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'I'm still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor' - Tana French on calling Stephen King a fan, her latest novel, and The Dublin Murders

Tana French's latest novel, The Wych Elm, has earned high praise from her writing hero, Stephen King. But it's her earlier bestsellers that are being turned into a BBC series called The Dublin Murders, and as a former actor herself, she couldn't be happier, writes John Meagher

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Writer Tana French. Photo: Frank McGrath

Writer Tana French. Photo: Frank McGrath

Squad goals: Killian Scott and Sarah Greene filming the Dublin Murders

Squad goals: Killian Scott and Sarah Greene filming the Dublin Murders

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Writer Tana French. Photo: Frank McGrath

It was the sort of review that writers dream of. Earlier this year, on its US publication, Stephen King offered the highest praise to Tana French's latest book. So rapturous was King in his New York Times review of The Wych Elm that one can imagine thousands of readers buying the novel on Amazon's one-click service there and then. For the US-born Irish author, it was the stuff of fantasy. "I'm still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor," she says. "It's Stephen actual King!"

King made a huge impact on French at a very impressionable age. "I read his book, It, when I was 13, 14 - which is not the sort of age you should be reading a book like that," she says, with a chuckle. But it wasn't the door-stepper's sinister clown character that gave her the creeps. Instead, she was spooked by the idea that people's memories could be tainted and 'stolen'. "That book showed me that our minds can be vulnerable places and we can struggle to process our memories or make sense of them. Stephen King influenced me so much that it's still coming up in what I do."


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