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, September 3, 2010

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?”: Todd Ritter

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?
MYSTIC RIVER by Dennis Lehane. Damn, that guy can write, and the book deserved a Pulitzer.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
The Man in the Yellow Hat from CURIOUS GEORGE, because it would be pretty cool to have a monkey.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Sandra Brown. She’s like fast food. I don’t have it often and it’s really bad for me, but it tastes so good.

Most satisfying writing moment?
Writing the last sentence of my debut novel and knowing that the whole thing didn’t suck.

The best Irish crime novel is …?
I’ll have to go with THE LIKENESS by Tana French, because she impresses the hell out of me.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
I’m not sure if this is allowed, since it’s not a novel (sorry!), but Martin McDonagh’s THE LIEUTENANT OF INISHMORE would be a fantastic movie. Or maybe that’s too bloody. I really flubbed this question, didn’t I?

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Best: Entertaining readers by giving them a good yarn. Worst: Facing that blank screen and knowing I have to fill it.

The pitch for your next book is …?
A cop and a private investigator look into a series of child abductions from decades ago, all of which coincided with NASA moon landings. Coincidence? Probably not.

Who are you reading right now?
FREEDOM by Jonathan Franzen. When a book gets this much press, I have to read it.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Read, because I like to be surprised by others.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Morbid. Surprising. Sympathetic.

Todd Ritter’s DEATH NOTICE is published by Minotaur Books.


michael said...

I always enjoy your rubber-hose posts. Though my bank account wishes you quite finding (New to me) authors I have to add to my too long now reading list.

After yesterday I am curious to learn more about how you write. What comes first, plot or characters? Do you start with an outline? Do you write the first draft all the way through without stopping then rewrite or do you rewrite as you go?

Declan Burke said...

Michael -

How do I write? Very, very slowly. Three words forward, two words back. Grinding it out ...

I usually start with a place, actually. "Hmmm, that'd be a nice place to kill someone," that kind of thing. Hence, I suppose, the emphasis on description in the first draft of the new story ...

Being honest, though, I really have no idea of how I write a book. Each one is different. Right now I'm about 99% convinced that I can't write one at all.

But be sure of this: no matter how it eventually comes together, it'll involve huge amounts of rewriting.

Ta for the interest,

Cheers, Dec