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Pat Mullan's Biography

Member Info

Oct 2008

 

Pat Mullan was born in Ireland and has lived in England, Canada and the USA.  He is a graduate of St. Columb’s College, Northwestern University and the State University of New York.  Formerly a banker, he now lives in Connemara, in the west of Ireland. 

He has published articles, poetry and short stories in magazines such as Buffalo Spree, Tales of the Talisman, Writers Post Journal.  His poetry appears frequently in the Acorn E-zine of the Dublin Writers Workshop. His short story, Galway Girl, was short-listed for the WOW Awards and was published in the new WOW Magazine in Galway in April 2010It is also one of his short stories that form part of his GALWAY NOIR anthology, available on-line from iPulp Fiction.

He has two collections of poetry available on-line, Childhood Hills and Awakening.  James Dickey’s Poetry: The Religious Dimension is his elegy to Dickey and is available on-line on Amazon Kindle.

Recent work has appeared in the anthology, DUBLIN NOIR, published in the USA by Akashic Books and in Ireland and the UK by Brandon Books and again in ‘City-Pick DUBLIN’, published by Oxygen Books in 2010 to mark Dublin being chosen as UNESCO’S City of Culture for 2010.

His first novel, The Circle of Sodom, received two nominations, one for Best First Novel and one for Best Suspense Thriller, at the 2005 Love Is Murder conference in Chicago. His second novel, Blood Red Square, was published in the US in 2005 and a new edition, published in 2011, is now available on-line as a paperback and as an ebook.  His latest novels, Last Days of the Tiger and Creatures of Habit are now available on-line as ebooks on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Kobo, and elsewhere; they are also available in paperback.

He is Ireland Chair of International Thriller Writers, Inc. and he is a member of Mystery Writers of America.

 

Influences

I often want to know how someone came to write, what motivates them to 'hang in', often against all the odds. So I thought that I'd tell my story here.

MY NEED TO WRITE

I have always had a desire to write. Putting words together seems to be an innate ability. Over the years I exercised that (or maybe I should say, 'exorcised') in my business life by writing business papers and other creative documents - while my scribbled poems ended up in the 'sock drawer'. Many of those poems are now available in my collection, Childhood Hills. Some years ago I left a senior position in finance in the US and returned to live in Connemara in the west of Ireland. I had always wanted to write but I had never had the time. Of course, that was a convenient excuse. I was afraid that, if I ever sat down to write, I'd discover that I couldn't. Now that may seem to be a contradiction to you if I always had an innate ability to put words together. Contradiction or not, that's what I felt. So, I forced myself to write. I reserved three or four hours each day for writing. The weeks and months passed and one page turned into ten and ten into fifty. Soon I realized that I had written 25,000 words of my first novel and that I had created a family of characters. The new world they inhabited took over my consciousness. I stayed with it. It's a lonely pursuit and one that demands lots of fortitude and stamina. So the muse was always there with me. But I exorcised it by scribbling poems that conveyed my feelings or described an event I had witnessed. Over the years this became a kind of poetic diary. I never considered myself a poet. I still don't. When I think of poets I think of names like Yeats or Wordsworth or Seamus Heaney. When I think of American poets I think of Theodore Roethke, Galway Kinnell, W.S.Merwin, John Ashbery, James Dickey, and Dan Masterson who once told me "you can write - no doubt about it";..you have a voice that is your own and that's important. I want to help your voice confine itself to the pure statement that carries the image to the reader." I get most enjoyment from listening to a poet talk about the written work and the work in progress: why a poem was written, the spark that ignited the vision, the snatch of overheard conversation, the incident that retrieves a past memory, the choice of words and imagery, the simple scene transformed, the need to be a witness.

