“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.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Crime Always Pays: 400,000 Not Out

Barring unforeseen disaster, at some point today, or more probably tomorrow, Crime Always Pays will pass the 400,000 hits mark, and begin its Sisyphean journey towards the magical half-million. A rather small hill of beans, I know, in the grander scheme of things, and I’d trade them all for a milking cow, or a beanstalk, or even a flunky called Jack who might wander forth and bring home a goose that lays golden eggs. Or even one golden egg. Or just an egg.
  Anyway, I wanted to mark the moment not to blow any trumpets (although I might let loose with a kazoo-parp as the hit-counter ticks past the mark), but to celebrate the blog and what - or who, more importantly - it represents. When it all kicked off about four and a half years ago, Irish crime writing was still very much a niche-niche genre - to be honest, I thought I’d be lucky if I found myself talking about twenty or so writers, past and present. As it happened, I was extraordinarily lucky, in that I started CAP (to plug THE BIG O, at the time) just as Irish writers started churning out top quality crime fiction in astonishing quantity and quality. I was also very lucky in that some of the top Irish writers at the time - in particular John Connolly and Ken Bruen - were more than happy to play along, and lend their considerable reputations to the gig by taking part in various blog posts I suggested; as a result, CAP was picked up by a whole host of like-minded people in the wider crime writing and reading community, and we were off and running.
  Four and a half years later, there’s been a lot of highs and lows. As all Three Regular Readers (who were obviously very busy hitting the repeat button) will already know, I’ve downed tools on CAP on a couple of occasions, unable to keep up with various other demands, most of them related to labour that pays in more than love. Mostly, though, it’s been highs. For starters, and probably most importantly, I’ve met so many terrific people through CAP that I really couldn’t start to count them, and some of my best friends these days originated on these pages. When all is said and done, and in accepting that we’re all here because we love books, these are the things that truly matter.
  Other personal highs include seeing THE BIG O get published in the US, not least because so many people were good enough to play their part in creating a word-of-mouth buzz that eventually proved irresistible; the publication of DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS, which was a direct and logical follow-on from CAP; and seeing ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL finally emerge from its purgatory to sit on a shelf as an actual book, having first debuted in public on these pages and received such strong support and goodwill that it would have been churlish not to pursue its publication to the bitter end.
  There’s also the fact that CAP has - by default, almost - put me in a position whereby I tend to catch new Irish crime writers at an early stage, and thus get that wonderful buzz of ‘discovering’ new writers, a buzz that’s only really matched by the thrill of being able to let the world at large know about the latest sensation that’s on its way.
  It’s a total coincidence, of course, but a timely one, that the 400,000 hits mark will be passed this week, and very probably on the day I fly out to New York in the company of some very fine Irish crime writers - Colin Bateman, Arlene Hunt, Declan Hughes, Alex Barclay - for a symposium on Irish crime fiction to be hosted by Ireland House at NYU, which will also be attended by John Connolly and Stuart Neville, who are currently at large in the US and very probably terrorising unsuspecting bystanders. Very nice it’ll be too to spend a weekend in such august company, especially for the purpose of bigging up the Irish crime novel in general and specifically DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS; and particularly as it was a Dublin dinner in the company of two men, John Waters and Joe Long, when I first got the glimmer of the idea that became GREEN STREETS. All kinds of synchronicity, then, will be sparking in New York this weekend; if you’re going to be in the vicinity, feel free to drop by and say hi. All the details can be found here
  Finally, I’m going to mark the 400,000 mark with a very humble offering, being a threefer of signed copies of EIGHTBALL BOOGIE, THE BIG O and ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL to the person who drops a comment in the box closest to the ticking-over moment. If, as is highly unlikely, it appears that there’s something of a tie, I’ll put the names in a hat and draw the winner.
  Until then, I thank you all for your support, kindness and encouragement over the last four and a half years, and here’s to another four and a half years to come …

18 comments:

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Congrats. It has been great following CAP. It is a tremendous resource and very helpful in a number of ways. Best of luck as you journey toward 500K!

Ruby Barnes said...

It's a snowball of crime, Dec. A great achievement. Let us know in no uncertain terms as the half mill comes to pass so we can raise a glass!
Cheers
Ruby

seana said...

Congratulations. You've sure got a lot of feathers in your hat.

If I happen to be the official winner, please pass on the cool presents to the next person, as I happen to already have all three!

Michael Haskins said...

Dec, I have all copies but I wanted to say thanks because without you I'd just be another wayward, ignorant Irish-American when it came to Irish crime writing! 400,000 some of them are me! Congratulations and keep up the good work. Enjoy NY. Next trip make it down to Key West, it's warmer here.

Richard L. Pangburn said...

Congratulations! You deserve good things.

Heck, I'd like to win three signed copies. I'd pass on my other copies, fine/fine and unsigned, to other book bloggers here in the US who would probably help to promote them--if they only knew.

If you keep plugging, at some juncture, a tipping point will be reached that will carry you over into how-will-he-now-handle-such-success territory. Speaking as a celebrity is not always good for a writer's head--a paraphrase of what McCarthy said on Oprah.

We're rooting for you.

Dana King said...

I also have copies of all three, and will remove myself from consideration so some heretofore Declan Burke virgin may have his or her first experience.

Let's hope you're doing this for a lot more than four-and-a-half years, unless your celebrity grows to such an extent you no longer have time for it. Then we can all say we were among the little people who were there at the start.

Glenna said...

Very cool and congrats.

On another note...I met Eoin Colfer at a signing this past Thursday and your name, along with AZC came up when he was talking about some of his favorite Irish crime writers. It put a nice smile on my face.

John Connolly said...

Congratulations, Declan. We all owe you a debt of gratitude for years of support, kindness, and friendship. As a token of my esteem for you, I'll let you buy me a drink in New York. No, no, I'll hear no protests! I'll put my money away, and there's an end to it . . .

jiescribano said...

Congrats. I've probably find your blog too late, but it's worth following. Thanks for being there.

David said...

Just finished AZC.
Reached the end and straightaway went to the start and started skimming it again.
Last book that did this for me was Infinite Jest.
Great stuff Mr Burke.

Arlene said...

Congratulations and thank you!

Ray Garraty said...

Congrats, Declan! I hope you'll manage to get at least 400, 000 hits more.

Neil said...

Well done Deccy Burke. Delighted to hear of your success. My honest memories of growing up around the corner from ya are all good ones, don't remember you ever in bad form.
PS would love to win the books btw. Flattery gets you everywhere, isn't that it!!!

Robin said...

Always enjoy following CAP, and finding out about new Irish writers. Long may it flourish.

Gerard Brennan said...

40,004! Woo! Congrats, man.

gb

Gerard Brennan said...

400,004, I mean.

Congrats again.

gb

Josh Schrank said...

Thank you, Dec, for letting us be a part of this. It has been an honor being able to correspond with you. I trust that in your rise to fame you'll keep the humbleness that is your hallmark. Kudos on bringing something to life; many authors are indebted to you.

kevin mcc said...

literate, funny and informative. yours is the only non-table tennis website i have bookmarked...keep up the good work and here's to the next 400 thou!