“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.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?”: Anthony Quinn

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?
Anything by Graham Greene, because his shading of good and evil still resonates strongly today. Has there ever been a better writer of noir?

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Patrick Kavanagh’s Tarry Flynn - a life spent constructing hayricks and reading poetry in the hedgerows, with a pitchfork to hand for devilment at night.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Social media websites are a terrible distraction when you have writer’s block at the computer. Dickens and Shakespeare were so prolific only because their inkwells weren’t full of friends and followers jostling for their attention.

Most satisfying writing moment?
Successfully forging a doctor’s prescription. No, seriously, when a background character you thought insignificant suddenly takes over a page and then an entire chapter.

The best Irish crime novel is …?
I know this is the golden age of Irish crime fiction with authors such as mine host’s ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL redefining the genre itself, but I think the best Irish crime novel is still out there, lurking in the subconscious, waiting to be written …

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Any of Stuart Neville’s thrillers, which read as vivid cinematic treatments of Northern Ireland.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst thing is the daily confrontation with a blank page. Best thing is filling same – even though you might feel like flushing it down the loo the next day.

The pitch for your next book is …?
My historical thriller BLOOD DIMMED TIDE is currently doing the rounds. WB Yeats and his assistant ghost-catcher are summonsed to Sligo by the restless spirit of a girl whose body is mysteriously washed ashore in a coffin from the previous century. They are led on a gripping journey through the ruins of Sligo’s abandoned estates and into its darkest, most haunted corners as the country descends into a bloody war of independence.

Who are you reading right now?
Cormac McCarthy’s early ‘Appalachian noir’.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
I’d pick ‘read’ rather than ‘write’, and hope it’s not an Old Testament God, otherwise he’ll condemn me to an eternity of reading my own work as a just punishment for attempting to get it published.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Everything is practice.

Anthony Quinn’s DISAPPEARED is published by the Mysterious Press.

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