WRITING AND IRELAND

There's no way that one can grow up in Ireland without being surrounded by writers. Everybody writes! And, if they don't, they tell stories. The Celtic oral tradition is alive and well. When I was a little boy in our country farmhouse home, people (neighbors, friends, strangers) would come in of an evening, sit around the fire, and tell stories till the 'wee hours' of the morning. Later Irish writers: James Joyce, John McGahern, Brian Moore, Brendan Behan, Oscar Wilde, Sean O'Casey - and today there's so many, starting with my old schoolmate, Seamus Heaney, and others such as Roddy Doyle. Of course my favorite read is the thriller and I love Irish thriller writers such as Jack Higgins and Victor O'Reilly.But I must not leave out my favorite American writers and there are so many of them: Hemingway, Steinbeck, O'Connor, Clancy, James T. Farrell, and many more. I've been scared by Dean Koontz and by Stephen King and Evan Kingsbury ( whom you may know better as Robert W. Walker, author of the INSTINCT and the EDGE series ) and I've laughed out loud in bed reading Carl Hiaasen. Lately I've been reading my favorite Irish author, Ken Bruen. At College I read the great Russian writers, such as Turgenev and Tolstoy and began a whole new love affair. I suppose every writer that I read has influenced me. I believe that if one wants to (has to) write, one must read, read, read ...

Upcoming Works

I have just finished two crime thrillers, set mostly in Ireland (titled LAST DAYS OF THE TIGER and CREATURES OF HABIT )- and my agent Svetlana Pironko of AUTHOR RIGHTS AGENCY ) is selling World Rights in a two book deal. I am writing my fifth thriller at the moment - tentatively titled SCREWED.

TRIBUNAL, the opening chapter from my novel LAST DAYS OF THE TIGER, has been published (2006) in the anthology DUBLIN NOIR, edited by Ken Bruen. (published in the USA by Akashic Books and in Ireland and the UK by Brandon Books). You should be able to get DUBLIN NOIR in your local bookstore now.
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Pat Mullan’S LAST DAYS OF THE TIGER

Burnt-out lawyer Ed Burke flees New York, a failed marriage, and a high pressure career as a criminal attorney and returns home to Dublin, Europe’s most happening city.

Hand-in-hand with the new prosperity, a culture of ruthless corruption has taken root and threatens to pervade the highest levels of government in Celtic Tiger Ireland and the EU.

Ed’s new job, defending a prominent developer in a tribunal investigating the rezoning of prime residential property, draws him into the world of Ireland’s elite movers and shakers who will stop at nothing to achieve their aims. He is also drawn into a passionate affair with an old flame, Pia, now the glamorous wife of a corrupt and powerful political leader.

As his infatuation turns into love, Pia is murdered in his own bed, and Ed has no doubt that her heartless, power-hungry husband is behind this murder.

Edmund Burke’s quest to avenge Pia and free himself from a troubled past becomes an adrenaline-pumping race to save Ireland from the grip of a cabal of corrupt power brokers.

He must find his way through a tangled web of lies, deceit and murder as he matches his wits against the Machiavellian schemes of the rich, the famous and the powerful who seek to mould the future of Europe and the West.
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Pat Mullan’S CREATURES OF HABIT

Two boys flee in terror across the grounds of their boarding school, on a night when the rain slices the air like sheets of broken glass and trees bend and groan under gale-force winds. Before midnight one will die, exposing a dark world, centuries old.

Emmet Joyce rejects the school’s assertion that his son died accidentally. With a Church surrounded by scandal, cover-ups within the Church, and failures to protect children in their care, the priests who run the school no longer command the unquestioning trust of their flock.

Emmet trusts only one man to uncover the truth: his cousin, Ed Burke. But Ed is now in Florida, recovering from stress and burn-out in his New York law practice, and a failed attempt to start again in Ireland. Despite his reluctance to return to Ireland, Ed knows that he can’t refuse his family at this time of need.

So Ed Burke returns again to find that the Ireland of the twenty-first century is still the Ireland of James Joyce where ‘Christ and Caesar go hand in glove’. His quest for the truth leads him from Galway and Dublin to Boston and Rome, following a trail enmeshed in one family’s desire to occupy the chair of Peter, a desire under threat from that dark world, centuries old.

