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, April 22, 2016

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?” Siobhan MacDonald

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?
REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier. An excellently woven and deeply atmospheric novel. Still resonates all these decades later.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Probably a cross between Lynda La Plante’s Jane Tennison and a rehabilitated Claire Underwood from House of Cards. Jane Tennison because she’s focused, clever, and sticks to the task in hand. She’s also pretty cool. She doesn’t flap and is decisive as those around lose their heads. Claire Underwood from House of Cards - for her comportment and delivery, not her Machiavellian machinations, fascinating though they may be.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
I try to keep up with the goings-on of the redoubtable Ross O’Carroll Kelly, aka Rosser.

Most satisfying writing moment?
Occasionally when I revisit a sentence or a passage in editing and think to myself – Oooh, did I write that? That’s really not so bad.

If you could recommend one Irish crime novel, what would it be?
Too many great Irish crime novels by female authors in particular to single just one out. “Here come the girls …” I say.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Tana French’s BROKEN HARBOUR. Moody tension all the way.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The worst thing is fretting that your work will never reach the world at large. Then being terrified when it does. The best thing is convincing yourself that you really earned another latté and a slice of carrot cake after all that typing.

The pitch for your next book is …?

There are two sides to every story, but sometimes, just sometimes, you find that there are three.

Who are you reading right now?
Anne Enright’s THE GREEN ROAD.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Come back when you’re in a better mood.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Punchy. Pacy. Pithy.

Siobhan MacDonald’s debut TWISTED RIVER is published by Penguin (US) and Canelo (UK).

Monday, April 18, 2016

One to Watch: THE LAST DAYS OF SUMMER by Vanessa Ronan

Texas-born but now living in Ireland, Vanessa Ronan publishes her debut novel THE LAST DAYS OF SUMMER (Penguin Ireland) next month. To wit:
She can forgive. They can’t forget.
  After ten years in the Huntsville State Penitentiary, Jasper Curtis returns home to live with his sister and her two daughters. Lizzie does not know who she’s letting into her home: the brother she grew up loving or the monster he became.
  Teenage Katie distrusts this strange man in their home but eleven-year-old Joanne is just intrigued by her new uncle.
  Jasper says he’s all done with trouble, but in a forgotten prairie town that knows no forgiveness, it does not take long for trouble to arrive at their door ...
  THE LAST DAYS OF SUMMER will be published on May 5th. For more on Vanessa Ronan, clickety-click here