I'm giddy with excitement to be able to introduce my guest blogger today. Ken Bruen is the author both the Jack Taylor series and the Sergeant Tom Brant series, as well as numerous other works and collaborations. Ken spent twenty-five years teaching English in Africa, Japan, S.E. Asia and South America. He's been nominated for almost every award known to crime fiction: the Edgar, the Barry, the Macavity. And he's a Shamus award-winner. Ken, like his Jack Taylor protagonist, hails from Galway, Ireland. And he is quite possibly one of the nicest, most generous people I've known.
It is my distinct honor and pleasure to have Ken Bruen here today to tell his story as only Ken can:
A Tale of Two Childhoods
As a child, I was guilty of the worst crime in the Irish calendar, I was quiet. In fact, I never spoke and those who know me now wonder if maybe, I wasn't a better gig then.
Sitting beside me was a lad named Gerry, full of vim and vigour and as they say, even then most likely to succeed
Right behind us was a lad named Sean, from the poorest area of the town and to be poor then, meant watching for the rent man on a Friday night and alerting your mother to turn off the lights so he might believe you were out
As if there was anyplace to go
And lights out didn't convince the rent man of anything, save, you hadn't paid the light bill
Gerry, two years ago, hadn't quite become the success they'd planned and the circus was in town and, a few pints to the worst, he went down at 4 in the morning to pet the tigers, as he felt they might be lonely
They gook both his arms off
It was indeed, dare I say, Tabloid fodder
He was the front page for all of a day
Got over thirty large in compensation
With the help of new friends, he blew the money in five weeks
I ran into him last year when my French translators were in town
See, see the casual way I inserted that, like I have a whole realm of translators and last year, it was the turn of The French.
I was in the bathroom and Gerry came in, ask me to am......help him relieve himself, he had refused any artificial limbs, telling me
"Them yokes never fecking work."
I'm thus, engaged, when the translator walks in and not only am I.......manhandling......but with a person who is obviously physically handicapped
My dark rep in France was........SOLID
Gerry asks me to light him and I put a cigarette between his lips, fire him up and he goes
"How are them books doing for you?"
And my heart is scalded, torn in a thousand ribbons, and I know the sheer decency he was raised in, I say
"Doing ok now, thanks."
And armless, he moves off, ensconced in a cloud of nicotine, says
"You were always a hoor for them books."
I met Sean last week, he has just been named as the third richest man in Ireland, ahead of Bono and trust me, that is serious bucks or Euros or whatever you measure in and he is just about the coldest person I've met in many an era and believe me, I've met some cold one's, most of them I'm related to, more's the Irish-ed pity, mainly through alcohol and he says
"I don't read fiction."
Right off the bat, like I'd asked him
"Do you read fiction?"
Subtext here.......do you read me?
None of that false bonhomie,
"Gee, haven't seen in twenty years, how the devil are you?"
No wonder he's rich
Reminded me of the old adage, if you want to know what god thinks of money, look who he gave it to.......Madonna?
I muttered something along the lines of
"Hasn't Ireland changed so much?"
Piss poor, you think I don't know?
And then the moment, he gives me the full on eye fuck, says
"But I've read your most recent offering."
Don't you love him?
I wait cos waiting is what, not so much what I'm best at, but I'm most accustomed to and he's used to making pronouncements and then he adds
"You need to write a bestseller."
Memo to self
Wake up, say yer prayers, have a shower, ring your child before she goes to school and am......write bestseller
I have it
When I was young, the old people, they'd see some poor afflicted soul, they'd bless themselves, utter
"There but for the grace of god........"
I think about that and guess what, when I utter that, who do you think I see as the afflicted soul?
Hint.......when I had to go to hospital after I got me jaw broken at a book launch, who came to see me, said
"I'd have brought a book but I couldn't carry it."
As I said in my review of THE GUARDS....speechless! Thank you for being a part of "Detectives Around the World" Ken! You already know you warmed my heart with your contribution. I'll be the one smiling ear to ear all day today.
Happy Reading everyone! Enjoy the other bloggers today for the third day of "Detectives Around the World."
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