“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.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?”: Lyndsay Faye
What crime novel would you most like to have written?
THE BIG SLEEP by Raymond Chandler. “It was about eleven o’clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills.” Stare at that sentence for two or three minutes and marvel at its perfection. That book is magical.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Dr. John H. Watson. I’d have spent my entire life watching someone be amazing.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
I don’t feel much in the way of guilt about my pleasures, truth be told. But I do collect atrociously written Sherlock Holmes pastiches, the more crack and unlikely Victorian celebrity cameos and bodice-ripping covers with floating deerstalker art the better. (Incidentally, I also collect excellent ones, but there’s no guilt whatsoever in that.)
Most satisfying writing moment?
Finishing my first novel. I was baffled by the fact I’d managed it for months. I’m still baffled by it, actually - I’ve never been involved in a single “creative writing” class, just a bunch of excellent courses on the classics, and editorial work like my university writing centre and campus literary magazine.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
Ooh, apologies to the classics. But IN THE WOODS by Tana French really hits my sweet spot. So gritty and atmospheric and human.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Is THE MIDNIGHT CHOIR by Gene Kerrigan a movie yet?
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The worst aspect for me is the occasional emotional roller coaster that happens in total solitude. Does this work? Will it come together? What if it doesn’t? Where’s the whiskey? But when someone tells me they identified with a person or a moment I invented from thin air - that’s glorious.
The pitch for your next book is …?
Welcome to the sequel to THE GODS OF GOTHAM, winter of 1846, in which I do more terrible, terrible things to Timothy and Valentine Wilde.
Who are you reading right now?
Alex George’s THE GOOD AMERICAN - he’s a fellow Amy Einhorn author. It’s marvellous.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
What a heinous circumstance. Well, selfishly ... I think I’d read.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Open, open, open. I’m all about character exposure, breaking people apart to see the nasty and beautiful and selfish and brave bits. The crimes are incidental for me, like nutcrackers or lobster scissors - they exist to get at the meat of the person I’m writing about.
Lyndsay Faye’s THE GODS OF GOTHAM is published by Headline Review.