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.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Embiggened O # 4,004: It Hasn’t Gone Away, Y’Know

There hasn’t been a review of our humble offering THE BIG O since God was a boy, so it was a pleasant surprise when one popped up this week in Mystery Scene Magazine. Kevin Burton Smith wasn’t too impressed with the lack of specifically Irish setting, but in general seemed happy enough, with the gist running thusly:
“Recalls Elmore Leonard’s more humorous works … It’s a perfectly realized, twisted little 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle that slowly snaps together, with more than a few surprises along the way … The humour is of the dark and wicked kind, but both it and the inevitable violence are handled in a refreshingly subtle manner, more ice pick than chainsaw.” – Mystery Scene Magazine
  Thank you kindly, Mr Burton Smith. For the rest, clickety-click here
  In other news, I’m thinking strongly about hoisting CRIME ALWAYS PAYS, said humble tome’s ill-fated sequel with the bitterly ironic title, onto ye olde interwebbe, much in the same way as I did A GONZO NOIR, setting up a separate blog and uploading 4,000-5,000 word chunks every few days. And, given that I’m a generous soul when you get down to the actual bedrock, and because no one has shown the slightest inclination to pay for it, it’ll be free. All in favour say ‘Yay!’


Corey Wilde said...

Declan, have you thought about using the Authonomy website to post CRIME ALWAYS PAYS?

Alan Griffiths said...

Hi Declan,
I’m a fan from the UK and have recently read and very much enjoyed Eight Ball Boogie and The Big O. Easy for me to say I know but I’d much rather see the sequel to TBO (and hopefully one day more from Harry Rigby) in the book shops and for you get your just rewards through the sales. That said I’d love to read a sneaky peak on the web to see how you have tied together the ending of TBO to the beginning of the CAP.
Best Wishes.

Declan Burke said...

Alan, you're a gent and a saint ... Precisely the response any writer would hope for.

Corey, I'll have a look into it ... although the idea isn't to get the book picked up, it's just another caper ... more stories for the grandkids.



Donna said...

Like Alan, I'd rather see it in bookshops, I'd rather have a couple of copies on my shelves, I'd rather be able to give a copy to someone and say "Here, read this." But then...bad Donna says "I want it and I want it NOW" :o)

bookwitch said...

How about simply using Lulu, or similar, for self publishing and selling them right here?

I have copies of an extremely good sequel to a children's book, which also suffered from stupid, insensitive publishers, and other than the fact that it doesn't "match" the first book, I much prefer having a real book, that I've paid for, to read.

My first reaction to your suggestion was that I'd be in a minority of one, wanting a "proper" book, but it seems people here think much the same as I do. Get it printed.

Gerard Brennan said...

Well, you know how much I enjoyed A Gonzo Noir, and I'm tempted to yell, "Yay!" But I think you've been generous enough. I'd rather see you paid for Crime Always Pays in some shape or form. And I want a signed copy to go alongside my copy of The Big O.

But it's your call, chief. Do what you think is right for you.


seanag said...

I feel that we can all put in our two cents, but publishing is a rapidly changing landscape and no one can really know just now what the percentages are on various options. I think I'd be inclined to suggest going the Lulu option or something similar--at least, I'd be happy to pay for a print copy, and I do like Lulu's level of quality. But as Gerard says, you must just follow your own lights here. The good news is that I don't think any decision is irreversible.

Declan Burke said...

Appreciate the comments, folks, and even more so the generous spirit of them ... I'll have a look into the Lulu thing. Can anyone vouch for the quality of the Lulu books?

Cheers, Dec

Peter Rozovsky said...

Might not be a bad idea, that. I know little of the particulars, but I believe Seth Harwood made his name by demonstrating that free exposure on the Internet and subsequent cash-generating sales need not be mutually exclusive.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Gerard Brennan said...

Mike Stone's Fourtold was printed by Lulu, and judging by the hardback version, quality is not an issue. Plus, if you spring for the ISBN, it can be made available on Amazon, etc.

You could probably chat to Mike about costs and the like.


krimileser said...


I agree with those who want to see you on the shelf.

All the best


Donna said...

Dec - I put together a book of the stories the children did for me in Alaska to give to them this time round. You have to watch the font but they are good quality, fast and cheap. I would definitely recommend them. They're also easy to use. I also uploaded one of the childrens' pictures for the cover and it looks good. If you want, I can send you a copy or bring one to Bristol if you want to wait that long, so you can have a look

Donna said...

PS - I meant to say I did it via Lulu.

seanag said...

I did a little book with Lulu awhile ago as well, and was quite happy with it. I think they have only improved as far as options offered since then. The real quality issue comes from your own end, as you are the only human overseeing editing, layout, etc. I had a couple of problems getting it to all work out, but it was really more a problem with Microsoft Word, and of course my own fallibility, than Lulu.

Also, Amazon has something called Booksurge, which I think is very similar and might be worth comparing.

I don't know if anyone mentioned that if you do Lulu, you can simultaneously make an electronic format available, and I think you can make that absolutely free if you want.

Brent said...

yes, Dec, let's see it on the shelves - I can't read for very long from a computer screen ... I've heard of indie bands selling shares in a yet-to-be-released album as a way of proving said venture is profitable or at least cost-neutral. Just thinking out loud ...

Pat McArdle said...


Don't do it. I want to see it on the shelves. I also want to go to the launch party and lift a big dirty pint in welcome. Your work's worth paying for. Giving it away devalues it. You've nothing to gain and a lot to lose. Remind me sometime to pass on some advice I once received from a mutual friend. The publishing landscape will change; be still and wait.