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?
I would have loved to have written GET SHORTY by Elmore Leonard. The right amount of humor, quirky characters and a story that really works.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Travis McGee, John D. MacDonald’s character, would be a great role. A former marine, pro football player, now retired with a 52-foot houseboat and a Rolls Royce converted to a pickup truck. What’s not to like about this guy’s life?
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
I’m not sure I read for guilty pleasure. I very rarely read anything that doesn’t help me with something I’m working on. If I’m writing a thriller, I’m reading thrillers. If I’m writing a comedic mystery, I’m reading comedy. It’s not to steal themes or ideas ... it’s simply to stay in the mood.
Most satisfying writing moment?
In my Stuff series, Skip Moore is a practical young man who tries to keep his friend James out of trouble. James is more of a playboy with a huge sense of adventure. I was talking to a librarian several years ago who said, “I dated James. I married Skip.” I knew I’d made an emotional connection and that’s a good feeling.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
MYSTERY MAN by Colin Bateman. Very funny book about a guy who owns a bookshop specializing in crime in Belfast.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
I would think with the proper adaptation, anything by John Connolly would make a good movie.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Bad reviews are probably the worst thing about being an author. After you’ve received starred reviews, then someone slams the book.
The pitch for your next book is …
My pitch for the next book? DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. Two 24-year P.I.s investigate a carnival whose rides have literally gone off the tracks, killing and injuring customers. Throw in a fun house that is not fun at all, a frightening ride called the Dragon Tail and a midget named Winston Pugh who owns a petting zoo and a big English sheep dog named Garcia, (Winnie Pugh’s Petting Zoo), and you have a recipe for chaos.
Who are you reading right now?
I’m reading David Morrell, a book called SCAVENGER. Really well done.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Don Bruns’ DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF 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. “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.