“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.

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 CarrĂ©, 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.


Paul D Brazill said...

Good stuff. Smashing writer.

JJ Toner said...

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