A Study in Blue

You all saw that this issue is out? The big 30th issue? Who better than Ireland's sexiest crime writer to grace the cover*? And he tolerated me long enough to let me interview him.

I cut and pasted from a former post of mine in which I cut and pasted from an interview in which the fabulously dorky Mr Connolly spoke about his first car. I've included the photo from the interview so everyone can reminisce about when Mr Connolly had dark hair.

By the by, THE LOVERS is his most accessible and fast paced novel to date. Devoured it in one long night, I did. And lovers of hard-boiled fiction overlaid with a sheen of deep psychological, Jungian heroes journey meets primal think therapy, please do pay a visit to your local independent bookseller.  Ta dah!

My First Car
John Connolly, Writer, Fashion Guru, Tsk-tsker.

What was your first car? A Volkswagen Golf. I bought it because it was cheap.

Was it new or secondhand? Very secondhand - I think it was a 1979 car and I bought it in about 1994 or 1995.

Did you know how to drive at the time? I'd passed my test by the time I bought it . . . well, I'd passed my test on about the fourth go. It was all a big misunderstanding - three big misunderstandings, actually.

What did you know about cars when you bought it? About as much as I do now: if something goes wrong, you take it to the garage and a man fixes it.

What advice did you get when you were looking for a car? It was my friend's brother's old car, so the advice I got was "Buy my brother's car. It just needs an engine." It didn't have an engine at the time. I got one from a scrapyard.

What did you pay for it? £600 - and a couple of hundred more to get it fixed up.

What impact did running a car have on your pocket? I took out a bank loan and paid it off over about six months. The impact wasn't huge, to be honest.

Was it hard to get insurance? It wasn't easy, but eventually I found an insurer who was quite happy to screw me to the wall for being under 30.

How reliable was the car? Well, it didn't have a choke, which meant that it conked out if I stopped at traffic lights. Once I got a choke put in, it was actually very reliable indeed until water started to leak into it, fogging up the windows and making it smell a bit odd. Then the heating gave out, and a rather alarming mould grew on the dashboard and steering wheel. Oh, and there was an orange fungus on the inside of the doors. It was a little ecosystem by the end.

How did it change your life? I didn't have to ask to borrow it. That was about it. Mind you, I was very fond of it. I was kind of sorry to let it go.

The longest trip you ever took in it? I followed one of the presidential candidates around the west of Ireland for a day in the car, and drove down to Kerry a couple of times. I was never worried.

 The best memory? I never had sex in it, if that's what you're asking. In fact, it was so damp you'd probably have caught a cold if you even took your coat off. I'm not sure that I had a memorable moment as such . . .

. . . and your worst memory? The rear window got broken one St Stephen's night when I was on my way to visit my then girlfriend. The evening went downhill from there.

How long did you keep it? About three years. I decided to get rid of it when I found that my trousers got damp if I sat in it for more than 10 minutes.

Did you make anything on the sale? Actually, I gave it back to the brother of the guy who sold it to me to begin with. It's still running - a neighbour is driving it.

*Photo taken by the fabulous and totally non-dorky Clair Lamb.

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