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?
It’s a tossup between THE CONCRETE BLONDE (Connelly) and DEMOLITION ANGEL (Crais). Who could have come up with a better opening line than in THE CONCRETE BLONDE: The house in Silverlake was dark, its windows as empty as a dead man’s eyes. Gives me shivers every time I read it. And the story holds up all the way through, too.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
I suppose it’s cheating a bit, but the one that comes to mind is Hermione Granger, Harry Potter’s girl chum. I’d love to have gone to Hogwarts. As I was born in England, I’m strongly attracted to the scenery and Hermione is just the kind of little knowitall smartass that I’m afraid I was. Expecto Patronum!
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Can’t say I feel a bit guilty, as when I take some time out to read, I believe I’ve earned it: John Sandford, Michael Connelly, Tess Gerritsen, Deborah Crombie, Patricia Cornwell, Robert Crais, Jonathan Kellerman, and so on, and so on ...
Most satisfying writing moment?
Ripping open the carton of finished books and seeing the reality—a major publisher believed my books are good enough to publish!!! Nothing like that feeling. Or does that count as a writing moment? How about having written a scene and just knowing it works.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
Sadly, I haven’t the foggiest—would you recommend one for me to begin my education?
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Ditto above, I’m ashamed to say.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst: having to handle promo and sales numbers. Best: seeing my characters come to life on the printed page and readers emailing that they just had to stay up all night to finish the book(s).
The pitch for your next book is …?
LAST WRITES, coming out July 6th: What does an old stuffed bunny have to do with a fundamentalist religious cult and a forensic handwriting expert? … Erin Powers is a member of a religious sect, living in an isolated compound called the Ark. Now her husband and young child have disappeared, leaving behind a cryptic note with a terrifying message. In desperation, Erin seeks help from her estranged sister, Kelly Brennan, who in turn enlists the aid of forensic handwriting expert Claudia Rose. Claudia seizes on an unexpected opportunity to use her special skills and becomes one of the few outsiders ever to be invited inside the cult compound. With time fast running out, Claudia must uncover the truth about Kelly’s missing niece before the prophecy of a secret ancient parchment can be fulfilled and a child’s life is written off for good …
Who are you reading right now?
Just finished Michael Palmer’s SECOND OPINION and am about to dive into John Sandford’s latest ‘Prey’ novel (he is my top favourite author). Sandford’s characters are all so real, the dialogue so true to life, I always look forward to spending time with them.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Too tough a choice, I guess I’d have to kill myself … Or would I really? It’s a mystery …
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
I’m going to cheat and pick three words that I like best from reader mail: Evocative, suspenseful, intelligent.
Sheila Lowe’s LAST WRITES is published by Signet 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. “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.