Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Down These Green Streets - Launch party

There are moments in a writer's life when all the head-scratching, table-thumping and grimacing at the calendar (as deadline looms) that it all seems worthwhile. They are nearly always in the pub ... as the recent launch of Down These Green Streets proved.

The scene: Dublin's Turk's Head. Yes, there was a proper bookstore launch where Eoin Colfer opened the proceedings with a laugh-riot speech, but it's the pub-scene we're most interested in at Pusher Towers.

So, there was the ever-a-delight-to-hang-with Dec Burke sharing a pint and a gag with the Guvnor Ken Bruen on one side of the room and myself and Gerard Brennan at the other - Ger probing me for potential liable suit re' my DI Rob Brennan. (No Ger, you're much better looking than Rob, as you know!).

Mr Bruen was on particularly sparkling form, dropping a request for the assembled to reveal their life's regrets! Don't think I'm detailing those here, what goes on in the Turk's Head stays at the Turk's Head. Particularly nice to see Ken again, though, because the last time we met (the London launch of Cross) I was an unpublished wannabee and he couldn't be more effusive in his encouragement. Hollywood success hasn't changed him a bit. Luvly fellah.

Eoin Colfer kept the laughter going round the table, and even managed to buy a copy of Truth Lies Bleeding on his i-Phone so if going on the piss being tax deductable wasn't enough, that made the night for me.

But enough of this gonzo nonsense; it was work, for crying out loud! Down These Green Streets is a collection of Irish writing - the Celts are leading a charge around the globe at the moment, so we need more of this kind of thing. The book is a detailed collection of essays, interviews and short fiction. The contributors include big-hitters like John Connolly, John Banville, Ken Bruen and Alex Barclay. I haven't got my reviewer's copy yet (NB to editor) so that's about as detailed as I can get here, but there is an extensive description on the publisher's website:

"Is crime fiction now t he m o st relevant and valid form of writing to deal with Modern Ireland in terms of the post-‘Troubles’ landscape and the post-Celtic Tiger economic boom? As the first book written on this topic, Down These Green Streets is both

detailed and diverse, with each chapter providing a new author’s approach and discussing a different aspect of Irish Crime Writing. For example, Declan Hughes focuses on the influence of American culture on Irish crime writing, while Tana French reflects on crime fiction and the post-Celtic Tiger Irish identity. Down These Green Streets is for both the academic and the general reader. It also contains an introduction written by the influential Michael Connelly, and an afterword from Fintan O’Toole."

If that isn't enough to have you reaching for the visatabulous, there's a foreword by Michael Connelly; an introduction by Professor Ian Ross of Trinity College, and an afterword by Fintan O’Toole.

Down These Green Streets contributors are: Adrian McKinty, Alan Glynn, Alex Barclay, Andrew Nugent, Arlene Hunt, Brian McGilloway, Colin Bateman, Cora Harrison, Cormac Millar, Declan Hughes, Eoin McNamee, Gene Kerrigan, Gerard Brennan, Gerry O’Carroll, Ingrid Black, Jane Casey, John Banville, John Connolly, Ken Bruen, Kevin McCarthy, Neville Thompson, Niamh O’Connor, Paul Charles, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Sara Keating, Stuart Neville, Tana French, Tara Brady.

Down These Green Streets is published by Liberties Press, priced 19.99 Euros.