“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.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?”: Sheila Bugler

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?
So many! It’s an ever-increasing list. I am a huge fan of US author Megan Abbott and if I could have written even one of her novels I’d be pretty happy. I’ve just read a wonderful novel by Stephan Talty called BLACK IRISH, which I read and really wished I’d written. It’s bloody good.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Again, how do I choose just one? These questions are tough! Possibly Nick Carraway, the narrator in THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
I never feel guilty about reading and I’ll read anything that takes my fancy. Obviously I read a huge amount of crime fiction. I also love so-called literary fiction (I’ve just finished James Salter’s LIGHT YEARS. Please, please read it if you haven’t already. It’s the most wonderful, moving book). And I’m a huge fan of Marian Keyes. Chick lit or whatever you call it, her writing rings all my bells.

Most satisfying writing moment?
Ooh, good question. And my answer is going to sound horribly pretentious. For me, the best moment - and I don’t think this will change - was the moment I found my ‘voice’ as a writer. Writers bang on about voice a bit and I’d be hard-pushed to define what it is, exactly. Except I know when it works, not just for me but I can see it in other writing too. I can remember - exactly - the moment I found my own voice. I knew, from that moment on, that I could do this.

If you could recommend one Irish crime novel, what would it be?
It would have to be THE GUARDS. I think with Jack Taylor, Ken Bruen invented a new type of Irish noir. What a bloody brilliant writer. I also adore the Max series he’s written with Jason Starr for Hard Case Crime. Demented and hilarious.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Joe Murphy’s wonderful novel DEAD DOGS would make a fantastic movie. I adore this book. What a talented writer.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst: it’s so damn all-consuming and means you don’t do anything else properly. Best: it’s the best thing in the world and I can’t imagine that I’d ever want to do anything else.

The pitch for your next book is …?
It’s called WATCH OVER YOU. It’s a sequel to HUNTING SHADOWS and it’s a dark, twisted tale about dark, twisted females. My type of book.

Who are you reading right now?
Ah ... Philip Kerr’s amazing Berlin Noir trilogy. Perfect prose. Reading it is the greatest pleasure.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
The obvious answer is f*** off but you can’t print that, right? If I really had to choose, I’d have to ditch the writing. I couldn’t live without reading.

The three best words to describe your own writing are...?
Empathic, angry, matriarchic.

Sheila Bugler’s HUNTING SHADOWS is published by Brandon.

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