Arts

Arts Q&A: Crime writer Stuart Neville on AC/DC, Genesis and Tom Wolfe

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, crime writer Stuart Neville

Stuart Neville will be taking part in Trouble Is Our Business – New Stories by Irish Crime Writers as part of the Belfast Book Festival

1. When did you think about writing as a career and what were your first steps into it?

I've wanted to be a writer since I was a child, and I tried on and off over many years, usually managing a few pages of something before I realised it was hard work. Then about 12 years ago I decided if I was ever going to seriously try, then I had to get cracking.

2. Best gigs you’ve been to?

Iggy Pop at Queen’s Student’s Union in 1989, AC/DC at Wembley Stadium in 2015 and Jeff Beck at the Ulster Hall in 2009.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

AC/DC, but only if they got Brian Johnson and Phil Rudd back for the night.

4. The record you’d take to a desert island?

I’ve been listening to The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis a lot lately. It's a double album, and very complex, so that would keep me going for a while.

5. And the book?

Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe – it's long and complex.

6. Top three films?

The Apartment, Brazil and Star Wars.

7. Worst film you’ve seen?

The Devil’s Own – possibly the worst film ever made about the Northern Ireland conflict, and there are a lot of bad films about that subject.

8. Favourite authors?

James Ellroy, Dennis Lehane and Megan Abbott.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team?

I have close to zero interest in sports, and I'd struggle to name a team of any kind.

10. Ideal holiday destination?

My wife and I have friends in Barcelona, so we always enjoy a visit there. But really anywhere with some sunshine and a quiet pool.

11. Pet hate?

Rude people – the kind who drop litter, park in disabled spaces, or use their phones in the cinema.

12. What’s your favourite:

Dinner? I’m a steak obsessive, and always buy from Hannan’s in Moira.

Dessert? Ice cream – I've been making my own recently.

Drink? Good beer, particularly those from Thornbridge Brewery, such as like Jaipur.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

James, whom I sat beside on my first day at the Royal School in Armagh, way back in September 1983.

14. Is there a God?

Wait and see.

:: Stuart Neville will be taking part in Trouble Is Our Business – New Stories by Irish Crime Writers as part of the Belfast Book Festival at Belfast's Crescent Arts Centre on Saturday June 10 at 2pm. For tickets and full programme details visit Belfastbookfestival.com

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