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?
THE LAST GOOD KISS by James Crumley. Transcends the genre – a great American novel.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Poker and fishing books. Oh, and 19th century women’s domestic fiction.
Most satisfying writing moment?
When a character says or does something I couldn’t see coming.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
THE GUARDS by Ken Bruen – it’s the standard, isn’t it?
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
THE MAGDALENE MARTYRS. Gritty, hardboiled, tradition rich and socially relevant.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The uniform is both a blessing and a curse. As are the legions of villanelle-loving women.
The pitch for your next book is …?
THE LONG SLIDE is a crime novel set in the new, roadside West, where bison graze alongside billboards of bison and even accountants pack heat. Henry Gavin, the narrator, is a bamboo fly-rod aficionado and editor of the Copper Falls Gazette, the only newspaper in a dying, Colorado mining town. Copper, the town’s last best resource, is also its curse. The land and its waters are beautiful, but deadly. Somehow, our man manages to survive. The other guys fuck up worse. So there’s going to be a sequel, which may turn out to be more of a novella because other guys can’t possibly keep fucking up worse. Maybe it’ll be flash fiction. Poems are always nice.
Who are you reading right now?
Capote’s IN COLD BLOOD for the fifth time. And TEAM OF RIVALS, for the obvious connections.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Read. I couldn’t do without the good, literate company.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Cinematic, skewed, lively.
Blair Oliver’s THE LONG SLIDE is available now.
“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.