Blame it on the prison exhibit I visited in Paris at the Carnavalet museum. The haunting scenes of the plague ridden prison Saint Lazare, the thick walls of La Roquette an infamous women's prison, the storming of the Bastille... But with all the crimes my blogmates commit - on the page - or the stage I feel like grilling the crew, So time to take them out of their cells into a dark, dank room for questioning about their life of crime. Shine the lights, dole out cigarettes and get them to talk.
Here goes, it’s rubber-hose time, folks: a rapid-fire Q&A for those shifty-looking usual suspects ... Leighton, Tim, and Dan...
Cara - What crime novel would you most like to have written?
Dan - The Martin Beck series by Maj Slowall and Per Wahloo. Or The Goodbye Look by Ross Macdonald. Or...you get the picture Tim - Crime and Punishment Leighton - It’s like asking me what is my favorite dish.
Cara - What fictional character would you most like to have been? Dan - Lew Archer. can't imagine anyone more different to me. Tim - Travis McGee because he lived on a boat and never heard of political correctness. Leighton - The narrator in Joseph Conrad’s story, Youth.
Cara - Who do you read for guilty pleasures? Dan - I read a heap of sport books for guilty pleasure. In the world of crime, it's all pleasure, none guilty. Tim - Entertainment Weekly, in the continuing hope that I'm in it. Leighton - How can you feel guilty about any kind of reading?
Cara - Most satisfying writing moment? Dan - Seeing someone on the London Underground reading my book. Tim - When I realize, usually about 15,000 words in, what I'm actually writing about. To choose a single moment, the day the carton filled with copies of my first book, THE FOUR LAST THINGS, arrived on my doorstep. Leighton - Every time I surprise myself with one of those where the hell did that come from? moments
Cara - Do tell, the best Brazilian, British, Thai, Icelandic, South African crime novel is …? Dan - Best British crime novel...too many to mention. My favourite? King Solom's Carpet by Barbara Vine (which only recently read thanks to a recommendation from a MiE follower!) Tim -Leighton Gage, LAST GASP; British, Dan Waddell, THE BLOOD DETECTIVE; Icelandic, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, MY SOUL TO TAKE; South African, THE SECOND DEATH OF GOODLUCK TINUBU. Cara - what, nothing in France? Leighton - I have an equal love for many different crime novels.
Cara - What Brazilian, British, Thai, Icelandic, South African crime novel would make a great movie...apart from yours? Dan - Cathi Unsworth's The Not Knowing would make a great film Tim - Oh, boy, I don't know. I could really see Leighton's BURIED STRANGERS when I was reading it. Leighton - Patricia Melo’s In Praise of Lies.
Cara - Worst / best thing about being a writer? Dan - Worst - having to write. Best - having to write Tim - Worst -- Spending a year managing a daydream without any idea at all whether it's any good. Best -- Looking back on a book and seeing something I got right -- Chapter 11 in my new one, the best chapter I ever wrote. Leighton - Starting a book/Finishing a book
Cara - Pitch me your next book Dan - Bad stuff happens. The past comes back to haunt the present. The police are flummoxed. Nigel Barnes steps in to save the day... Tim - What happens to an angel in Bangkok? Leighton - People are being murdered in Brazilian cities hundreds of kilometers apart. They’re of different sexes, different ages and different backgrounds. But there is a connection. Silva and his crew have to find it. The book is called Every Bitter Thing. It launches in December.
Cara - Who are you reading right now?
Dan - The last in the Martin Beck series Tim - Scott Eyman, LION OF HOLLYWOOD, the biography of Louis B. Mayer. Really compelling. Leighton Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall. Great book!
Cara - The three best words to describe your own writing are...? Dan -Pacy. Lively. Er... Tim - Bangkok espresso noir Leighton - entertaining, engrossing, accurate.