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, April 24, 2012

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?”: Paul O’Brien

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?
THE GODFATHER by Mario Puzo. Perfect form and structure for me. It feels epic and has all the right plants and pay offs. I also love the time period and the journey involving all the characters.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Jesus. The magic, the beard. The ending wouldn’t be great though. If not him then any ninja or anyone who lives under the sea. So, Spongebob.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
I love insider wrestling newsletters. Professional wrestlers call them ‘dirt sheets’ and have to act like they hate them. They give you all the backstage happenings. Even now the wrestling business is closed and secret and these newsletters give you a peek behind the curtain. They’re like Now magazine for nerdy men.

Most satisfying writing moment?
I have to say that finishing BLOOD RED TURNS DOLLAR GREEN was the most satisfying moment for me. About 15,000 words in I couldn’t see the end of the story coming for a long time, but I stayed at it day and night. And now that I am finished - I’m looking forward to jumping back in to it again for another installment.

The best Irish crime novel is …?
Just finished PLUGGED by Eoin Colfer. Funny, smart and has long legs in terms of more books.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Same again. I think Eoin writes in pictures. He’s easy to see when you’re reading him. It also helps that I’ve seen a few of his stage plays so I know how much he relies on visuals to punctuate his jokes. A movie of that book could be great.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst thing is the dry eyeballs from the laptop. Best thing is holding your first book.

The pitch for your next book is …?
Well, it’s going to be a follow up to BLOOD RED TURNS DOLLAR GREEN so I have to be a little mysterious - although it’s all outlined.

Who are you reading right now?
Carl Hiassen. Trying to catch up on some of his stuff after a beta reader said I should. Turns out that reader didn’t like me very much. We’ve since fallen out. She got the children.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Write. Definitely. Although I don’t like it very much. It’s just something that I have to do. I love planning to write. Writing though - not delighted about having to do that part. I’ve been writing for 15 years and have written 16 full lengths plays, two screenplays, a book a poetry, a few songs and now a novel, and every word I’ve written I’ve had to tug-o-war out of my brain.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Direct. Raw. Considered.

Paul O’Brien’s BLOOD RED TURNS DOLLAR GREEN is available now.

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