MY BOOKS by an author who would love to see his own novels burnt and never ever re-reads…First lines, first books, first literary loves….and more
I have been writing crime as PD Viner (www.pdviner.com) and have two novels; The Last Winter of Dani Lancing (see Bridget’s review at the bottom of this post) andSummer of Ghosts published by Ebury. I also have two crime novellas: The Sad Man and The Ugly Man, both as ebooks. I am now branching out in a new direction as I am writing a children’s book. I have developed the idea with my ten year old daughter and head the first few chapters to her school and they loved it, so we shall see what happens from here. What’s the first book you remember reading (or being read to you)?When I was seven my family went on it’s first overseas holiday, we flew to Spain and I remember vividly the excitement of being in an airport for the first time. My parents bought me a book in the terminal for me to read on the plane. It was Asterix in Spain and I loved it, the clever word play was hilarious and the energy in the illustrations was so appealing.
Can you name a book from your childhood that made a big impact on you?
I recall reading during breaktime at school, standing up in the top playground buried in a book. I was reading William Goldman’s Marathon Man and there is a massive reveal in the book about the character Janey. I was totally side swiped by the reveal and simultaneously shocked and excited. It is still the greatest twist I have ever read.
What book are you reading right now? I’m reading The Ask and the Answer, the second part of the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness. The first part, The knife of never letting go, was fantastic and I had to dive straight into book two.
Burning books is wrong. What contemporary book (written in the last 30 years) would you save from a bonfire? I wouldn’t. If someone is crazy enough to burn books then let them, especially if they’ve bought the book first. I personally would love to see my books burned, especially by some crazy religious group – it would boost my sales incredibly.
First line: Americans are ruining the English langugae. I know this because people got out of their way to tell me so.
Favourite poetry book? Or poem? I bought my wife the love poems of Pablo Neruda many years ago and I think they are beautiful and hold a special place in my heart. Though it is the poems of Edward Gorey (alongside his incredible pictures) that have given me the most pleasure over the years.
And a short story that has lived with you ever since you first read it? I do love a great short story and am a big fan of Laurie Moore, and there is a collection by Michael Chabon entitled Werewolves in their youth that I love but the short story that has burned in my heart for years is Why don’t you dance? by Raymond Carver who is the greatest short story writer of all.
What book (if any) have you found yourself re-reading over the years? I don’t re-read. In part because life is too short and there are so many great books to fit in, but also because it won’t be the same. I might not even like the book now after twenty years, it don’t want to spoil the memories.
Finally, what do you prefer: a real book with pages that move, an ebook, an audio device? I love a hardback book but don’t generally care about mass market paperbacks and am just as happy to read on an ebook reader. If a publisher wants to me own a physical thing it has to be beautiful.
An extraordinary book – almost if The Lovely Bones crashed into A Barbara Vine novel. If that puts you off, I mean the best elements of The Lovely Bones combined with the emotional truth and intensity of the very best psychological crime fiction. It is a page turner and an easy read, and emotionally intelligent, and full of gritty realism and a ghost I would like to spend time with… It is also heartbreakingly sad with flashes of humour that makes the dark darker…and makes me hungry for more.
Want to take part in MY BOOKS? Drop me a line at bridgetwhelan AT hotmail.co.uk if you would like to contribute. Please put MY BOOKS in the subject line.