Friday, 14 September 2012

QUICK-FIX: Russel D. McLean

Right now I’m reading …

I’ve literally just closed the page on John Connolly’s WRATH OF ANGELS. I was honoured to do some of my World Tour of Scotland with John this year – he is a truly amazing writer, and this latest one blew me away. In fact it’s one of the few books to give me nightmares… That particular plaudit shared with yet another of Connolly’s, THE KILLING KIND (And yet, John himself is one of the nicest guys you could hope to meet…)


Three things I can see from my writing chair are …

A print by a Spanish artist of what looks like Raymond Chandler being sapped from behind. A bookcase, which even though it was only cleared out a few weeks ago is now once again overflowing. And the noticeboard filled with promo postcards from authors I love, and odd notes and business cards I haven’t yet actually filed.


The biggest time-suck that stops me writing is …

It’s a toss-up between DVD boxsets of American TV shows and the good ol’ Internet with all its Twitters and Facebooks. I’m very easily distracted by anyth – oooh, a shiny penny!

It might surprise you but I like reading …


Books on stuff like Neuroscience and Philosophy of Mind. I’m still gutted about the recent revelations concerning Jonah Lehrer as I absolutely adored IMAGINE. If all he did was embellish some Bob Dylan quotes, then it doesn’t necessarily destroy the rest of the book but it does make it suspect, which is a real shame as when I read it, I was absolutely enthralled by how the Imagination works. I’m also a big fan of Daniel Dennett, whose work was a huge influence on my MLitt dissertation.

The fictional character I’d most like to meet is …


Matt Scudder. Lawrence Block’s fictional PI was my guide to New York before I ever thought I’d actually go there, and even now, with the streets cleaned up and so much having changed, I still feel like he was the one introduced me to the city and I can feel where he might have hung out as I walk the streets. The sober Matt sounds like a guy who’d have some amazing stories to tell so we’d have to have a coffee together when I was back in NYC.

One writer who should be much better known is…

Just one? There are lots of people who should be better known (cheekily inserts the names of Sean Chercover, Steven Torres and Steve Hockensmith) but my money’s going on Christa Faust – her two novels featuring Angel Dare are just incredible, perfectly paced slices of crime fiction that treat their former-porn-star heroine with a degree of respect rarely afforded characters in her profession. They’re honest, brilliant, occasionally brutal novels that just sing from page one. And her other novels, such as HOODTOWN are of the kind of indescribably, lunatic joy that’s been missing from genre fiction for a long time.

:: Find out more about Russel at: www.russeldmcleanbooks.com