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.

Friday, March 23, 2012

It’s My Birthday And I’ll Cry If I Want To

Or, having no good reason to cry at the moment, I’ll take the opportunity to side-step for one day the relentless shilling that generally characterises this blog and instead pause to smell the proverbial roses, and celebrate a number of things:
1. I’m 43. There was a time when I thought, and with good reason, that I wouldn’t make it to 30. So there’s that.
2. My baby girl, Lily (right, somehow wearing one more colour than God actually invented), will be four years old on Monday, and thus - as she points out on a regular basis - is no longer a baby girl, even though - as I point out on an equally regular basis - she’ll always be my baby girl. This time four years ago, I was hoping she’d be born today. It wasn’t to be, but I think we’ve all recovered from the disappointment at this stage.
3. Last Monday evening, Lily ‘read’ the Sleeping Beauty story to me, turning the pages and taking the pictures as her cue, and reciting aloud whatever she could remember of the story according to the images. I’m not the best of it yet.
4. I quit smoking (again) three weeks ago. So far, so good.
  There’s plenty of other stuff worth celebrating from the last year or so, but most of it is book-related, so it can all wait for another day.
  Today I will be mostly getting Lily out to school, then coming home to transcribe and write up a Richard Ford interview before reading the final 100 pages of the excellent THE IRON WILL OF SHOESHINE CATS by Hesh Kestin (the latter two items being my idea of work, by the way); proofing and subbing a couple of essays for a non-fiction collection on crime fiction that’s in the pipeline; and then, all going well, relaxing for the evening with what will probably be a very indulgent meal, a bedtime story for Lily, and a couple of beers in front of the TV with Mrs Lovely Wife.
  Not exactly rock ‘n’ roll, I know. But then, I am 43.