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 most admire scenarios that have never been seen before and cannot now be copied lest people grab flaming torches and fill the streets screaming ‘plagiarism’. For that reason ... ‘The Minority Report’ [by Philip K. Dick] (short story). I’d happily put my name to THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS by Robert Harris, though, for the sheer poetry it uses to convey the darker side of the human psyche.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Andy Dufresne. A man with an unshakable quiet confidence, despite the horror of his surroundings, who has carefully crafted a long-term plan to come out on top. Brilliant.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Stephen King. His name seems to have become a synonym for ‘churned out’ fiction and yes ... ‘horror’, but this is the guy who wrote THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, MISERY, THE GREEN MILE, UMNEY’S LAST CASE and even THE DOCTOR’S CASE so, for me, even his worst beats many people’s best.
Most satisfying writing moment?
During the act of writing, it has to be when I wrote the very last line of SEQUENCE. I’d woven a complex yarn with so many disparate strands that I wasn’t sure if they would all come together but when they did, it felt perfect.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
The best I’ve read so far is THE MIDNIGHT CHOIR by Gene Kerrigan. It’s all the things I aim for in my work ... complex, well-researched, frighteningly real, yet frequently unexpected and throughout it all ... poetically written.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Thus far? See above.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The worst and the best things are the same - the fact that it’s just so all-consuming and becomes all that you are and all that you strive to be.
The pitch for your next book is …?
If you could travel back in time, knowing that you could not change one single event ... just how far would you go? [SEQUENCE – out in eBook and paperback original, 2 July 2011].
Who are you reading right now?
I’m working on my next novel, MEMORY, at the moment, so I guess I’m reading Adrian Dawson, and I’m really enjoying his work so far! I just hope the ending’s good. I try not to read other books when I’m writing because I like to stay in my own weird little world - preferably with the curtains closed and lots and lots of coffee.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
That’s easy ... I’d write. When I write I actually get to read something new as it is being written and so I kill two birds with one stone. Of course, in reality I spend most of my writing time dreaming up complex scenarios which systematically confuse the next reader as to who (or what) might have thrown the damn stone in the first place. And why.
The three best words to describe your own writing are…?
How about one word: “Queen” and all that they managed to be. Varied, layered, innovative and a plethora of other words used about the band before Freddie’s untimely demise.
Adrian Dawson’s CODEX is published by Last Passage.
“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.