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?
Chandler’s THE LONG GOODBYE. The book that got me into crime fiction in the first place, and probably still my favourite.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Sal Paradise in ON THE ROAD.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
I can’t say I feel guilty about it, because they’re a great series of books, but some of the pastel, chick-lit style covers on Janet Evanovich’s early Stephanie Plum novels can make me feel a tad self-conscious.
Most satisfying writing moment?
Writing the first five chapters of a new manuscript. Love the set-up phase. After that, it gets trickier.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
So much to chose from, and so much still to read, but Declan Hughes’ THE COLOUR OF BLOOD is terrific.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
I’d like to see John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series translated to the screen.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst thing - we used to have a darts board in the office I worked in. I miss that dart board. Best thing? I guess now that I’m officially a ‘writer’, I might not sound like quite such a nut when I tell people what I do with my time.
The pitch for your next book is …?
THE GOOD THIEF’S GUIDE TO VEGAS. Think Ocean’s Two - only with a floating corpse, a magician who vanishes in the middle of his own show, and no George Clooney.
Who are you reading right now?
A mixture of things. I just finished Dennis Lehane’s A DRINK BEFORE THE WAR. I’m currently reading Michael Stanley’s A DEADLY TRADE, Lee Child’s KILLING FLOOR and Jan Morris’ VENICE. And I’m just about to revisit Anne Zouroudi’s THE TAINT OF MIDAS, the next selection for the crime fiction book club I run on the Isle of Man.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Read, I guess. Probably a good moment to take a peek at a Bible for the first time since school.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Nimble. Convivial. Sly.
Chris Ewan’s THE GOOD THIEF’S GUIDE TO VEGAS is published by Pocket Books.
“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.