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?
SHUTTER ISLAND by Dennis Lehane. I couldn’t stop reading it – my life ground to a halt – and the ending completely got me. A superb premise, brilliantly executed.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Bond. No, wait … Bryan Mills – Liam Neeson’s character in Taken. I love his skill set and determination. His unaccountability is enviable in a world with so many rules. He’s one cool Northern Irishman.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
I’m a natural hedonist, so the pleasure is guilt-free. The geek in me tends towards articles and books on the cosmos and our place in it all – Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan and Simon Singh are very accessible. I’m also fascinated by anything that explores the role of emerging technologies in the future evolution of humans. Sometimes it seems like science fiction, but it’s all too real. Be afraid.
Most satisfying writing moment?
Typing “The End” in size 72 whenever I finish a manuscript. Someone should invent a bigger font.
If you could recommend one Irish crime novel, what would it be?
IN THE WOODS by Tana French is high on my “to read” list. I can already feel the hairs on my neck prickling.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
I need to read a few more Irish crime novels to answer this question. I will certainly be scrutinizing the next ones for their filmic future!
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The worst thing is that writing is an obsession. If I am deprived of writing for too long, I begin to slip into Crazy – a place where you’re more likely to find some of my unsavoury fictional characters. The best thing is that you can be anyone, go anywhere and do anything, anytime, and no one can stop you. That’s Freedom.
The pitch for your next book is …?
A conspiracy/race-against-time thriller that will change your perspective on modern society and get your blood pumping. I wish I could tell you more, but it’s under wraps!
Who are you reading right now?
S.J. Watson – BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP. A novel so accomplished it belies Watson’s status as a debut author. I’m hooked.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Firstly, I would question the premise on which mutual exclusivity was based. I would point out that it doesn’t have to be like this. Man can’t choose between eating and breathing. If that failed, I would propose a compromise: to do only one at a time. When writing, I would dictate. When reading, I wouldn’t have ideas flying around inside my head. If that failed, I would turn to bribery and offer the souls of my literary victims. If that failed, I would choose writing, and tell the world the story of my extraordinary negotiation with God. I’m sure it would be a bestseller.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Pacy. Compelling. Thrilling.
Chris Pearson’s debut novel is PROOF OF DEATH.
“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.