Eoin Colfer’s entry into the world of crime fiction is the latest twist in a remarkable literary career. “Plugged” (Overlook Press) tells the story of Daniel McEvoy, an Irish soldier transplanted to New Jersey where he falls foul of drug dealers, crooked cops and an angry stripper (retired).
But Colfer is best known as the author of the internationally bestselling and much-honored Artemis Fowl books, which feature the teenage criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl II. The BBC made a hit series based on his book “Half Moon Investigations,” which was screened in 2009, and his novel “Airman” is currently in production with Image Movers for a 2011 release. His first adult novel “And Another Thing, Part 6 of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series was a worldwide bestseller in 2009 as well as being well-received critically. He’s scheduled to make several appearances in New York City from Sept. 18-20. For details, see below.
Date of birth:May 14, 1965.
Place of birth: Wexford
Children: Finn, 14, & Seán, 8.
What is your writing routine? Are there ideal conditions?
I write every day once the kids have gone to school. I go out to my office, an old stable behind the house, with a cup of coffee and put on ’80s guitar music that I am not allowed to listen to in the house, and get to work.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Firstly I tell them to try something else in case they are any good. If that fails, I try to fill them in on all the lonely hours necessary just to come up with a title that isn’t taken. I never offer encouragement; people think I am using reverse psychology, but really I am mean spirited.
Name three books that are memorable in terms of your reading pleasure.
I love everything by Roddy Doyle but my favorite of his is “A Star Called Henry,” which was so good that I made obscene phone calls to his house for a month. I also love my fellow Wexford county man Colm Toibín and I do believe his book “The Master” will survive the test of time and be seen as a masterpiece by future generations. I love a good thriller and there is no better man for that than Galway’s Ken Bruen, so check out “The Guards.”
What book are you currently reading?
I am currently half way through Dave Eggers “What is the What” and I am feeling very humble indeed. I feel a spate of obscene calls coming on. If anyone has Dave’s number I would appreciate it.
Is there a book you wish you had written?
I wish I had written Peter Pan as it is probably the perfect children’s book.
Name a book that you were pleasantly surprised by.
“The City of Bohane” by Kevin Barry, not only because it was a pleasant surprise when my mother gave it to me as a surprise present, but because it is bloody brilliant and written in a voice that felt totally new but also somehow familiar, perhaps just to Irish people. Genius.
If you could meet one author, living or dead, who would it be?
I would prefer to meet a living author; if I met a dead one, either I would be dead too or they would be a zombie. I would like to meet J.K. Rowling as she has had a big influence on my sales figures and I should buy her a Guinness.
What book changed your life?
The Lord of the Rings changed my life as I used to stand on the box set to reach the high shelf in my bedroom where my big brother hid all his “special” stuff. Without those books my development would have been severely hampered and I would not be the charmer I am today.
What is your favorite spot in Ireland?
I love the lighthouse on Hook Head in Co. Wexford. It is the oldest working lighthouse in Europe and crowds gather at the base every day just to watch the waves crash against the cliffs.
You’re Irish if…
You own more than two of the following items: “The Joshua Tree”; “The Commitments” DVD; a poster of the Corrs; a Guinness branded bottle opener; six pairs of white socks; bootleg jeans; a red setter; a Bosco VHS tape; a mate who sings “Ride On” by Christy Moore at every opportunity.