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, August 28, 2012

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?” DC Gogan

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?
ALTERED CARBON by Richard Morgan. Sure, it’s set in the future and you’ll find it in the SF section, but at its heart it’s pure noir, with a simple but ingenious central conceit.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
I would like to have been James Lee Burke’s violent, ex-alcoholic Dave Robicheaux. I don’t know what this says about me.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Wilbur Smith. Although the Guilt / Pleasure see-saw can tip either way depending on the novel.

Most satisfying writing moment?
Apart from typing ‘The End’ onto that first draft, the moment when one of your characters does or says something you had no idea was coming.

If you could recommend one Irish crime novel, what would it be?
John Connolly’s THE KILLING KIND. Perfect entry point to his work. The scene where Parker meets Pudd for the first time is so dread-soaked it still resonates with me. “They burn well.”... Actually, forget Dave Robicheaux; can I be Charlie Parker instead? And if that’s cheating and I have to recommend an Irish novel set in Ireland, it would be Tana French's BROKEN HARBOUR. Because ... well, because it’s Tana French's BROKEN HARBOUR.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
THE KILLING KIND. Vivid characters, atmospheric location, great action set-pieces. Shame I’d never go see it because of the spiders.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Best: creating something that has never existed before. Worst: feeling like you’ve created something that probably never existed for a reason.

The pitch for your next book is …?
Academic psychologist Darren McDaid is consulted by detectives after his research student Andrew Corrigan – who was researching the crimes that prisoners had committed but never been caught for – is stabbed to death on one of the main streets of Dublin. Was Andrew killed because someone told him too much? And what does it have to do with McDaid himself, who used to work at the same prison before a horrific, unexplained attack forced him to leave?

Who are you reading right now?
Meg Gardiner’s THE NIGHTMARE THIEF and Kim Stanley Robinson’s RED MARS. In non-fiction, my brain is being tied in delicious knots by Antonio Damasio’s THE FEELING OF WHAT HAPPENS.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Read. There’s more to be read than I’ll ever get to write. That’s not to say I’d like it; I’d probably cheat by scribbling in the margins and hope Himself wasn’t looking.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Must. Try. Harder.

DC Gogan’s CRITICAL VALUE is available now.

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