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»In my mind The Big O is set in very specific locations in and around my hometown of Sligo, but I was deliberate in not giving the story a particular setting because I was trying to suggest that crimes and their consequences are universal – i.e., that story could have taken place in any mid-sized town anywhere around the world.

Declan Burke

»Generally though I think the curious thing about the crime fiction genre is how much freedom there is within it. While readers have some pre-conceptions about what they expect from a crime novel the whole point of the genre is that they want to be surprised – so I think there’s a bit of flexibility in there for writers.«

William Ryan

Let’s talk about crime fiction: William Ryan (his new novel The Twelfth Department will be published in May 2013) in conversation with Declan Burke (latest novel The Big O out as an e-book). Read the fourth instalment of a interesting series of conversations at Shotsmag.

»Exploring difficult themes within the framework of historical fiction certainly gives me some distance. I based a scene in The Devil’s Ribbon on a shell attack in Kabul where I saw three people decapitated and where I was only maybe a metre or two from where an RPG landed. I transferred that image and those feelings of shock and despair into Hatton’s mind and world.«

D. E. Meredith

»Rules are almost always an individual’s personal preference at a particular moment in time. I don’t mind if Elmore Leonard chooses to carry every piece of dialogue with “said”, because it works for his style of writing – but he’s wrong when he says it’s an invisible word.«

William Ryan

A fine converstation: D. E. Meredith and William Ryan talking about historical crime fiction, settings and writing rules. Read more at the Shotsmag Blog.

»Something that strikes me in these books — particularly Dark Places and Gone Girl – is how singling out and digging into a person’s life, whether or not they are guilty of murder, tends to raise suspicions about that person.«

Janet Potter

»Ms. Flynn is masterful at writing plots — her books move at a delicious pace.«

Edan Lepucki

Janet Potter and Edan Lepucki found Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn to be a fun, engrossing, and thought-provoking novel. So they decided to read Flynn’s two previous novels, Sharp Objects and Dark Places, and discuss all three books via email. Read their conversation at themillions.com.