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?
THE RAGE by Gene Kerrigan is the most recent novel that I would have liked to have written. It is a modern classic. What I admire most about it is the way Gene makes you want to read on from the first page. He does this by creating interesting characters and situations, which aren't explained, which you must read on to find out about. And on. And on. Gene created an unpredictable plot with an interesting, well crafted setup and an unexpected ending. I like to read pages from this just to freshen up my style every now and again.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
I would like to be Mickey Haller from THE LINCOLN LAWYER by Michael Connelly. Mickey is a seasoned LA trial lawyer. He knows the best and the worst of what Los Angeles is all about. Mickey is a good guy who has been through the mill, backwards and forwards. And he lives to tell the tale.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
I am reading FATHERLAND by Robert Harris at the moment and enjoying it. And whenever a new Egyptian-based Wilbur Smith novel comes out I will be first in the queue.
Most satisfying writing moment?
Finishing a novel is a great moment. It has a touch of nostalgia about it, as a chapter in your life closes, but it also has a deep sense of accomplishment to it. I spent three weeks on an edit, seven days a week, recently for THE MANHATTAN PUZZLE, and the moment that finished I felt good, Tired and exhausted and good.
If you could recommend one Irish crime novel, what would it be?
Aside from THE RAGE, I would recommend EVERY DEAD THING by John Connolly. This breakthrough novel led the way for many to follow. John’s masterpiece is intriguing, novel and gripping. If you missed it, get a copy and try it out.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
I’d like to see EVERY DEAD THING made into a movie. I think it would do well and I think the macabre and spectral elements would come across exceptionally well on the big screen.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The best thing is people telling you how much they like your writing. The worst thing is the uncertainty about what the future holds. You never know, no matter how well things are going what will happen next. It’s a big dipper ride without a safety bar.
The pitch for your next book is …?
My next novel, THE MANHATTAN PUZZLE, will be out on October 10th 2013. Here is a draft of the blurb:
When Isabel wakes to find Sean Ryan hasn’t come home she doesn’t worry. At first. But when the police turn up on her doorstep wanting to interview him, she has to make a decision. Does she keep faith in him or does she believe the evidence? The symbol Sean and Isabel have been chasing will finally be revealed in Manhattan, as one of the greatest banks in the world faces extinction. Can Isabel uncover the truth before time runs out … or will she too be murdered? A thrilling, high-octane race that will engross fans of Dan Brown, David Baldacci and James Patterson.
Who are you reading right now?
Robert Harris’s FATHERLAND, and Ken Bruen’s THE MAGDALENE MARTYRS.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Write. I need to write. I need to create. And then I’d ask him, who killed the chauffeur in THE BIG SLEEP [by Raymond Chandler]. If anyone knows, it’ll be him, or her, depending on your point of view.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Driving, entertaining, mysterious (I hope!)
Laurence O’Bryan’s current novel is THE JERUSALEM PUZZLE.
“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.