But an avenger stalks the land, one who exacts justice at the end of a rope, one who seeks revenge, not truth. Ed knows that all roads lead to Rome and he also knows that, if he is to uncover what really happened to his cousin’s son, he must protect the guilty.

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Praise for Pat Mullan's LAST DAYS OF THE TIGER

"A high-powered legal thriller chocked full of betrayal, deceit, corruption, and murder. Mullan is Ireland's answer to John Grisham, with a smattering of Ross MacDonald thrown in. LAST DAYS OF THE TIGER will make your head spin." JA Konrath, author of RUSTY NAIL

“Pat Mullan’s latest, LAST DAYS OF THE TIGER, is a razor blade down the spine. So fast-paced, expect whiplash. This is Irish noir with a hero whom you’ll want at your back in any gunfight. Grab a copy and clear your schedule!” James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of BLACK ORDER

“Pat Mullan is a natural born storyteller with a gripping, engaging style. He may just be the next big thing in Irish crime fiction.” Jason Starr, author of LIGHTS OUT

“LAST DAYS OF THE TIGER bristles with ingenuity, and a plot to kill for … this is a thriller of such high caliber that it transcends all genres … has all the Irish gifts: dizzy narrative, sly humor, and marvelous readability. It rocks!" Ken Bruen, Edgar and Macavity Award winning author of THE GUARDS.

“LAST DAYS OF THE TIGER is a tight, intelligent thriller. Author Pat Mullan blends political intrigue and murder with a unique Irish flavor that goes down smooth. His hero, Ed Burke, is striking – almost an anti-hero in some respects. To unravel the deception and save himself, Burke must test old friendships, and determine who to trust in an Ireland changed by the Celtic Tiger. Mullan writes suspense with an edge reminiscent of Bob Ludlum. An author to watch.” Cerri Ellis, Mostly Mystery Reviews

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Praise for Pat Mullan's CREATURES OF HABIT

“Creatures of Habit, the shimmer of evil…”

“There are shades of Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, and even Tom Clancy in Creatures of Habit, Pat Mullan’s powerful new novel. Set mainly in “Celtic Tiger” Ireland, the punning title displays the shimmer of evil that the novel’s hero, the all-too-human Ed Burke, senses throughout. Pederasty, madness, and murder abide in this complex and fascinating story; a story stolen by humanity’s seemingly bottomless capacity for corruption. Ed Burke is just the man to smoke it out.

This is certainly one of the most exciting, and powerful, thrillers I’ve ever read—the complex art of the thinker’s mystery. Great stuff!” E. M. SCHORB

E.M.SCHORB, award winning author and poet: winner of The Frankfurt Grand Prize in fiction for his novel, Paradise Square; 1973 International Keats Poetry Prize; Verna Emery Poetry Prize for Murderer's Day, his fourth collection of poetry (Purdue University Press). E. M. Schorb’s new novel, Fortune Island, is slated for publication in May/June 2009.

Agents

Agent's name: Svetlana Pironko
Agency: AUTHOR RIGHTS AGENCY
Street address: 20 Victoria Road, Dublin 6, IRELAND
and:
47 rue Benard 75014 Paris, FRANCE

Country: Ireland (and France)

Phone number: +353 86 822 1444

Recommended Links

Publishers

Akashic Books, Brandon Books, LBF Books, Athry House

Interests & Hobbies

My first love is art.

A picture is worth a thousand words so I am going to use very few words. Let the pictures speak for themselves. When I write I see everything in pictures; the words then follow. In art I have been captured and inspired by Miro, de Kooning, Pollock, Calder, Picasso, Chagall, Rothko, Stella, Kandinsky, Matisse - abstract expressionism, modernism, and post-modernism.

Come visit me at The SAATCHI Gallery:  http://www.saatchionline.com/patmullan