Tuesday 29 November 2016

BBC Radio Ulster Noir

I finally got around to listening to the "Belfast Says Noir" documentary, a Marie-Louise Muir and Steven Rainey investigation. Adrian McKinty actually blogged about this over three weeks ago, but I've been to Texas and back since then (seriously, Austin, Texas). A chest infection has slowed me down a little, and I was lucky enough to catch up with it 4 days before it disappears from the BBC Listen Again service. Jump on it now. There's an impressive list of contributors too. You'll find further info about each of the Northern Irish crime writers featured on this here blog:

Stuart Neville
Adrian McKinty
Claire McGowan
Steve Cavanagh
Brian McGilloway

Quite a lot to pack into one half hour programme! There's an even longer list of established and upcoming Northern Irish crime fiction writers who weren't featured, which kind of proves one of the points Brian McGilloway made in his interview: "A rising tide lifts all the boats." I'd be delighted to see this continue to grow. The sky's the limit, after all.

I imagine it's simply a timing issue, but Steve Cavanagh didn't mention the new podcast he does with Luca Veste: Two Crime Writers and a Microphone. I listened to episode 7 of their new show today. I laugh-coughed out loud more than once. Check it out through iTunes, YouTube or whatever Android podcast app you use (I listen via BeyondPod).

If you don't happen upon this post within the next four days, you can content yourself by checking out the writers' work instead. All of the above were featured, or had an editorial role, in Belfast Noir.

I might actually listen again, again to Ulster Says Noir if I need some motivation to write, and I'll definitely continue to listen to Two Crime Writers and a Microphone. It's the podcast I've been waiting for. More on that in a future blog post.

Monday 7 November 2016

Still Playing About With Old Thoughts

I'm thinking about writing a lot lately (as a precursor to writing a lot). In order to get this blog active again, I think I'm going to post a series of links to interviews or blog posts I've done about writing. I'll either signpost it and say I still agree with what I thought then, or challenge that past version of me by calling bullshit on whatever advice I have since learned is no pearl of wisdom.

Because of yesterday's post about my dad's upcoming play, The Blue Boy, set in Omeath (just across Carlingford Lough from Warrenpoint where I've set a bunch of stories myself), I figured I'd start with this fun interview we did for Owen Quinn's Time Warriors site in the midst of The Sweety Bottle's modest success.

Click here, people!

And while I work on the second Shannon McNulty novel (one of my Warrenpoint based works), I'll be thinking about these encouraging words from my father:

"Of course he got his skills from me. I won five shillings for writing, at the age of ten. That was forty eight years ago. I can still remember the two big silver half crowns, it was a fortune in those days. Seriously, I won’t try to take any credit for Gerard’s achievements, there was too much hard work and determination on his part to get where he is now. We worked very well together I think that was quite unusual."

This might be one of my favourite writing interviews. It's like a virtual pat on the head.

Saturday 5 November 2016

Papa's Got a Brand New Play

A quick apology to Declan Burke for stealing his blog title style. Imitation and flattery, squire.

And so, you lucky people who read this, should get ready for the latest Joe Brennan play. I've been reliably informed that The Blue Boy is in production with Brassneck Theatre. I've read this play, but had no hand in editing or rewriting. This is a true blue Joe Brennan piece. And it's incredibly powerful. I really can't wait to see this one. And that's not just because I'm Joe Brennan's son. My father has been writing solo for years now, and this play is his masterpiece.

I would have bummed and blown more about The Sweety Bottle (set and writers pictured above) had I not been one of the co-writers. My braggadocios nature needs to be kept on a short leash. And I don't lie about other people's work. If I don't like it, I'll rarely attack it (unless it's a measured critical essay or something boring like that). I won't talk about it at all, really.

Anyway, I'll post a blurb for Joe Brennan's new play as and when it becomes available. Watch this space.

He has me thinking about working on another play (I've written a couple solo myself the last few years) but I really need knuckle down and finish the second book featuring my Warrenpoint detective, Shannon McNulty.

Peace, folks.