“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 30, 2013

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?” Sarah Weinman

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?
IN A LONELY PLACE by Dorothy B. Hughes, which is my favourite crime novel of all time. I still marvel at the way she conveyed her main character’s narcissism and self-delusion while revealing the truth about him to readers, and how women end up prevailing and overcoming a stereotypical role of victimhood. I’ve read the book many times and it remains fresh and new to me with each revisiting.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
I had to think long and hard about this but I keep coming back to Valancy Stirling, the heroine of LM Montgomery’s THE BLUE CASTLE, who overcomes timidity and passivity through a fluke diagnosis and emerges as the mischievous, adventurous, idiosyncratic woman she was always meant to be (and ended up with the best man for her in the process.)

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Oliver Potzsch’s HANGMAN’S DAUGHTER series, which is unabashedly entertaining and fun, though I don’t feel terribly guilty about that.

Most satisfying writing moment?
When I finished the first short story that I was comfortable to send out for publication. Plots With Guns published it ten years ago.

If you could recommend one Irish crime novel, what would it be?
THE BLUE TANGO by Eoin McNamee, though ORCHID BLUE is also incredible.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
GRAVELAND by Alan Glynn.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Best: being in the zone, coming up with that sentence which sings. Worst: agonizing when I cannot write an opening paragraph after twenty tries.

The pitch for your next book is …?
I’m not sure yet!

Who are you reading right now?
I’m trying to catch up on the backlists of all the authors in TROUBLED DAUGHTERS. I’ve succeeded with some; others are way more prolific. So about to start BEDELIA by Vera Caspary.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Women with issues.



Rick Ollerman said...

See, how it works is, I read about stuff you write about, and then order it, including the McNamee titles Sarah mentions, and the series by Alan Glynn. I have so far missed out completely on the Scandanavian wave (other than Stieg Larsson) because I've been reading so much Irish crime fiction. Sarah mentioned "Troubled Daughters" and I just looked that up and pre-ordered it, as well.

So I figure I'd mention that if this is how it's supposed to work, it does, and probably works better if I tell you about it. On the other hand, I don't tell my wife about it, and the books I've bought because of it, because than she'd probably not let me read your blog anymore.

Declan Burke said...

Many thanks for the good word, Rick, and delighted to see you're picking up some good books. Which is the whole point of the exercise, as you say ...

Alan Glynn said...

Every time I listen to the John Kelly Ensemble on RTE Lyric FM I end up buying stuff on iTunes. It is indeed hard on the bank balance (and potentially the marriage) but it's how this works. It's an upgraded form of word-of-mouth and it's still - amid all the noise - the best way of discovering new stuff. You find someone you trust and you're sorted. Dec's CAP is a widely trusted source and long may it last.

Rick Ollerman said...

Alan's so right. And my list was by no means complete. I could add William Ryan, Conor Fitzgerald, John Connolly, Declan Hughes, Gene Kerrigan, "Requiems for the Departed," "Down These Green Streets," "Books to Die For" and on and on.

I still say keep on keeping on, and I still won't share with my wife.