“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.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Asylum Has Taken Over The Lunatics

I’d have got less for GBH, etc. Today is the fifth anniversary of my voluntary incarceration in the occasional lunatic asylum that is Crime Always Pays Towers (appropriately stale two-year-old cake pictured, right) and all Three Regular Readers won’t be in the slightest bit surprised to learn that the first post was a plug for my then current novel, THE BIG O (these days, of course, I’m plugging the bejaysus out of EIGHTBALL BOOGIE. But that’s a story for another day). THE BIG O had just been published with the small but perfectly formed Hag’s Head Press, and between us we hadn’t so much as a Michael Lowry red cent for promotion and publicity purposes. Crime Always Pays was intended to be a cheap (i.e., free) means of getting the word out there, although I also saw it as a chance to celebrate the small but growing number of Irish crime writers.
  These days, I’m delighted to say, there are so many Irish crime writers that it can be hard to keep tabs on them all, with more appearing every year. Then again, it’s hardly surprising that crime writers are coming up like mushrooms, given that the official response to the larceny on the grandest of scales that is the Irish economic downturn, recession and austerity bail-out was to shovel on the shite and keep us all in the dark.
  Anyway, one unintended consequence of Crime Always Pays is DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS: IRISH CRIME WRITING IN THE 21st CENTURY, which is a collection of essays, interviews and short stories by Irish crime writers on the subject of Irish crime writing and edited by yours truly, and which will be published next month by Liberties Press. It’s an odd feeling, waiting for it to appear. I’m nervous on its behalf, of course, especially as I have no idea of how it’ll be received, given that - to the best of my knowledge - it’s one of a kind. But I have no sense of ownership of the collection, not in the way I would if it was one of my own books. As far as I’m concerned, the book belongs to the contributors. I am proud of it, though, proud on behalf of the very fine writers involved, and delighted to see such a diverse range of talents all together and talking about a phenomenon that has long since been recognised abroad, and is finally starting to register with an Irish audience.
  Another unintended consequence of CAP, the most delightful, and one which has always kept me going through the inevitable peaks and troughs of a writer’s life, is the number of people I’ve met on-line, most of them in the crime fiction community. I was bowled over in the early days of CAP by the generosity of spirit offered to a newbie by people I’d presumed would be competitors, i.e., fellow bloggers, but it appears that the spirit of good karma is alive and well in a blogosphere near you. People, you know who you are, and you keep me young(ish). It’s a labour of love, ye olde blogge, but as with most things, you get out what you put in.
  Upwards and onwards, folks. Here’s to another five years or so, twice as many Irish crime writers, multiples of good folk met on-line, and perhaps even a book or two to promote from yours truly. Hey, I can always dream …

16 comments:

Paul D. Brazill said...

Happy Virtual Birthday,Dec!

bookwitch said...

Cake looks old. Or what do you two think?

Ruby Barnes said...

How strange - you post this on the day that I found out my new office is in the old Kilkenny Asylum.
You're clearly a man of admirable stamina, Dec.

Dana King said...

Happy birthaversary, and many more. There's a reason you've found such support on the interwebs. People who are as supportive of others as you routinely are rarely suffer from a lack of neglect. You're a good friend to a lot of people.

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Best wishes on the Big A. CAP has been a tremendous resource for me and I'm sure many others. Hopefully, the next year brings you mucho success!

bookwitch said...

Ruby, that's not an office. Did you really think it is?

@frankamcgrath said...

In pikeyspeak: yer still a chile!

Michael Malone said...

here's to the next 5 years, Dec. (I hope you baked yourself some fresh cake)

Alan Griffiths said...

Congrats, Dec and long may CAP continue.

Best, Alan

seana said...

Just finished Eightball Boogie today, and loved it. I'll get a review up in the next few days. I was surprised how different it was from The Big O yet still with many virtues.

Keep on keeping on--you're still a lad.

Declan Burke said...

Many thanks, folks. The whole thing would be a pointless exercise if it weren't for you.

Seana - glad you liked it, and looking forward to your gimlet-eyed review. Which is, of course, a review written after a bevy of gimlets has left you cross-eyed, and possibly more generous than you might otherwise have been.

Cheers, Dec

Glenna said...

Happy blog anniversary, I hope there are many more.

Tales from the Birch Wood. said...


Happy Birthday!


As for competition among peers, Bloggers are not Writers, as many of my writer friends take pains to explain, at length and with much pouting and puffing.

Bloggers Rule!

Dave Clark said...

A very happy birthday, Declan.

michael said...

Happy half a decade. An anniversary worth celebrating for you and us, your multitude of three readers.

seana said...

It's nice that the three of us have so many aliases, isn't it?