Short, Sharp Interview: Gerald M O’Connor

benjamin-hacketPDB: Can you pitch THE ORIGINS OF BENJAMIN HACKETT in 25 words or less?

GMOC: On discovering the truth of his adoption, 18-year-old Benjamin Hackett hunts down his parents in a country determined to keep them a secret.

PDB: Which music, books, films, songs or television shows do you wish you had written?

GMOC: Music: Anything by American composer Philip Morris Glass, especially from his album Metamorphosis. The melodies and structures are simple and repetitive, and yet the mood it creates is haunting. It takes sheer genius to write such basic scores and still have profound depth to the music. He’s Hemmingway-esque in his minimalism and equally effective.

Books: Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. His novel is the perfect mix of literary and story. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read it. Apparently, it takes the him ten years to write his novels. Time well spent, in my humble opinion. Some say he has the odd opaque moment when the prose strains the eye, but the sheer ingenuity of that book continues to mesmerise me.

Films: Whenever I hear Maximus’ speech to Commodus in the Colosseum, my inner child leaps out and shrieks. If you want an example of the Hero’s Journey done to absolute perfection, then look no further than Gladiator in all its gladius waving glory.

Television: The Killing (Dutch version) Such a multi-layered show. Made me a sucker for Scandinavian Noir from the off. Sofie Gråbøl was imperious. True Detective (Season 1) would be my other must-mention. Those scriptwriters were on fire throughout. Definitely worth another weekend binge.

Songs: The entire back catalogue by the master of cool, David Bowie. His cut-up technique is intriguing to me as a writer. You’d imagine there’d be this strange randomness to his lyrics, yet no matter how awkward his word combinations read, when they gelled with his music their intent was obvious.

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

GMOC: The Origins of Benjamin Hackett. I have been told it has a certain cinematic bent. It has oodles of dialogue and a linear plot, lending itself nicely to a Big Screen production.

PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

GMOC: I imagine Paul D. Brazill and Les Edgerton could hold their own in the rarest of company. Besides these two, George Orwell and Cormac McCarthy possess much of my kindle real estate. I did flirt with Joyce for a while, but I’ve since gotten over it.

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

GMOC: Heard this one today, and as is the way with jokes, it’s now my new found favourite: “Why is it hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs? Because they always take things literally.”

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

GMOC: Ashes-to-Ashes is my favourite ‘stop-shuffle-and-repeat’ song. It’s Bowie in all his pomp and glory.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

GMOC: Today, I’m still in the afterglow of my debut, so I’m busy with promotion and blog tours and my new fascination—split-testing Facebook ads (Odd, I know, but it’s kind of like ethical gambling) Only last week, I added the final touches to my second novel, The Tanist. Now that it’s all buffed and preened, I’ve that pre-release nervousness building once more. By the end of 2017, it should be free to terrorise the world.

 PDB: Anything else?

GMOC: Only to thank the host for having me over. Love what you’ve done with the place, Paul!

gerald o connorBio: I’m a Corkman, reared in the village of Blarney. I studied dentistry in University College Cork and spent 18 years working in the UK. I live in Dublin now, along with my long-term partner, Rosemarie, and our three children. I write character-driven novels of various styles ranging from fantasy to black comedy and contemporary literature. I enjoy sci-fi films, spending time with my family and being anywhere in sight of the sea. My first novel THE ORIGINS OF BENJMAIN HACKETT was released on the 6th of February 2017 by DOWN AND OUT BOOKS. I am currently working on the final draft of my second novel THE TANIST—a Celtic thrill-fest set in the pagan world of 15th century Ireland.

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