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?
POMPEII by Robert Harris, set in the year of my birth – not totally crime-crime but an engineer has to solve a mystery and does. It has a magic cake mix for me, ancient history and superb writing.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Princess Leia from the Star Wars series. She wears great bikinis, gets up close and uncomfortable with Jaba the Hutt (who, in reality, outside my delusions, looks more like me) and lives through it. And she has doughnuts over her ears, so she’s never short of a snack.
Who do I read for guilty pleasure?
Other people’s clever quotes. Why guilty? I never remember them. The one I keep close even though how close it is to the original saying, who knows, is one by Confucius: ‘He who flatters a man is his downfall. He who tells him of his faults is his maker.’
Most satisfying writing moment?
The dawning belief that I really wouldn’t go to hell if I wrote about rude words and sex in my stories. I tell my shocked (female) friends, ‘It was God that put the sex in man, and it’s not God’s fault (or mine) if men found rude words to describe it.’
The best Irish crime novel is …
WHO SLAUGHTERED THE CELTIC TIGER by Weall Wantaknow. (Cecilia Ahern is here [in Cyprus] in translation! Bet Irish crime isn’t.) However, I read reviews and there are some fine Irish writers of the genre on the scene if reviews are to be believed. I’m not lickin’ up, honest, I loved ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL but that was far more than just a novel with a crime. That story goes under cerebral genre. It had so much of the “wow, that’s cool, intelligent writing, that’s something deep to think about” element that is not the stuff of the ‘ordinary’ formulaic crime read. And I’ve read more formula crime than babies have formula. I loved the Wexford series (years ago – nothing to do with Wexford in Ireland, sorry) because of the late but smashing George Baker in the role.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
The Quartet from my book TO DIE OR NOT TO DIE. Frank McNally described that as, ‘A dark and twisted tale of secrets, misunderstandings and blighted lives …’ It has all the elements: sex, animals eating human flesh, (which no good crime story should be without!) and people gnawing on each other’s psyches … and a murder.
Worst/best thing about being a writer?
Worst: I lose patience when I can’t type as fast as my brain wants to give out. Best: Getting a book into actual print, holding your dream, as it were.
The pitch for your next book is …
It’s a story of the supernatural and how fascination with celebrity manages to take over the minds of kids to such an extent that the connection disrupts their lives, and the dead star that just won’t lie down and leave them and their shrink alone.
Who are you reading right now?
No one, I’m on the trot trying to promote moi!
God appears and says you can read OR write. Which would it be?
That’s a shite question. (Rude sentence optional.) It’s as the old song says, like a circle in a spiral like a wheel within a wheel … If you write you are reading what you put down, yes? So, one would cancel out the other, right? Or is it early onset Alzheimer’s with mise? I hope St Peter has better questions when I arrive at The Gate; I’m not very bright with trick questions.
Three best words to describe your writing …
Brilliant, beautiful and bullshit.
Colette Ni Reamonn Ioannidou’s TO DIE OR NOT TO DIE is published by Armida Publications.
“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.