Short, Sharp Interview: J J Toner.

J J Toner, noir nation, short sharp interviews

j j toner

PDB: Can you pitch FIND EMILY  in 25  words or less?

When the 11 year-old daughter of a high profile Dublin businesswoman is  abducted, DI Ben Jordan of the Irish police force must find her in 24 hours.
(24 words, I think)
PDB: Which music, books, films or television shows have floated your boat  recently?
The incomparable Katherine Jenkins and Matt Dean’s flute music. The slow piece “The Coolin” knocks my socks  off.
There’s a lot of good stuff on TV at the moment.
I loved The Spiral, a gritty French police series.
I’ve been watching Boardwalk Empire, too, although I find it a bit hard to follow sometimes.
And we’ve been watching reruns of Boston Legal. Great fun!
PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?
Yes. A really good book will transport a writer beyond the craft, although books like that are rare.
PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or  television?
No. I write too slowly and the process of manufacturing a plot gives me the heeby-jeebies every time. If I had to write to a deadline I’d  be a nervous wreck.
PDB: How much research goes into each book?FIND EMILIY
Lots. My next novel is set in Berlin during WWII. It took about 2  years to write, mainly because I had to do so much research. Apart from reading  historical
background stuff, I read every novel I could find set in Germany  before and during the war.
PDB: How useful or important are social media for you?
I spend about half of every day on Facebook or Twitter and I now have 2 blogs on the go, but I’m not convinced that it helps all that much. I enjoy the social interaction, though.
PDB: What’s on the cards for the rest of 2012/13?
I should be able to release the German  book early in 2013.
I’m working on the outline for a new novel and  a collection of short stories. I’m not sure if they could be  classified as Noir, although crime features in most of the  stories.

Recommended Reads

J J Toner, Jan Kozlowski, Mark West, Paul O Brien, Pearce Hansen, recommended reads, top tips

Die, You Bastard Die! – Jan Kozlowski

Claire is a tough, no-nonsense paramedic who is called back to her home town to take care of her injured father. The sordid skeletons come rattling out of the closet as Claire is forced to confront her abusive childhood. Can any book live up to a title as good as Die, You Bastard, Die!? Jan Kozlowski’s blisteringly violent  rush of grindhouse Gothic actually does. A corker!

Blood Red Turns Dollar Green by Paul O’ Brien

Lenny is a ‘mark’ A long time wrestling fan who wants ‘in’. Paul O’ Brian’s fantastic debut crime  novel opens with Lenny in a more than somewhat dazed and confused state after  being involved in a car accident.  The smartly woven story then moves backwards and forwards across the US and from the early ‘70s to the late ‘60s, and then back again, until it reaches a magnificent adrenaline pumping finale. Blood Turns Dollar Green has a rich cast of characters including a supposedly mute and South African giant, and a colourful cornucopia of gangsters and low – lifes. Brilliant.

What Gets Left Behind by Mark West

Mike returns to his home town  – the scene of a childhood tragedy – and picks at the sores of the past in Mark West’s marvellously written horror  novella. West moves the story  back to the ‘80s –when the town was being stalked by a serial killer –  and then hurls it forward as Mike attempts to confront his inner demons. Full of atmosphere and aching with a sense of nostalgia and missed opportunities, What Gets Left Behind is chilling and moving story of regret.

The Storm Giants by Pearce Hansen

Everett is a man with a dark and destructive history who is living a life that approaches normality – an artist wife, a young son, a house in the country. But then The Widow steps out of the past and forces Everett to return to his old, violent ways. Pearce Hansen is a splendid writer who has created a powerful,  strange and affective kind of urban fairy tale with oodles of hardboiled action and social commentary to boot.

Find Emily by J J Toner

D I Ben Jordan returns for a second hard-hitting outing in J J Toner’s cracking Find Emily. Jordan has handed in his notice but is called in to find a missing child, the daughter of a big shot Irish businesswoman and a former American football star . Jordan know that he has  maybe 24 hours to find the missing child and Toner breathlessly drags us along with him on his frantic search that includes encounters with the IRA, a sex traffic ring, corruption and much more. Find Emily is the sort of gritty, realistic crime thriller that would be topping the best seller lists, if there were any justice in the world.