B I O
Photos from the Great Lost Bear!
Photograph: Mark Condren (download here)
John Connolly was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and has, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a dogsbody at Harrods department store in London. He studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper, to which he continues to contribute.
His first novel, Every Dead Thing, was published in 1999, and introduced the character of Charlie Parker, a former policeman hunting the killer of his wife and daughter. Dark Hollow followed in 2000. The third Parker novel, The Killing Kind, was published in 2001, with The White Road following in 2002. In 2003, John published his fifth noveland first stand-alone bookBad Men. In 2004, Nocturnes, a collection of novellas and short stories, was added to the list, and 2005 marked the publication of the fifth Charlie Parker novel, The Black Angel. John's seventh novel, The Book of Lost Things, a story about fairy stories and the power that books have to shape our world and our imaginations, was published in September 2006, followed by the next Parker novel, The Unquiet, in 2007, The Reapers, in 2008 The Lovers, in 2009, and The Whisperers, the ninth Charlie Parker novel, in 2010. The tenth Charlie Parker novel, The Burning Soul, was published in 2011, to be followed later this year by The Wrath of Angels.
In 2009, John published The Gates, his first novel for young adults. A sequel was published in 2011 as Hell's Bells in the UK and The Infernals in the United States.
John Connolly is based in Dublin but divides his time between his native city and the United States, where the Charlie Parker mysteries are set.
Q & A. . .
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I N T E R V I E W S W I T H J O H N
Photograph: Mark Condren (download here)
The Damned Interviews
"I like the idea of restoring some of that old sense of the word 'mystery', which has its roots in the spiritual and supernatural, to a genre that generally prides itself on its rationalist roots. Perhaps something of my own Catholicism plays a part too, Parker is a man seeking redemption, which is a common enough notion in mystery fiction, but that word comes freighted with a certain spiritual baggage for me, so the supernatural elements are a logical consequence of that."
Inside the Writer's Café podcast (WebTalkRadio)
Jonathan Maberry's Big, Scary Blog
"There's still a lot of conservatism in mystery fiction when it comes to mixing genres, but particularly when there's any hint of the supernatural. I think that's to do with the mystery genre's rationalist roots, but there's also an element of snobbery to it as well. I've never felt that there's a hierarchy of genres, and neither am I necessarily convinced that rationalism is an adequate response to the world, either in fiction or in life."
"I think there's a pattern to my work now, which involves alternating the Parker novels with something a little different, always written out of contract. It's a way of keeping myself, and my books, fresh, I hope."
"In this Authorlink AUDIO interview, John talks with humor and honesty, about the inner struggles of the writing process. He encourages new writers to accept the emotions that are all part of being a writer..."
Fantasy Book Critic
"I don't tend to draw upon real life at all, at least not for the plots. Elements of the world around me, or contemporary events, will inevitably creep in, but writers who make a big deal out of reality in their work are misguided, I think. Writers, like filmmakers, create a version of a version of reality: subjective reality filtered a second time through a creative imagination to produce something that's owes only a passing debt to reality..."
"Is there a greater, deeper evil at the heart of the universe, from which our own generally inferior version is drawn, like water from a well? I don't know. The books suggest that there may be. If one believes in God, then does one accept the existence of the opposite of God? I don't feel any urge or responsibility to provide answers to those questions. It's enough to raise them, and to consider them in the context of the books."
"I never signed a contract to say that I was only going to write crime novels, I didn't make that kind of pact with anybody and not every story can be told through the medium of crime fiction, and also it's nice to stretch yourself..."
"How characters emerge from my imagination and enter the books is a process that I don't really understand...."
"I have never planned a book. I don't know when I begin a book how it is going to end or what the middle section is going to be but there will always be an idea behind it..."
Isle of Man Examiner
"You need to write every day. Everyone who writes a first book is doing something else at the same time, trying to raise a family, trying to work for a living and you've got all these things on the go and it's very hard to find the time to write, you tend to fit it in here and there..."
"I quickly discovered that working is a vastly overrated activity, and if you can get away with doing as little as possible, then perhaps you should..."
"...he always looks hard and fast at the violent elements in his work, and ensures that they are integral to the plot and not for titillation..." (from a "criminal conversation" with John Connolly and Paul Johnston)
"I was curious both about the United States - a place about which I have mixed feelings, finding it both welcoming and threatening..."
"I began writing a year or so after I was taught to read. A grade school teacher would pay me money for Tarzan stories that I wrote..."