“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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?”: Jeffrey Siger

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?
Though one might not think of it as a ‘traditional’ crime novel, I’d have to say BLOOD MERIDIAN by Cormac McCarthy. There’s none better to my way of thinking.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
No question about it. Sherlock Holmes, original version. Golden Victorian prose and none of that DNA detecting stuff to clutter one’s tiny attic of an investigative mind.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
The plays of August Wilson, he’s a master of dialect.

Most satisfying writing moment?
When my new Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis novel, TARGET: TINOS, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Although I’ve received similar reviews for earlier works, TARGET: TINOS was a particularly long haul to complete; indeed I had to write two books to come up with just one. I’d written the first one in 2010 and it was scheduled to come out in January 2012, when out of the blue its central storyline and later my primary bad guy came to life and played out across the world as independent, front-page headline news events. What I’d put forth as an original story line now seemed hopelessly derivative and my publisher and I agreed to kill it. Writing the novel that replaced it was not a pleasant experience … for all the while I had an eye on the headlines, praying events I imagined would not again be overrun by reality. As things turned out they were! But by then I was smiling ear-to-ear for the first reviews were in, calling TARGET: TINOS, “another of Jeffrey Siger’s thoughtful police procedurals set in picturesque but not untroubled Greek locales”—The New York Times, “superb…a winner”—Publishers Weekly, “complex portrait of contemporary Greece to bolster another solid whodunit”—Kirkus Reviews, “fast paced…interesting and highly entertaining”— Library Journal, “throbs with the pulse of Greek culture…an entertaining series”—Booklist.

The best Irish crime novel is …?
Excluding my host’s novels, which must be included at the very top of any such list, and since I’m being pressed to answer, I’ll say IN THE WOODS by Tana French.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst: you can very easily forget about your obligations to the rest of your life. Best: you can very easily forget about your obligations to the rest of your life.

The pitch for your next book is …?
“Honest, it’s almost done.” Oh, you don’t mean to my editor. Then I’d say: “Life as we know it is changing in the West. Forces of occupation no longer come with armaments, but with pens, promises, and lots of cash.”

Who are you reading right now?
Believe it or not, Samuel Beckett. Just finishing up WAITING FOR GODOT for the zillionth time.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Write. Although I think it would be in everyone’s best interest that I be allowed to read my work for editing purposes.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Authoritative, compelling, authentic.

Jeffrey Siger’s TARGET: TINOS is published by the Poisoned Pen Press.

4 comments:

Jeffrey Siger said...

For all of you who've written me to say you tried to leave a comment but couldn't, thank you. The efforts are much appreciated.

Jeff

Declan Burke said...

Thanks for that, Jeff. I wasn't aware there was a problem with leaving comments; I've tweaked the system a little now, so hopefully that will have helped.

Cheers, Dec

Jeffrey Siger said...

Thanks, Declan, for eliminating my finely honed exculpatory explanation for a slow comment day. But to show there's at least someone out there interested enough to leave a comment, here's one posted to my FB page--that I obviously liked:):

"I have been trying for the last 15 minutes to leave my message on your blog, but to no avail :( I just want to thank you, Jeff, for being so consistently sharp and compelling in your writing. Beautiful. Also, I loved all your answers!"
--Etta

And, for you cynics out there, we're not related.

Declan Burke said...

No problem, Jeff. And don't take it personally: the lazy buggers who come around here only ever leave comments once in a blue moon, and usually to tell me where I'm going wrong. It's just as well I'm a masochist ...

Cheers, Dec