#BlogTour | #GuestPost: The Day That Never Comes by Caimh McDonnell (@Caimh) @McFori_Ink

The Day That Never Comes cover.jpg“Remember those people that destroyed the economy and then cruised off on their yachts? Well guess what – someone is killing them.

Dublin is in the middle of a heat wave and tempers are running high. The Celtic Tiger is well and truly dead, activists have taken over the headquarters of a failed bank, the trial of three unscrupulous property developers teeters on the brink of collapse, and in the midst of all this, along comes a mysterious organisation hell-bent on exacting bloody vengeance in the name of the little guy. 

Paul Mulchrone doesn’t care about any of this; he has problems of his own. His newly established detective agency is about to be DOA. One of his partners won’t talk to him for very good reasons and the other has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth for no reason at all. Can he hold it together long enough to figure out what Bunny McGarry’s colourful past has to do with his present absence? 

When the law and justice no longer mean the same thing, on which side will you stand?”

The Day That Never Comes is the second book in Caimh McDonnell’s Dublin trilogy, which melds fast-paced action with a distinctly Irish acerbic wit.

Today I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Caimh McDonnell back to damppebbles as part of the blog tour for his second book in the Dublin trilogy, The Day That Never Comes.  Caimh McDonnell is no stranger to damppebbles.  He first popped by the blog back in September 2016 when A Man With One of Those Faces was released, with a brilliant guest post about comedic crime.  Then, as we were approaching the end of the year, I took a break from my blog tour reading and read A Man With One of Those Faces which I LOVED.  Click here to read my five star review if you missed it.  If my review piqued your interest then it’s only fair to mention that A Man With One of Those Faces is currently on offer at 99p/99c until Monday 30th January (Amazon UK | Amazon US) so what are you waiting for…?

So today I have another brilliant guest post from Caimh McDonnell to share with you. Without further ado, I’ll hand over to man himself…

Why Do We Hurt the Ones We Love?
Caimh McDonnell

Someone asked me recently if, as an author, you start to feel about your characters how parents feel about their kids.

My answer to that is very definitely not. Through two books, I’ve dreamt up numerous colourful and brutal ways to put my trio of central characters in harm’s way. I’ve no children myself, but if you’re doing that, I strongly suggest having a cup of tea and a very stern word with yourself.

That’s not to say you don’t develop affection for your characters, of course you do. It’s like on every author’s shoulder there’s an angel and a devil, with the devil placing these poor souls in danger and the angel hoping they pull through.

I do most of my ‘thinking stuff through’ while out on my daily walks, it is a great way to clear the head by getting away from that dreaded keyboard. It is on these epic sojourns that I’ve worked out, not just the plot of those two books, but a whole intricate backstory that might not ever make its way onto the page but is never-the-less, valuable stuff. Characters need to feel real, and every real person has defining incidents, both good and bad, lurking somewhere in their past.

For example, one of my characters is called DS Bunny McGarry. He is a fast-talking and foul-mouthed bundle of violent malevolence mixed with an inexplicably appealing level of uncouth charm. I have spent a great deal of time thinking through his history. At this point, I have such a depth of knowledge about his upbringing and the things that happened earlier in his career that if I ever need to assume a new identity to go into hiding, I’ll just become him. (Note to self: Probably shouldn’t have revealed that on a blog, Mafia hitmen might be able to Google.)

In the middle of one of my walks earlier this year, that little devil on my shoulder informed me of an incident that happened to Bunny eighteen years ago. I was so shocked that I stopped in the middle of the road and swore loudly, as did the bus driver whose way I was blocking. These days I try and keep my thinking to the part of the walk in the park, it is a lot safer.

The little red so’n’so on my shoulder got that pitchfork right under my skin that day. I must have looked like an absolute lunatic. In fact, keep that in mind next time you’re on public transport. The apparent crazy person sitting beside you talking to themselves, might just be a novelist running through how their main character spent the 1980s.

One of the biggest things I’m learning is that as a writer is that I need to always be digging to find those moments that shock and excite me, in the hope that they’ll have a similar effect on the reader. The risk of getting run over by a bus is a small price to pay. Besides, I live in Manchester – I’ve never seen one of our buses moving fast enough that it could bruise you, never mind kill you.

***

Absolutely brilliant, thanks again Caimh for writing such an interesting piece for damppebbles.  It must be strange for authors when a random reader declares their undying love for one of the their characters.  I haven’t quite got to that point yet but I do tend to get a little overexcited when writing my reviews.  As readers we all enjoy different elements of a book.  For me it’s always about the characters, closely followed by excessive amounts of blood, guts and gore!

The Day That Never Comes by Caimh McDonnell was published in the UK by McFori Ink on 23rd January 2017 and is available in paperback and eBook format | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads |

the-day-that-never-comes-blog-tour

copy-of-copy-of-smith-sons-1

caimh_press_pic2-1Caimh McDonnell is an award-winning stand-up comedian, author and writer of televisual treats. Born in Limerick and raised in Dublin, he has taken the hop across the water and now calls Manchester his home.

