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?
Probably one of my two all-time favourites - either Dashiell Hammett’s RED HARVEST or James Lee Burke’s HEAVEN’S PRISONERS. These two books had a greater influence on my own writing than just about anything else.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
This is a tricky question. I wouldn’t really want to be a character in most of my favoorite books because usually they suffer a great deal and very bad things tend to happen to them. I love Dave Robicheaux, but I wouldn’t want to trade places with him. So, definitely someone with a happy ending, or multiple happy endings. Spenser, maybe?
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
I teach English at a university, so I think most of my colleagues would consider almost everything I read a guilty pleasure. To name names, though, Stieg Larsson is probably my current favourite. I do read a lot of thrillers and graphic novels, but I don’t really feel the pleasure is guilty at all, because there’s so much high quality writing across just about every genre these days.
Most satisfying writing moment?
The first time I held a copy of A KING OF INFINITE SPACE in my hand.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
Ken Bruen’s THE GUARDS.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Tana French’s IN THE WOODS. It would have to be a European production, though, because I can’t imagine an American version staying true to the novel.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The worst is the sitting still. I think best when I’m moving. Walking is especially good. But when I sit still, my brain seems to slow down. The best is when a scene or a moment really comes together, especially after ten or eleven drafts.
The pitch for your next book is …?
In THE PAIN SCALE, as Danny Beckett recovers from the events in A KING OF INFINITE SPACE, he’s faced with the toughest case of his career - the murder of a young mother and her two children, which leads him into a tangled plot that involves him with adversaries ranging from Ukrainian killers to United States congressmen.
Who are you reading right now?
I just started Justin Cronin’s THE PASSAGE, and so far, it’s living up to the hype. And at the beginning of every summer, I start itching for the new James Lee Burke novel, so I can hardly wait for THE GLASS RAINBOW.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Reading. Just last week, I said to someone I wish I could quit my job and just read all the time. It’s been a bit longer since I’ve said that about writing.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
A former teacher and current friend of mine, Long Beach poet and fiction writer Gerry Locklin said A KING OF INFINITE SPACE had a “powerful personal intensity.” I’ve always liked that.
Tyler Dilts’ A KING OF INFINITE SPACE is published by AmazonEncore.
“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.