Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “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.

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