Susi Qs – Week 8 – Derek Farrell

This week’s guest choosing from the biscuit tin of randomness (hat tip: Smash Hits 90s) is the fabulously entertaining Derek Farrell.

Derek is the author of five Danny Bird mysteries. He’s married and lives with his husband in West Sussex. They have no cats dogs goats or children, though they do have every Kylie Minogue record ever recorded. Twice.

Go for it, Derek…

Where’s the worst place you’ve been sick?


You know when Rihanna sang “We found love in a hopeless place”?

That was Croydon, that was.

Do you find it hard to take criticism?

Well nobody wants to be told they’re shit, do they? But if you’re going to put anything creative into the world you can’t be too precious about it: Some people will love it, some won’t.

My only issue is when people mix up criticism with spite, or when they post a Goodreads review that uses ten thousand words and a full card’s worth of LitCrit Bingo Buzzwords to make out like they’re excoriating the work in the pages of the TLS. Those ones are the moments when I usually have to resist saying “It’s a Genre novel, Love, and you’re a part-time bookkeeper and <checks twitter bio> ‘cat parent’ from Surbiton, so you can drop the Harold Bloom act.”

Where was your best holiday?

My best holidays ever have been in NYC. Any part of it. It’s the city I have felt most alive in, most creative in, and the place where I proposed to my husband, on the 23rd of December 2005 after a performance of Wicked. We were crossing Times Sq heading back to our apartment in Hells Kitchen, and I choked.

Asking the question ‘Will you marry me?’ might get a big fat Yes. But what if he said ‘No’? What if he laughed and said ‘Don’t be silly’?

What if I never asked and we just kept going as we were?

Well, if we literally kept going as we were we’d end up in the Hudson River.

But I digress. Frequently.

By the time I plucked up the courage, we were beyond the glittering Neon fairyworld of Times Square in a less salubrious part of town.

Which was why I proposed, he accepted, and our special place will forever be on 8th Avenue on the pavement outside a dodgy sex shop that proudly boasted a peepshow with 25c Booths (though the neon was faulty so it actually said 25c Bots).

Would you rather have four arms or four legs?

Four arms please: One to type with. One to eat with, one to thumb through my twitter feed and one to flick through the channels on TV looking for an episode of Law & Order or Murder She wrote (cos there’s ALWAYS an episode of L&O or MSW on somewhere. It’s the law innit).

Four legs would only make me feel even guiltier that I’m not doing couch to 5k or training for an iron man or something. But frankly, until they take Law & Order or Jessica Fletcher off the box there is zero chance of me ever doing either of those things.

If you were a kangaroo, what would you keep in your pouch?

I know you want me to say my phone so I can keep track of my social media and my Amazon rankings, but Kangaroos don’t have opposable thumbs, do they? So my phone would be of little use to me.

No, if I were a kangaroo, my pouch would contain my babies Kylie and Jason (Kylie the Kanga and Jason the Jumper). And possibly – as I am now approaching old age – a bag of Werther Originals.

Sum yourself up in one word

Annoying. But ultimately Loveable. <Subs: Please delete as appropriate>

Do you pair your socks?

With what? Wine choices? Yes, I often pair my sheer black knee-length business Wolfords with a crisp Riesling and a soupcon of professionalism, while my tweed-knit hiking socks really need a tannin heavy Cabernet Sauvignon and a devil-may-care attitude.

Who do you love?

My husband. My family. My friends. People I’ve never met who are fighting to make the world a better place. There are few things sacred in my world view, and I joke about a lot of things, but Love is something I don’t joke about. It’s also something I no longer shy away from saying. There’s so much darkness in the world that nowadays, if you love someone, say so.

What were you in a previous life?

Annoying. But ultimately loveable. <Subs: Please delete as appropriate>

You know how people always say that in a past life they were Cleopatra or Julius Caesar? Well I’m not sure that I was anything in a previous life, cos I’m not entirely sure that there are pre- or post- lives to be honest. But if there are, then I was probably a laundry maid who drowned in a vat of piss that she was supposed to be bleaching the sheets in.

On brand, innit.

Would you rather have no forks or no plates?

No forks, please. No forks means I will never again be able to eat cauliflower rice. And if you’ve ever had to eat cauliflower rice you will know why I have gathered together every fork in my house and cast them into the recycling bin.

Vile stuff that looks tastes and has the mouth feel of ground up polystyrene.

I can still eat chips with my fingers, spaghetti with chopsticks and a spoon, and peas with my knife (classy). But if I never again, so long as I live, have to see cauliflower rice… <rambles off grumbling words like ‘obscenity,’ ‘disgrace,’ and ‘tasteless low-carb filth’>.

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If you need more of a Derek-fix, he can be reached on twitter @derekifarrell or via his website

His books can be purchased directly from the publisher HERE

Or from Amazon