His writing credits include The Sarah Millican Television Programme, A League of Their Own, Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You. He also works as a children’s TV writer and was BAFTA nominated for the animated series ‘Pet Squad’ which he created. He was also a winner in the BBC’s Northern Laffs sitcom writing competition.

During his time on the British stand-up circuit, Caimh has firmly established himself as the white-haired Irishman whose name nobody can pronounce. He has brought the funny worldwide, doing stand-up tours of the Far East, the Middle East and Near East (Norwich).

Follow Caimh’s witterings on @Caimh

Advertisements

#BookReview: A Man With One of Those Faces by Caimh McDonnell (@Caimh) #McForiInk @elaineofori

51wI8sVmPFL._SY346_“Thrilling shouldn’t be this funny, funny shouldn’t be this thrilling.

The first time somebody tried to kill him was an accident.

The second time was deliberate.

Now Paul Mulchrone finds himself on the run with nobody to turn to except a nurse who has read one-too-many crime novels and a renegade copper with a penchant for violence. Together they must solve one of the most notorious crimes in Irish history . . .

. . . or else they’ll be history.”

Back in September 2016 when my husband was still in his thirties, when Honey G was nobody special (?!), when Ore Oduba was just that guy from BBC Sport and The Great British Bake Off was still on the BBC, I hosted a guest post from debut crime thriller author Caimh McDonnell to celebrate the release of A Man With One of Those Faces.  If you missed that post the first time around, or if you would like a quick recap then please click here.  It’s worth a read as Caimh writes about why he hates comedic crime, despite writing comedic crime (and being a standup comedian…go figure!).

After hosting that post I was very keen to read A Man With One of Those Faces.  It’s been sat on my Kindle for a little while now, trying to tempt me away from my reading schedule.  Then one day I thought to myself, it’s nearly Christmas which means a bookish treat is in order.  So my bookish treat to myself this year was squeezing A Man With One of Those Faces in when I should have been reading future blog tour books (whoops!).  And WHAT a treat it was!

A Man With One of Those Faces centres mainly around three characters.  Professional granny whisperer, Paul Mulchrone earns a measly living by carrying out a set number of hours of charity work as dictated by the will of his very dead, yet completely bonkers great-aunt.  Searching for the path of least resistance and being a man with one of those faces, Paul kicks off a career in granny whispering.  By visiting local hospices and hospitals Paul encounters the heroine of the story, the crime fiction obsessed Nurse Brigit Conroy who through no fault of her own, unwittingly gets Paul stabbed.  Being stabbed is only the start of it and before long Nurse Brigit and Paul are running for their lives.  DS Bunny McGarry runs the local hurling club where all the local lads, including 12 year old Paul Mulchrone played.  That was until a catastrophic falling out between Bunny and Paul, which Paul still holds a fierce grudge about.  But that doesn’t matter to Bunny; Paul is still one of his boys.  With an admirable devotion to his sport, Bunny never leaves the house without his hurley to hand and boy, he is not afraid to use it! *ouch*.

The plot was very good with some great twists but for me, this book was all about it’s enchanting cast of slightly crazy, somewhat violent characters who I ended up adoring.  I WANT to read more about these characters as I feel a real fondness and warmth for them, they’re flawed people but that adds to their crazy appeal.  Don’t get me wrong though, this book is action packed with shootings, crazy serial killers and hitmen.  Blimey, I loved it!

I found the smaller, less significant characters had an endearing pull about them too.  I don’t tend to remember the supporting cast very often but I know this lot are going to stay with me.  Such as creepy balloon man Phil, gun-wielding octogenarian Dorothy and ‘days from retirement’ but married to the job, DI Jimmy Stewart.

I fell completely in love with Paul, Nurse Brigit and Bunny and I am excited that Caimh McDonnell is about to publish book two, The Day That Never Comes. (Psst, I’m on the blog tour for TDTNC on 25th January 2017 with another brilliant guest post from Caimh; one for the diary, perhaps?)

Would I recommend this book?  I most definitely would!  It’s funny, it’s very Irish and my heart hasn’t warmed to such a unlikely bunch of heroes for a long time.  I can’t wait to read The Day That Never Comes and have Paul, Nurse Brigit and Bunny back in my life.  A very well written debut thriller that shows a real understanding of the author’s charming characters.  Superb!

Five out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an ARC of A Man With One of Those Faces.  My thanks to Elaine Ofori, McFori Ink and NetGalley for the review copy.

A Man With One of Those Faces by Caimh McDonnell was published in the UK by McFori Ink on 5th September 2016 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

Smith & Sons (11)

caimh_press_pic2Caimh McDonnell is an award-winning stand-up comedian, author and writer of televisual treats.

His writing credits include The Sarah Millican Television Programme, A League of Their Own, Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You. He also works as a children’s TV writer and was BAFTA nominated for the animated series ‘Pet Squad’ which he created. He was also a winner in the BBC’s Northern Laffs sitcom writing competition.

