“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.

Monday, June 22, 2009

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?”: Sean Black

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?
Either Gregg Hurwitz’s Tim Rackley series (THE KILL CLAUSE, THE PROGRAM, TROUBLESHOOTER, and LAST SHOT) or anything by Jesse Kellerman. They both deliver more ‘I wish I’d written that’ moments than anyone else I’ve read in the past few years.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
I already am a fictional character. Some days I like being him, and some days, I don’t.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
I don’t do guilt, not when it comes to reading anyway.

Most satisfying writing moment?
Finishing the damn thing. Even then, all I can see are the things I could have done better. I think starting a book every writer has an idealised image of what they want it to be. Then reality sets in, and it becomes about writing the best book you’re capable of writing at that moment in time.

The best Irish crime novel is …?
… may not have been published yet. If the rest of Stuart Neville’s THE TWELVE is as good as the passages I have seen, then we’re all going to have to up our game.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
I think short stories and novellas make for better movies, so without naming a single title, I’d say Ken Bruen’s work is most likely to make a smooth transition to the big screen.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst – the social isolation. Best – the short commute.

The pitch for your next book is …?
In LOCK UP, ex-military bodyguard Ryan Lock is charged with guarding the star witness in a capital murder trial of a white supremacist prison gang. The only snag is that the witness is himself an inmate in Pelican Bay Supermax prison, and he’s refusing to go into protective custody. So, Lock finds himself among three and a half thousand of America’s most violent men, three thousand four hundred and ninety nine of whom want to kill the man he’s been sent to protect.

Who are you reading right now?
Andrew Klavan’s SHOTGUN ALLEY and a book by Canadian journalist Stephen Handelman about the Russia Mafia called COMRADE CRIMINAL.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Given the state of the world, and assuming he has the powers attributed to him by organised religion, I’d have a few questions for him before he started issuing me with ultimatums.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Commercial. Entertaining. Fast-paced.

Sean Black’s debut novel LOCK DOWN is published by Bantam Press.