’d suggest LIES OF SILENCE by Brian Moore.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The best thing about writing is the flexibility of working from home and not having to work office hours. However, the downside is you always bring your work home with you, so it’s very hard to just switch off …
The pitch for your next book is …?
I have no idea, but I seem to start every pitch with the following words: “I can turn this around quick …”
Who are you reading right now?
I’m rereading Truman Capote’s IN COLD BLOOD and THE NEW JOURNALISM, edited by Tom Wolfe and EW Johnson.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
I’d probably go insane without being able to write …
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
In your face! The Sunday Independent once described my writing as “in your face”, which I hope was meant as a compliment.
Jason O’Toole’s CRIME, INK is published by Merlin Publishing.
“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.