During his time on the British stand-up circuit, Caimh has firmly established himself as the white-haired Irishman whose name nobody can pronounce. He has brought the funny worldwide, doing stand-up tours of the Far East, the Middle East and Near East (Norwich).

His debut novel, A Man with One of Those Faces, a pacy crime thriller set in Dublin, is out now.

Connect with Caimh via Twitter @Caimh or his Facebook page.

 

#GuestPost: Caimh McDonnell, author of A Man With One of Those Faces (@Caimh)

51wI8sVmPFL._SY346_“The first time somebody tried to kill him was an accident.

The second time was deliberate.

Now Paul Muchrone finds himself on the run with nobody to turn to except a nurse who has read one-too-many crime novels and a renegade copper with a penchant for violence. Together they must solve one of the most notorious crimes in Irish history . . .

. . . or else they’ll be history.”

You know how I love a guest post (if not, I love a guest post!) so I was delighted to be asked to host a post from debut author, Caimh McDonnell.  When I found out it was a ‘darkly comic Irish crime thriller’ there was no way I was going to refuse.  I have willingly dipped my toe into this sub-genre on a couple of occasions and have always emerged with a smile on my face.  It’s not a genre I thought I would enjoy as I like blood, guts and gore in my books but it seems among the blood, guts and gore you can squeeze a giggle in there too!

Anyway, enough from me.  Over to Caimh…

The Problem with Comedic Crime

Here are two things you should know about me:

  1. I write ‘comedic crime’
  2. I hate ‘comedic crime’

To be clear, I mean the phrase and not the unfairly-maligned sub-genre.

‘Comedic crime’ is just an awful name. It doesn’t bring to mind the genius of someone like Christopher Brookmyre or Carl Hiassen does it? No, instead it inspires the image of three clowns trying to break into a pie factory with a ladder they are very bad at carrying. As stomach-churning two-word combos go, it ranks right up there with ‘improvisational dance’ and ‘experimental cooking’.

My wife and I have spent more time than I’d care to admit debating alternatives ways to describe my debut novel A Man with One of Those Faces. For a while there, she was very keen on ‘crime with a twist’ but I couldn’t get on board. I’m first and foremost an avid reader of crime fiction, as I’m guessing you are too. As we both know, all crime has a twist – or if it doesn’t, we as readers are going to get very annoyed. We love a whodunit, a howdunit or a whydunit, but none of us are big fans of a yep-as-stated-in-the-opening-chapter-that-fella-dun-it-in-the-method-determined-for-the-motives-predicted.

Intent is key – both for characters and indeed for an author. Looking back on all my obsessive consumption of the many flavours of humorous crime over the years, I think that’s the one big lesson I learnt. Crime fiction of all ilks is primarily driven by plot. Things happen, they have consequences, characters make big decisions. As an author, you have to always make sure that your plot is driving your story forward. If you allow your characters to wander away from it in order for you to just squeeze in that punchline you’ve thought up, the reader will sense it. If you aren’t taking your story seriously, why should anyone else?

The odd thing about the aversion to comedic crime amongst some readers, is that it doesn’t extend to other areas. The Sherlock TV series is brilliant but it does mix in a fair dollop of comedy with the action. Many of the works of Quentin Tarantino could be most accurately described as ‘comedic crime’ too. Nobody does that though, do they? No, in fact, come to think of it, isn’t it amazing how early in his career ‘Tarantinoesque’ became a thing? Forget awards, forget box office receipts, you know you’ve really made it when you’re an adjective. (side note: I don’t suppose anyone would fancy trying to make Caimhian a thing? No, thought not.)

So, to come back to my original point, I guess ‘comedic crime’ has an image problem, in my head at least. The next time you hear it though, do me a favour; don’t think of those three clowns trying to break into a pie factory with a ladder they’re very bad of carrying. Instead, try and picture two clowns tied up in the backseat of a car being driven at breakneck speed towards a cliff by a gun-totting madman. Where’s the third clown you ask? He’s already dead in the boot. Actions have consequences and comedy, like crime, is a very serious business.

***

Brilliant, thank you Caimh.  I am delighted to have a review copy of A Man With One of Those Faces on the #terrifyingTBR so look out for a review soon(ish)!

A Man With One of Those Faces by Caimh McDonnell was published in the UK by McFori Ink on 5th September 2016 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

Smith & Sons (11)

caimh_press_pic2Caimh McDonnell is an award-winning stand-up comedian, author and writer of televisual treats.

His writing credits include The Sarah Millican Television Programme, A League of Their Own, Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You. He also works as a children’s TV writer and was BAFTA nominated for the animated series ‘Pet Squad’ which he created. He was also a winner in the BBC’s Northern Laffs sitcom writing competition.

During his time on the British stand-up circuit, Caimh has firmly established himself as the white-haired Irishman whose name nobody can pronounce. He has brought the funny worldwide, doing stand-up tours of the Far East, the Middle East and Near East (Norwich).

His debut novel, A Man with One of Those Faces, a pacy crime thriller set in Dublin, is out now. Connect with Caimh via Twitter @Caimh or his Facebook page.