So which Julian Cope do you remember? The pop star Cope of Teardrop Explodes, the Liverpool post-punk band that enlivened Top of the Pops with reassuringly left-of-centre gems such as Treason and Reward? The solo Cope wrapped around a gravity-defying mic stand-cum-lectern as he crooned his solo hits, World Shut your Mouth and Trampolene?
“I live quite an isolated life in some ways, and it can be interesting to come out and talk to people. I don’t read reviews until some months after the books are out and have been reviewed. You have to take them as they come, don’t you?
“I love writing, and I have since I was a teenager. I’m very lucky that I enjoy it,” says Joe O’Connor. You can tell he enjoys it, too. What makes O’Connor different from some other writers, however, is not so much the profligate nature of his output, but the fact that his quality control levels have remained reasonably high throughout.
Dublin-based writer Roddy Doyle is having none of this celebrity lark; he keeps himself to himself, his business is his and his alone, and if you’re asking him for the name of his favourite restaurant you’d swear you can hear him chuckling at the absurdity of the question.