Sunday, November 23, 2008

Q & A with Arlene Hunt

We had the pleasure of doing an interview with Irish writer Arlene Hunt.

Q: What makes Sarah and John different from other (unofficial) PIs?
I suppose it's because neither of them are mavericks or even particularly good at what they do. But they have tenacity and they have heart and if you pare back John's insouciance and Sarah's hard front you find yourself dealing with two flawed yet ultimately decent people who are trying to make a difference.

Q: What are the biggest differences of having a PI story set in Ireland as opposed to where the genre originated, the USA?
We have a different class of criminal and law enforcement and a tighter scope with regard to geography. Also because Ireland is quite small, it's entirely feasible that people unconnected might know someone who knows somebody else.

Q: How did you get published?
I wrote my first novel and was lucky enough to gain an agent from it- although not a publishing house. But with my second book I joined Hachette.

Q: What’s next for you and Quick Investigations?
The book I am currently working on is a stand alone called Blood MOney about the illegal trade in body organs. What's next for John and Sarah and Quick? I cannot say at the moment, but there will have to be some soul searching for both of my detectives.

Q: How do you promote your books?
I have my own website and when ever a book is launched I do the usual round of promotions and signings.

Q: Do you have any favorite Sons of Spade yourself?
Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.

Q: In the last century we’ve seen new waves of PI writers, first influenced by Hammett, then Chandler, MacDonald, Parker, later Lehane. Who do you think will influence the coming generation and in what way?
I believe the reality based gritty realism of David Simon ( the wire) will have a huge influence in future books. I think we're moving away from a stylised form of novel and entering into a visceral and ultimately more tangibly violent era.

Q: Steven Hague came up with the following question: If you had to choose to write in a genre other than crime, which one would it be and why?Romantic fiction- but with a high body count.

Q: What question should we ask every PI writer we interview and what is your answer?
When faced with opening an closing your office one hundred time a day, should you A) put in a cat flap, or B) Leave the buggers outside.
Answer, B.

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