This is a short story from my published collection, Postcard from a Pigeon and Other Stories. Since the recent anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis and an article by John Pilger in The Guardian, I decided to post my take on that historic event, as experienced through the eyes of some children in a small…Read more The Russians are coming
My first novel, TITO'S DEAD was published last month. It is set in Dublin and Sarajevo and it's a crime mystery novel. But it's also a story about human relations and how we learn to live with each other. Foreword No-one was surprised when we heard Tito was dead. For what we knew of…Read more Foreword and first Chapter to TITO’S DEAD by Dermott Hayes
Another short story from my 2012 published collection, Postcard from a Pigeon and Other Stories. This was written in response to a topic challenge in a writers' forum. Mummy won’t get out of bed. There's ice inside the kitchen window. The curtains are closed. I soaked some crusts of bread and old biscuits in…Read more Who’s at the Door?
Writing is about communicating, but what you wish to communicate, will determine how it's written. For example, if you're a historian, writing a history of World War One, you won't start with a blow by blow account of the violent death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo. No, you're more likely…Read more The Rigours of Writing…
KURT VONNEGUT JR put it very simply. Paraphrasing him, he said, 'there are no rules.' Well, he didn't quite say that but I've learned a lot about writing from Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut outlined eight basic criteria for telling a story, well. He called it 'Creative Writing 101'. Here they are... Use the time of…Read more The Rules of Writing…
IVAN Ivan hitched the collar of his black leather overcoat round his neck. He sniffed at the rain as he stepped out of his car into the gloom of the alley, lit by the flashing light of a patrol car. A sullen drop hung from the tip of his nose. Four shadowy figures stood around…Read more IVAN (a sample chapter from TITO’S DEAD, my first novel)
The comment that has surprised me most since I published my first novel, TITO'S DEAD, last week, is, 'A Crime novel? I wouldn't have seen you writing a Crime Mystery' novel.' Why not? Mystery and crime are two phenomena no-one's short of, in fiction or real life. But I think I got my love of…Read more Thoughts on the writings of James Lee Burke