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.

Friday, June 6, 2008

“No, I’M Donald Westlake, And My Wife Is Too.”

A Minister for Propaganda Elf writes: “The Grand Vizier would have it be known that he is abandoning his beautiful wife and child, Mrs Grand Viz and the Princess Lilyput (right), the heartless bugger. A temporary measure, the separation will nonetheless last the entire weekend, the duration of which the Grand Viz will spend in the Gomorrah-style flesh-pit of Bristol at the Crime Fest with all the other heartless buggers who have abandoned their families for the sake of crime fiction.
  “Once there, of course, all those wonderful writers, bloggers, readers, editors, publishers and publicists the Grand Viz has met through Crime Always Pays will very quickly realise that dropping by the blog to catch up for five minutes on a daily basis is really as much as any sentient human being can stick of him. Still, it can’t be Mills and Boon every day, right?
  “Anyhoo, given that the Grand Viz will be away, the elves will party hearty all weekend, turning CAP Towers into a Bond villain’s lair stocked to the rafters with supermodels with a PhD in titillation. Belly-dancing dwarves, nose-ning, sequins and a large vat of our Patented Elf-Wonking Juice™ are also likely to feature heavily.
  “As a result, the Crime Always Pays blog will only be updated in the very unlikely event that the Grand Viz comes first in the Last Laugh Award by means other than (a) foul or (b) alphabetical. To wit:
The Last Laugh Award nominees:
Declan Burke, THE BIG O (Hag’s Head Press)
Ruth Dudley Edwards, MURDERING AMERICANS (Poisoned Pen Press UK)
Alan Guthrie, HARD MAN (Polygon)
Deanna Raybourn, SILENT IN THE GRAVE (MIRA Books)
Mike Ripley, ANGEL’S SHARE (Alison & Busby)
L. C. Tyler, THE HERRING SELLER’S APPRENTICE (Macmillan New Writing)
Donald Westlake, WHAT’S SO FUNNY? (Quercus)
  “Of course, once it’s announced that Donald Westlake won’t be turning up to collect his gong in person, who’s to say who did what to who and how in the ensuing stampede to the podium to swipe his award? Dignity schmignity, eh?
  “And now, if you don’t mind, I have a small tumbler of Patented Elf-Wonking Juice™ awaiting my tender ministrations. Peace, out.”


cfr said...

I can confirm that TGV has arrived in Bristol for said event. After a talk in the big arena - who was it now? Ah yes, Laurie R King and Ruth Dudley Edwards - I decided to make the most of the peace after the departing to use my mobile to make some calls. Suddenly, in the distance, I saw a hand wave. It was attached to an upper body coloured in moss, with the odd white stripe or two. And definitely a head at the top of the torso. Hair: not sure, too far away.

Feeling friendly - not frisky at all, I'll have you know, as that comes on Sundays only, after mid-day, especially the third Sunday of each new millennium - I waved back to the Moss Friendly body.

The waving became more animated, so I gestured a question mark (still on hold and being stimulated not by sad music but by beep, beep, beep... Heart rate anyone?)

Lo and behold, I had the grand gesture "D" in response. Yes, TGV had arrived.

When I finally got off the phone, the delightful BookWitch was there - whom I'd met the previous evening at the quiz - but then she disappeared, as witches do.

I chatted to TGV and his main concern was missing Lily. Our host explained that she seemed to be in a major development phase right now. He was worried she might forget him after the weekend's absence. What a dad, eh? And what a lucky girl. She will remember him, as this commenter assured him, to which he replied "My brother said that". Well, there you go then. FACT (to be proven yet again).

TGV said that his blog stats were down now that Lily had her own blog. But only on the basis of the beautiful Lily phenomenon surely? As TGV well knows, the innocent Lily ain't into crime yet, so it's only fair she has her own blog and leaves this one to TGV.

Comic crime author, Donna Moore asked where Lily was and added "Why didn't you send her instead of you?", or words to that effect. Yes, the Lily phenomenon has even reached Scotland.

Lily, as I strongly suspected from this blog, has a warm and loving dad who extends that warmth to others (much older than Lily and not of his loins).

TGV may be in Bristol, but his heart remains at home.

It was lovely to meet Dec today after blog and email exchanges. And so good to see the links of blog writers embedded in the psyche(?), blogosphere(?), or life as we know it now?

Whatever, it's great to make links in the physical after a year or so of making it in the "virtual" or the internet world.

But back to Lily: she had no virtual world when she was born; she just had the basic senses of smell, touch, taste, etc..

She will not forget you, Dec, you've already formed part of her living earth and security in life. She will also smell you too.

Enjoy Bristol: you deserve it and Lily would say so too, when she's older enough to realise it.

Great to meet you at long last!

Patricia J. Hale said...

Good luck and have a great time! (sure the 7-8 hours of sleep isn't the real draw?)

Gerard Brennan said...

Best of luck, sir.


Josh Schrank said...


Curiosity has gotten the better of me. Just how much do you have to pay these otherwise pillars of society to say this sugar-coated propoganda about you???

bookwitch said...

Wow. cfr is obviously a much bigger fan than the rest of us put together.

Josh Schrank said...

wait... bookwitch, posting here means we're fans?

bookwitch said...

Umm. Er. Not sure, Josh. But cfr seems to be more besotted, and less cheeky.

I'm considering adopting Declan as my annoying younger brother. I haven't got one of those, yet.