“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.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

“Let’s Get Critical, Critical / I Wanna Get Critical / Let’s Get Into Critical …”

With apologies, obviously, to Olivia Neutron-Bomb. Anyhoo, I have been usurped, ladies and gentleman: nay, I have been cuckolded. For lo! The Irish Crime Fiction Group on Facebook does pretty much what it says on the tin, and achieves pretty much what this blog has been trying to do over the last few years, which is to bring news of developments in Irish crime writing to a wider public.
  Actually, and in the interest of transparency, etc., I should point out that the ICFGF is the brainchild of one Mick Halpin, aka Critical Mick, who was writing about Irish crime fiction long before Crime Always Pays ever saw the light of day, and who was hugely supportive of yours truly when I was trying to get CAP up and running.
  Anyway, I’m delighted to see the ICFGF doing it’s thang, and doing it so well, and not least because it seems to be attracting writers to contribute to the page. With CAP, it was always my blog, with added other writers; ICFGF is a more democratic set-up, and everyone’s entitled to log on and update. There’s also more of a community vibe to it, and while it’s still early days, I can easily see the ICFGF becoming the kind of forum for discussion I had originally envisaged for CAP, before I sabotaged the whole concept by hijacking CAP for my own nefarious purposes.
  Anyway, the rise of ICFGF coincides with yours truly doing a bit of thinking about where the good ship SS CAP might be sailing to in the future, and the idea of maintaining an online presence (blog, Twitter, Facebook, et al) which eats away at the time I have available to write (in a sense, the self-promotion thing veers into Catch-22 territory: the more time you spend promoting yourself, the more successful you’ll be; the more successful you are, the less time you get to write.)
  Simply put, I don’t have the time to do all the things I used to do. Last year, during which I was lucky enough to have two books published, I was burning the candle at both ends and taking a blowtorch to the middle too. It was an unsustainable schedule, and one that left me feeling pretty ropey by the year’s end.
  Ultimately, I need to work full-time, then spend time with my family, and then find time to write and / or spend time on book-related projects. The blog comes under the third heading there, which means, essentially, that it eats into writing time. Which means, I’m afraid, that the blog will have to go. Or, at least, that I’ll be ratcheting waaaaaaay back on the amount of time I put into CAP.
  In effect, and with ICFGF thriving, I guess what I’m hoping to do is abandon any pretence that Crime Always Pays exists to support Irish crime writing, and simply use it to let people in the wider on-line community know about any developments relating to my own writing. Which means posting erratically, and occasionally, and whenever it’s possible, time-wise. I’d hate to drop it entirely, given that I’ve met so many great people via Crime Always Pays, and because it is a useful way of staying in touch with the wider on-line crime writing community. Of course, whether or not people will still be interested in dropping by here when CAP is all about me waffling on about me is another matter entirely. We shall see.
  For now, I’d just like to say thanks a million to the Three Regular Readers, and to the more irregular visitors too, for making the last six years such an enjoyable experience. Hopefully I’ll be seeing you all over at ICFGF

22 comments:

Gerard Brennan said...

I'll still pop in and see what you're up to, sir. Take a bow. You've been utterly selfless with this blog (no matter what you say) and you deserve a break.

Pity I left Facebook last week. I'll miss out on Mick's stuff...

All the very best

gb

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Totally understandable, and it's been a real pleasure following CAP. I follow the site, and will always be interested and look forward to updates re; what is going on with your writing. Best of luck and thanks for the heads up on ICFGF

Maxine said...

I for one won't be joining Facebook groups - I hate Facebook!

Dana King said...

This blog--and you, sir--have been responsible for my increased awareness of the glories of Irish crime fiction. You have been a selfless and devoted supporter to your peers. How you maintained your pace of posting in the face of everything else you have going on has amazed me for some time.

CAP will remain on my Google Reader to keep me currentm, no matter how erratic your work here may become.

Thanks.

Jerry House said...

We'll still be here whenever the CAP muse hits you.

michael said...

I will let you in on a secret, Declan. I came here because I was curious about Irish crime fiction. I discovered the genre with few exceptions does not appeal to me.

Why am I still here? Because I am a fan of your writing as a critic and as a Irish crime novelist (you are one of those few exceptions).

So this is good news. More books by you and thanks to the RSS feed I won't miss any visits you might make here.

The best way for you to promote the future of the genre is to write more books thus increasing the quality and diversity of Irish crime fiction.

Bill H said...

Thank you so much for introducing me to Irish crime fiction. And thank you for keeping up one of my favorite blogs over the last few years. I will continue to come back to see what you are up to. I will not be going to Mick's site, I don't do Facebook.

Seoman said...

I for one will really miss your regular posts. CAP is a great blog with wonderful reviews and excellent interviews. Best of luck with it in the future

pattinase (abbott) said...

I wonder if the days of blogging are reaching an end. Good luck to you in your new endeavors. I will miss this blog.

lil Gluckstern said...

I will check in and wish you luck in all your endeavors. You have done more for my reading habits than you can know, since I really like Irish writers apparently. Does this mean we don't get another Christmas performance by your little one?

jiescribano said...

I've developed an interest on Irish crime fiction, thanks to CAP. I'll miss your blog/info.

Michael Malone said...

It would be totally understandable if you did, but I'm delighted to hear you won't be giving up on the blog altogether.

Happy to take whatever crumbs you throw our way, Dec and much luck with your other endeavours.

Peter Rozovsky said...

I was wondering what Critical Mick had been up to. Thanks.

I know you've probably had a few regrets, but damn it, man, you did it your way.
====================================
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

critical mick said...

Can a blog be worth its weight in gold? For the past several years, CAP has been plowing through the blogosphere like a star rugby centre, fast, slick, hard-hitting and constantly scoring beautiful, important goals for the Irish Crime Fiction team. How much does Brian O'Driscoll weigh? Let's start there, in gold, for measuring the value of your blog's contributions, Dec. Between your site's followers and the up-and-coming authors you've helped, the Aviva stadium would be filled twice over.

Looking forward to seeing your novels (and non-fiction works like Down these Green Streets) have the same impact on Bestsellers charts in years to come. Many thanks, Grand Viz!!

Mick

Declan Burke said...

Thanks a million for all the kind words, folks. Really appreciate it ...

Cheers, Dec

John Gaynard said...

Declan, thanks for all the great books I've discovered from your reviews. Even though you're changing the raison d'être of the blog, you can see from the many comments that it will still be widely followed by people interested strictly in your own writing, and I will be one of them.

John

bookwitch said...

Quitting again? What do you two think about that?

Tony M said...

Have you considered giving up the family? It can be quite a time suck. No? Oh, well. See you on faceBook

seana said...

As the spirit moves you, sir. Dont' bar the doors and hand in the keys just yet, though.

Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

Exactly, as Seana says.

The main reason I stuck with Blogspot is because the copyright agreement here protects my work.

Photographe à Dublin said...

I worked for all my adult life and have no copyright to my own work so take your choice seriously.

"http://www.anotherblogger.com/2009/01/22/facebook-rights-grab-terms/"

Conor said...

Love this blog. Read it in Ireland, and now read it in Oz. Fair play.