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.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Move Along, Please, Nothing To See Here …

Apologies to all three regular readers, but Crime Always Pays is going off-line for the foreseeable future. The main reason is time, or the lack thereof, and the fact that yours truly, aka Some Chancer, Esq., has to choose between blogging and writing, and that’s a foregone conclusion. If any Irish writer wants to avail of the space here, and is prepared to upload their own news, reviews, updates etc., then he or she is more than welcome to do so – log-in passwords et al available on request. In the meantime, thanks a million to everyone who made the last couple of years such an enjoyable experience – you all know who you are.

UPDATE (Slight Return): Many thanks for all the kind words, folks, whether delivered by comment or privately – really, you’re being far too generous. I have a few regrets about parking the blog, not least of which is that it was a decent spot to let people know about new Irish crime writers – myself included, of course. On that score, the various blogs on the left-hand side, a goodly chunk of which are recent additions by new Irish writers, will continue to update. There’s also, although it hardly needs to be said, Gerard Brennan’s excellent Crime Scene Northern Ireland.
  I’ll miss it for myself too, and not just for self-promotion, which was always a vital component of the quid pro quo. Blogging has become like a stroll through the neighbourhood. Some days you’ll stop and chat with the neighbours, other days you’ll nod and go by. Either way, it’s always nice to know you have good neighbours.
  There have been some ideas put forward in the last day or so about how to keep the blog running with a minimum input from me, some of which have been interesting. And I repeat – if anyone fancies updating the blog themselves, with news and views, etc., then they’re more than welcome. Although, as I say, updating your own blog means that the news will pop up on the left-hand side of Crime Always Pays anyway.
  Now, the essence of successful blogging is regular and interesting content. Despite that, and given that I know I’ll miss it (or, more precisely, the people it puts me in contact with), and as a result of being prodded with a big stick by my good lady wife, I’m very tempted to blog on a reduced basis – perhaps, as Donna Moore suggested, once a week. That would allow me to post links to writers’ latest news and releases, etc., while also indulging in a little self-promotion, and also have some fun with whatever rant happens to be occupying me at the time. Business as usual, in other words, albeit on a weekly rather than daily basis. So long as it doesn’t impact on my new writing schedule, that would be ideal.
  I don’t kid myself that it would be blogging per se, but it would, crucially, allow me to stay in touch with people, and give people a reason to stay in touch with me. Given the loneliness of the long-distance writer, that’s not to be underestimated.
  Lastly, thanks again for all the big-ups. I guess there’s a few more than three regular readers after all …
  Cheers, Dec

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When Johnny Met Ali

Ali Karim had an extensive interview with John Connolly over at the Rap Sheet recently, which makes for a terrific read, although they touched only briefly on JC’s forthcoming THE GATES (boo). To wit:
AK: So tell us more about THE GATES, which you’ve described as a young adult novel that “involves Satanism and quantum physics.” Will Charlie Parker make an appearance in that story?

JC: Hah! No, Parker doesn’t make an appearance in THE GATES. It’s actually very different from what I’ve done before. Well, there are probably slight echoes of THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS, but essentially THE GATES is a mischievous book. It’s about a small boy and his dog who discover that their new neighbours are Satanists who are trying to open the gates of Hell. The book is filled with odd little footnotes about science and history. It’s probably the lightest book I’ve written, and the most purely entertaining. Frankly, writing it was a blast.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?”: Mehmet Murat Somer

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?
Definitely the Ripley’s of Patricia Highsmith. If these are taken, I’ll go for the ANIMAL LOVER’S BOOK OF BEASTLY MURDER.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Quite content as myself. Really. But if I must choose a name: Vautrin of Balzac.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?

Most satisfying writing moment?
When I stop typing with a wide silly smile on my face!

The best Irish crime novel is …?
Whichever one is not in the blood ‘n’ gore genre.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
The one Steven Spielberg or Pedro Almodovar will direct.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst are: Sleeping less – my natural condition; spending more time with my laptop – not fun. And my recent habit of making additions, changes or twists according to reader requests. Best? No idea.

The pitch for your next book is …?
Working simultaneously on two: Completion of my Champagne Trilogy, after THE HOLDING AND THE CATWALK, with the grand finale THE BACKSTAGE. Every piece gets in order as like a jigsaw puzzle. And another Hop-Çiki-Yaya thriller, the 8th, where my sleuth, with his Audrey Hepburn alter-ego, finds a murder in her family past.

Who are you reading right now?
Right now? The questions on this Q&A! But nowadays I am going over again COUSINE BETTE of Balzac, and enjoying the grande-dame of modern Turkish literature Ayşe Kulin’s VEDA (THE FAREWELL).

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
God shouldn’t be so cruel. I’ll do my best to persuade.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Life is joy!

Mehmet Murat Somer’s THE GIGOLO MURDER is published by Serpent’s Tail.