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.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?” Joe McCoubrey

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?
It would have to be ROSES ARE RED by James Patterson. This was one of his early assignments for Alex Cross, and was delivered with such tension that Patterson hooked a generation on his works. The twists and turns of the story, coupled with the down to earth detective having to struggle with the usual fist of domestic problems that face us all, was a blueprint for the way authors should develop their characters.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
I’d go for Sherlock Holmes. Imagine having all that deductive reasoning? I like the idea, no matter how fanciful, of taking a cursory look at a crime scene and being able to pinpoint exactly how it happened and, more importantly, who did it. These days we’re overloaded with CSI teams, which kinda has the poor old crime writer scrambling to keep up with all the latest forensic technologies.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Believe it or not, it was Jane Austen who got me hooked on reading! From the moment I started into PRIDE AND PREJUDICE there was no turning back. These days I settle for the inimitable works of Vince Flynn, David Baldacci, and Lee Child. I’ve got to say though that over the past few years I’ve enjoyed a collection of new Indie authors, such as Andy Scorah, Ian Graham and Mel Comley. My current cycle of reading has taken me into the world of Irish authors – what a great collection of books just waiting to be read! I’ve started the journey with Robert Craven, Laurence O’Bryan, Paul O’Brien, Louise Phillips, and a certain Declan Burke! I passionately believe that Irish authors are getting set to rule the world!

Most satisfying writing moment?
It was the moment I brought my first novel SOMEONE HAS TO PAY over the finishing line. I had been working on the story, off and on, for almost 20 years, so it was a big thrill to close it out.

If you could recommend one Irish crime novel, what would it be?
I hate being put on the spot when there are so many great Irish novels to choose from. I remember reading Gene Kerrigan’s THE MIDNIGHT CHOIR some years ago and was struck by the sweep of the topics covered. This was a clever montage of crime that Kerrigan managed to bring together in one of those reads that you want to have at your bedside for long, wintry nights.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
There’s a lot of great material out there that would easily transfer to the big screen. One possibility is the recently released RED RIBBONS by Louise Phillips. It’s got all the ingredients – a serial killer targeting schoolchildren, a criminal profiler trying to get one step ahead, and a few twists and turns to keep everyone guessing.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The best thing about writing is letting my characters take me into situations I hadn’t planned for them. Getting them out of there - and realising the story has just gotten better as a result of the detour – is what makes the overall writing journey worthwhile. The worst thing about being a writer is not getting the time to be constantly at it.

The pitch for your next book is …?
ABSENCE OF RULES sees the return of Mike Devon. To some people Devon is a highly trained counter-terrorism operative. To others, he’s little more than a Government- sanctioned assassin. Either way, he always takes the line of least resistance to get the job done, particularly when he’s faced with two al-Qaeda leaders preparing to unleash a new terror campaign against America and its European allies. But Devon also has to deal with a sinister Russian oil billionaire, pulling the strings in a determined bid to return to the days of East-West conflict. He has to fight his way through a plot to blow up the Eiffel Tower, and stop the assassination of some of the world's leading businessmen in a roller-coaster that becomes highly personal. The stakes couldn’t be higher

Who are you reading right now?
THE FORGOTTEN by David Baldacci. It features his latest hero, Army CID operative, John Puller, who is trying to solve the murder of his aunt and stumbles into the sleazy world of people-trafficking. Authors like Baldacci rarely let you down when it comes to a page-turner.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
That would be cruel. I’m totally split between both, but if push came to shove I would have to opt for writing. When I got my first portable typewriter, some forty years ago, I haven’t stopped dancing my fingers across a keyboard ever since. I can’t imagine an existence without the ‘fix’ that creating words on a page does for me.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Fast and Furious!!

Joe McCoubrey’s ABSENCE OF RULES is published by Master Koda Select Publishing.

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