“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.

Friday, September 14, 2012

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?” JJ Toner

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?
PERFUME by Patrick Suskind, a totally wonderful and original story told as a fable. If I have to choose an Irish book: Colin Bateman’s MYSTERY MAN or THE BUTCHER BOY by Patrick McCabe, or any of Gene Kerrigan’s books, or ...

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
I have a long list, starting with Philip Marlowe, Indiana Jones and, for the quieter moments, George Smiley.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Colin Bateman, Christopher Brookmyre, John Le Carré, Declan Burke (!), Gene Kerrigan, etc. It’s all guilty pleasure, really!

Most satisfying writing moment?
When a book is released and sent out into the world. My latest book, FIND EMILY, took 49 weeks to complete. There were nine major rewrites. I have a wonderful editor, but I think she trained with the Spanish Inquisition.

If you could recommend one Irish crime novel, what would it be?
DARK TIMES IN THE CITY by Gene Kerrigan. This is a wonderful book, with a stunningly well-crafted plot and great writing.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
PLUGGED by Eoin Colfer, maybe.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Best thing: I love it when an idea first arrives and even more when the idea becomes a written short story. Better again is when someone says they want to include it in an anthology (and I’ll get paid). Worst thing: Lack of exercise.

The pitch for your next book is …?
1096 AD, Brittany. While a killer preys on boys and young men, two teenagers join the Crusade. They must endure a long, difficult journey to the Holy Land before facing the perils of battle, but at least they’ve left the serial killer behind – or have they? I wrote this book years ago. Time to dust it off, do a major rewrite or two and get it out there.

Who are you reading right now?
Joe McCoubrey’s SOMEONE HAS TO PAY, BEAT TO A PULP: HARDBOILED, A JUNE OF ORDINARY MURDERS by Conor Brady, ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL and several others (mostly e-books).

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
No contest. I’d have to be a reader. There are too many great writers out there and I need the exercise!

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Fun, idiosyncratic, idiomatic (who said “idiotic”?).

JJ Toner’s FIND EMILY is available on Amazon.

2 comments:

Paul D Brazill said...

Good stuff. Smashing writer.

JJ Toner said...

Thanks, Paul. I thought you'd retired following your amazing news!