Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “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.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A GONZO NOIR: An Internet Novel

Failed writer Declan Burke (right), embittered but still passably handsome, writes: Many thanks to everyone who took the time to leave a comment when I asked if it made sense that the interweb novel A GONZO NOIR were to get its own blog, so that its instalments will read in an linear fashion rather than in the clumsy way I was posting them to Crime Always Pays. The answer, surprisingly enough, was a resounding ‘Yay’, and so the new blog opened for business yesterday with post on the Crime Space forum announcing the news.
  It was a somewhat less-than-auspicious beginning, as the ever-radiant Angie got in touch some hours later to say that I was in breach of the Crime Space protocols on self-promotion, and that the forum article would have to be removed. ‘Lummee,’ says we, ‘we can’t even give our stuff away for free these days.’
  Bloodied but unbowed, we herewith announce the arrival of the A GONZO NOIR blog, to which the entire novel will be posted in the coming months. The plan is to upload a new instalment at least once a week; when we do, we’ll provide a heads up on CAP and a link direct to the new section. The story starts here; for all three of you who have been following the tale already, the latest update comes here.
  Finally, yesterday’s post on Crime Space, which explains the reasons behind posting a novel to the interweb, to wit:
The first question people tend to ask about A GONZO NOIR is, ‘Why waste a perfectly good novel publishing it to the internet?’
  This presupposes that it is good, let alone perfectly good.
  Actually, it doesn’t. What people really mean is, ‘Why publish a novel-length story for free when someone might pay you to publish it as a conventional novel?’
  Well, there’s a lot of reasons.
  The first is that I’ve always wanted to publish a novel to the web, because it’s there and because I can.
  The second reason is that I’m pretty sure the story isn’t a commercially viable one. I believe it’s up to the standard of my previously published novels, EIGHTBALL BOOGIE and THE BIG O, but the story itself – which concerns itself with a hospital porter who decides to blow up the hospital where he works – isn’t the kind of thing to get publishers’ hearts racing.
  The third reason, and this is a rather more vague one, is that I feel that its protagonist, Billy / Karlsson, belongs on the web as opposed to between covers. This is just an instinct, of course, and not something I can really explain.
  The fourth reason is that giving away something for free runs contrary to the prevailing spirit of our times, and I’ve always been a bit out of kilter what tends to be popular and profitable.
  Fifthly, and lastly, and pragmatically, my novel THE BIG O is being published by Harcourt in September, and publishing a free novel to the internet might well be an unusual way of generating some attention for it.
  If you do take the time to read some or all of A GONZO NOIR, let me take this opportunity to thank you in advance. And if you feel moved to make a comment on any aspect of the story, I will be most grateful.
  Declan Burke


bookwitch said...

All our clever comments seem to have disappeared. Censorship or what?

I worked hard on mine.

Peter Rozovsky said...

I congratulate you on this latest expansion of the Crime Always Pays blogging empire. Whether blowing up hospitals or raising babies -- The Crime Always Pays family of fine blogs meets all your blogging needs.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Declan Burke said...

Ms Witch? Sadly, I wasn't able to transfer all the clever comments ... Just as well, really, as they'd have shown me up something rotten. Peter - we're the Quik-E-Mart of blogging, basically. Cheers, Dec

Peter Rozovsky said...

Au contraire, mon frere. The C.A.P. family of boutique blogs offers specialized sites to satisfy the discriminating blogger's desire.

Good luck with this latest spin-off. Gra mor!
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

SLING WORDS aka Joan Reeves said...

Bill Crider pointed the way to your blog. Next I'll visit the blog for A Gonzo Noir which I'd have read anyway if only because of the title. *g* You're doing something I've thought about doing with a manuscript I still believe in but which nevertheless ended up in rejection purgatory. Good for you! Good luck.