“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.

Friday, February 10, 2012

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?”: Margie Orford

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?
WOLVES EAT DOGS by Martin Cruz Smith.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Arkady Renko (goes with the above). But some days I feel more like Cruella deVille. I never want to be Bambi’s mother.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
The Guardian.

Most satisfying writing moment?
My first royalty check.

The best South African crime novel is …?

What South African crime novel would make a great movie?
THIRTEEN HOURS will be a great movie – it is in production right now. And I think BLOOD ROSE, my second novel, which is busy being cast right now, won’t be too shabby either. As one of the producers told me, with true producer tact: ‘We like your South African stuff – it’s like Wallander with good weather.’ Who could argue with that?

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Few people think you actually do any work (the worst thing). Being able to nap at your desk (which is probably why people think you don’t work).

The pitch for your next book is …?
Isolde Wagner, a gifted but vulnerable young woman drops out of her life, leaving behind friends, family and career as a classical musician to join a reclusive sect. After she cuts all ties, her anxious mother asks Clare Hart to find her, to persuade her to make contact. But Clare is not sure if Isolde is alive or dead and whoever has had a hand in her vanishing does not want the truth revealed.

Who are you reading right now?
ALL ABOUT LOVE: ANATOMY OF AN UNRULY EMOTION by Lisa Appignanesi (there are very few crimes that don’t have their origin in love).

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
I’ve taken God on before and I came out alright, so I think I would challenge him to an arm-wrestle. I win – I get to write AND read. He wins – well, I get to rewrite his book. There are a couple of bits I think could do with some tweaking.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
One reviewer said my writing induced ‘ball-crushing fear’ - I’m happy with that.

Margie Orford’s DADDY’S GIRL is published by Atlantic Books.

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