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, October 18, 2013

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?” Val McDermid

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?
ON BEULAH HEIGHT by Reginald Hill. Fascinating characters with real depth, terrific story-telling, beautifully written, it’s as much an elegy to love and loss as it is a crime novel.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Jim Hawkins, in TREASURE ISLAND. A great adventure, then coming home to a lifetime of possibilities.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels.

Most satisfying writing moment?
Solving the structural difficulties of writing TRICK OF THE DARK. Took me 12 years to figure it out.

If you could recommend one Irish crime novel, what would it be?
Alan Glynn’s WINTERLAND.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Tana French’s IN THE WOODS. That would creep me out.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst thing? Doing the accounts. Best thing? Everything else.

The pitch for your next book is …?
A skeleton is discovered in an apparently inaccessible gothic pinnacle. It’s surprising identity takes us by twists and turns to the Balkan wars and their tragic aftermath. The protagonist is a geography professor, which is a lot more exciting than it sounds!

Who are you reading right now?
Eleanor Catton, THE LUMINARIES. I loved her first novel, THE REHEARSAL. Clever structure, interesting characters, great prose.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Write. Because I can still listen, right?

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Lights on reading.

Val McDermid’s CROSS AND BURN is published by Little, Brown.

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