I had one of those very-strange-but-wonderfully-weird moments yesterday, when you step into a lift and find yourself suddenly joined by one of the heroes of your youth. For lo! There I was, holding the lift door open (that’ll be ‘elevator door’ for our North American cousins), and who should pop into the life but Tom Dunne, formerly the lead singer of Something Happens! (the exclamation mark is integral to the band name, punctuation-fiends), one of those bands I loved and cherished as a spotty yoot. ‘Erm, how’s it going?’ says I. And without so much as pausing for breath, Tom Dunne says, ‘I’ve just started reading your book.’
Did I look around for a fainting couch? No, I did not. I mumbled something about how I hoped it didn’t ruin his Christmas entirely, tried to get out of the lift on the wrong floor, and generally basked in the glow that comes with fierce blushing.
A lovely, lovely moment.
Roll it there, Collette: “She wears diamonds / She wears rubies / She wears stones as big as my ones …” Later that evening I met with The Dark Lord, aka John Connolly, for a coffee and a chat about A BLOODY BRILLIANT TOP SECRET PROJECT I CAN’T TELL ANYONE ABOUT JUST YET, and very nice it was too. The coffee and the chat, that is, and the way said project is coming together. It’s a book, I can tell you that. And once I see it all put together and shiny on its shelf, which should be in the latter part of 2012, I’ll be investing in a whole fleet of fainting couches. Can’t wait.
Off then to Kildare Street and the National Library, for a conversation hosted by John Murray of RTE Radio on the subject of how women crime authors write differently to men when dealing with violence. Flanked by the lovely Arlene Hunt and the equally lovely Alex Barclay, I was, it’s fair to say, something of a tarantula on a slice of angel food. Still, it was a smashing night out, and very enjoyable, not least because we adjourned to the pub afterwards in the company of the inimitable Joe Joyce and the excellent Derek Landy. The conversation turned, as is its wont, to the subject of ’80s pop music, during the course of which I discovered that I wasn’t the only person in Ireland to have loved the David & David album ‘Welcome to the Boomtown’; not only that, but one of the people present was in touch with one of the Davids, and would be forwarding me an email contact in due course.
Jayz. As Van the Man once said, mother never told me there’d be days like these …
Roll it there, Collette …
“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.