Monday, March 19, 2007

Ireland's Bestselling Author Pat Mullan




Welcome to “Up Close & Personal.” For every interview I will be introducing a literary personality discussing his views and insights, as well as upcoming literary events around the world.

Today’s interview is with Pat Mullan. Mr. Mullan is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Mystery Writers of America. He lives in Ireland, and is famous for his razor-edge crime fiction. They call him the ‘John Grisham’ and Clancy of Ireland.

His first novel, The Circle of Sodom, received two nominations: one for Best First Novel and one for Best Suspense Thriller at the 2005 Love Is Murder conference in Chicago. His second novel, Blood Red Square, was published in the US (LBF Books, 2005).

'Circle of Sodom' is fast paced action that holds the reader's interest with an interesting plot full of twists and turns. His protagonist Owen MacDara is a very interesting and well developed character. It’s definitely a page-turner roller coaster ride that grips the reader's attention in the first chapter and does not let go.

His book ‘Blood Red Square’ is an action-packed compelling novel from start to finish. It’s a story of revenge, redemption, murder and international espionage.

His recent work has appeared in the anthology, Dublin Noir, published in the USA by Akashic Books and in Ireland and the UK by Brandon Books. He has published articles, poetry and short stories in magazines such as Buffalo Spree, Tales of the Talisman, Writers Post Journal. His poetry appears frequently in the Acorn E-zine of the Dublin Writers Workshop. Mr. Mullan's poetry CHILDHOOD HILLS, is now available on line.

E. I. Thank you for doing this interview with us, Pat. Would you please tell your readers why you start writing a novel? Was it your goal or your secondary interest in your life?

Pat Mullan: I’ve always written something: poetry, short stories, essays, reviews, business papers - so I suffered from the addiction. But I grew up in Ireland where everyone writes – and, if they don’t write, they tell stories. At school, literature and the English language were paramount. Later, at University in the States, I fed my addiction by reading great American and Russian writers. All of that laid a solid foundation for me.

So, even though I pursued a business career (banking), writing (and reading) found a welcome space in my life.

I love thrillers and I often thought I could write one myself. That’s why I started my first novel. But thinking and doing are two entirely different matters. Writing that first novel was tough. I almost quit a number of times. Self-doubt plagued me. But an equal measure of stubbornness kept me at it. And, as I stayed with it, I learned and improved and grew, aided by the criticism (and encouragement) of some very talented readers, editors, authors.

E. I. Do you write full time, or do you still have a day job?

Pat Mullan: These days I have the luxury of writing full time. I do other things in my life but I am not tied to the corporate business life.

E. I. Is there a real life model behind your book?

Pat Mullan: Well, I’ve just finished my third novel, THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL, and it’s set mostly in Celtic Tiger Ireland. It’s a thriller, about crime, murder, and corruption in high places. All one has to do is read the daily newspaper headlines to find the model.

E. I. Who would you say inspired you the most to write?

Pat Mullan: There’s no one person. Every writer I’ve read has inspired me.

E. I. Do you have any fascinating experiences while writing your book, or while researching for your novel?

Pat Mullan: I love to travel and I have been to most of the places in my books. I have also lived in England, Canada, USA, Korea, Japan , etc. The experiences I have had provide a rich source to plumb when I look for inspiration.

E. I. What do you love most about your writing?

Pat Mullan: The writing itself, for a start. The creative challenge, the hard work (yes, sometimes it’s the hardest job I’ve had), the ability to weave the human experience into my work. Recently I've enjoyed giving readings of my work to an international audience in our local library at Arts Week.

I also enjoy the camaraderie of a unique group of fellow writers that I've come to know at major international conferences: Thrillerfest, Left Coast Crime, Love is Murder, etc. Writing is a solitary anti-social profession and one must get out there as often as possible.

E.I. What story can your readers expect next in line for you?

Pat Mullan: Well, as I said, I’ve just finished my third novel, THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL and my agent, Svetlana Pironko of Author Rights Agency, is selling world rights to it. I’m now writing a sequel to this one, tentatively called CREATURES OF HABIT. It’s about murder and the abuse of power, set against the crimes of the priesthood in recent years. Once again, it’s centered in Ireland with settings in various places, such as Rome and the USA. Burned-out lawyer Ed Burke is the main character in both of these novels. So maybe I’m embarking on a series.

E. I. Do you write books with having them adapted to the movies in mind?

Pat Mullan: Well, it's not a premeditated act. When I write I see the scene and the people just as though it was a segment from a film. If you look at some of the reviews of my work on Amazon, that's one thing many reviewers do mention - to quote Tucker Andersen: " I agree with several reviewers who have suggested that it would make an excellent movie, since the storyline is exciting" ; John R. Linnell: "I also agree that this could make a very good movie and I actually think that the plot and story line may be better suited to the screen.";
Eithne Hannigan, Book Reviews, Connemara Life Magazine: "You know you're reading a good thriller when you start to cast it for the movie before you've even finished...It's pacey and exciting and filmic in its descriptions"

E. I. Thank you for contributing to my blog. It has been a pleasure for me to get to know you, and your work a little better. Would you like to end our interview with your advice to aspiring young writers, particularly to those who wish to write ‘thrillers’ and suspense the way you do it in your book?

Pat Mullan: Three things: 1) learn to write well (go to school, learn how to parse a sentence) 2) write, write, write 3) and more especially, read, read, read. And, never give up!

To learn more about Pat Mullan, visit him at:
Website: http://www.pmullan.com/
Pat Mullans Page: http://crimespace.ning.com/profile/patmullan
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/patmullan

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