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?
Cormac McCarthy’s NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Economical prose, gut-twisting narrative and no concession to the reader’s need for a satisfactory ending.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
When I was young, I wanted to be Pete, the all-action one in The Three Investigators. In reality, I was Bob, with his glasses and dodgy legs.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Not sure if it’s a guilty pleasure as such, but I’m rediscovering science fiction at the moment, old and new. Olaf Stapleton is linguistic LSD.
Most satisfying writing moment?
The purity and potential of the original idea. It’s downhill from there.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
THE THIRD POLICEMAN by Flann O’Brien, even if it’s a genre all of its own.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Gene Kerrigan’s DARK TIMES IN THE CITY, but it needs to be made now before Dublin shakes itself out of its current in-between existence.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The worst thing: it’s very bad for your back - I ended up in a CT scanner while writing this one. The best thing: the rare, but lovely, moments when you feel as if you’re writing well.
The pitch for your next book is …?
I’m still trying to figure that one out, but it may be fiction of some sort.
Who are you reading right now?
I’ve just picked up THE TURING TEST by Chris Beckett.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Read. At best, I could write one book every two years, but I could read a hell of a lot in that time.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Ha ha. Interesting.
Shane Hegarty’s THE IRISH (AND OTHER FOREIGNERS) is published by Gill & Macmillan
“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.