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 be nice to have written the one I’m halfway through now.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Erast Fandorin from Boris Akunin’s pre-Revolutionary Russian series. Except ideally I’d have the novels moved to somewhere with nicer weather.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Hello Magazine – I sometimes get my hair cut unnecessarily if it has a good cover. I’m very worried about Cheryl – my hairdresser thinks they’re getting back together.
Most satisfying writing moment?
When I knew THE HOLY THIEF was going to be published, I suppose. Even if I don’t really believe it still.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
THE BIG SLEEP by Raymond Chandler, on the basis his mother was Irish and he spent at least a part of his youth in Dublin. They should name a street after him, or maybe they already have.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Ronan Bennett’s ZUGZWANG – I’m not sure how they’d do the chess bits though.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Well, it’s not the worst profession in the world, but the copy-editing and proof-reading process for a novel can be a bit of a trial – after the tenth rereading, you sort of lose sight of what you liked about it in the first place. And every time you think you’ve finally put the stake into its heart, it comes back to life. A bit like a typewritten Terminator. The best thing is having a bit of a run.
The pitch for your next book is …?
Burly thirties Moscow detective uncovers nefarious shenanigans on a Soviet film set - think High Noon meets Fiddler on the Roof.
Who are you reading right now?
THE DOGS OF RIGA by Henning Mankell. I’m a bit hooked on Henning at the moment.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Well, you can’t write without reading, so I suppose it’d have to be to read. Also, if God appeared to me, I probably wouldn’t be allowed pointy things like pencils and pens, as well as being quite heavily medicated.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Quirky Soviet Noir
William Ryan’s THE HOLY THIEF is published by Mantle on May 7th.
“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “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.