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, February 18, 2014

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?” Frances di Plino

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?
Can I choose a series of them? The Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro novels of Dennis Lehane. They have everything – dark, gritty crimes and some wry humour to lighten the read.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Miss Marple. I can just see myself pottering about those lovely villages as I unearth the dark secrets of seemingly innocent residents who turn out to be the murderer next door.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
It isn’t so much who I read, but what I read. Although I am a diehard crime fan – from cosy crime to hardboiled – my secret shame is an enjoyment of the occasional chick lit novel. There, now you’ve made me confess to something that should be between me and my literary conscience!

Most satisfying writing moment?
Writing ‘The End’ on CALL IT PRETENDING, the third D.I. Paolo Storey novel. I only ever intended to write one crime novel and was convinced I didn’t have another one in me. SOMEDAY NEVER COMES, the second in the series, was aptly named. It was like running uphill carrying a ton of rocks. Every step hurt, but I forced myself to keep going. Then, as I completed CALL IT PRETENDING, I found already had the plot for book four in mind. I knew then I could trust in myself to write more.

If you could recommend one Irish crime novel, what would it be?
Sheila Bugler’s HUNTING SHADOWS – a fabulous book which I can guarantee will keep you turning the pages even when your brain is screaming out for sleep.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
My vote would go to BROKEN HARBOUR by Tana French. It’s a great storyline that would translate well onto the screen.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The damned voices in my head! They never stop. I’ve no sooner finished with one lot of characters than the next lot turn up and start having conversations.

The pitch for your next book is …?
Starved of light, food and water, how many young men will pay the ultimate price for their sins?

Who are you reading right now?
Nearly finished the latest Harlan Coben – I’m having a thing about American crime writers at the moment. I love Michael Connelly, John Lescroat and Dennis Lehane, so I devour their books as soon as they hit the shelves.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
No God would be that cruel. I’d go insane without both in my life.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Dark, devious and disturbing.

CALL IT PRETENDING by Frances di Plino is published by Crooked Cat.

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