“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.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?”: Jeff Andrus

Yep, it’s rubber-hose time, folks: a rapid-fire Q&A for those shifty-looking usual suspects ...

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
I am John Tracer. But somehow he stays the same while I just keep getting older.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
It more like, Who do I look at for guilty pleasure? The short list includes Jenna Jameson, the little blonde who mixes paint at Ace Hardware and an extraordinary Eucharistic minister at St. George’s.

Most satisfying writing moment?
In the western Proud Men, Charlton Heston said a line in which I used a cousin’s name, a throwaway for me, but Chuck spoke with such chilling conviction about the man’s rapacious appetite for other people’s land, I had to call my cousin and apologize before the piece aired. Of course, I wasn’t really sorry at all.

The best Irish crime novel is…?
I can’t speak about Irish crime fiction, but I think Ireland’s most eloquent alcoholic bomb-maker was Brendan Behan. I particularly admire BORSTAL BOY and CONFESSIONS OF AN IRISH REBEL.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
MALIBU PALMS. The narrator is a drunk, and the author happens to be the grandson of a bronc buster named Harney. When my mother was growing up, she was told never to tell anyone she was Irish. Being half-Mexican was OK. Boy, have times changed.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
My folks thought I was going to be a physician when I grew up. When they finally realized that I meant to be a writer, they took it as a sure sign that I would turn out to be a drunk and homosexual. They got half of it right.

The pitch for your next book is…?
The Shroud of Turin is a priceless Christian relic that means absolutely nothing to Harv Weisman, a secular New York cop who immigrated to Israel to work for Mossad as a way of avenging the murder of his wife and children by terrorists. Harv is skeptical about the power of any faith until The Shroud is stolen and used to blackmail the land of his fathers.

Who are you reading right now?

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
God always stays in character. He wouldn’t do that.

The three best words to describe your own writing are…?
“...whimsical, lurid, offbeat.” - The Virginia Quarterly Review, Autumn 1996.

Jeff Andrus’ MALIBU PLAINS is published by Booksurge Publishing.

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