Category Archives: Ned Kelly Awards

Blackwattle Creek – a rereading of the Ned Kelly award winner 2013

BlackwattleBuried beneath the hysteria of last Saturday’s federal election was another vote, the 2013 Ned Kelly awards for Australian crime writing. It was a night of firsts: the first year e-books were eligible, the first time the Neddies have taken place in Brisbane, and the first under the umbrella of the recently formed Australian Crime Writers Association.

But for Geoffrey McGeachin, the recipient of the top award, Best Fiction, it was very much a matter of second time around. His winning book Blackwattle Creek focuses on Detective Sergeant Charlie Berlin, a policeman in fifties Melbourne. The first in the Berlin series, The Diggers Rest Hotel, took home the Neddie for best first crime fiction in 2011.

Read the rest of this piece here at the Guardian Australia’s Oz Culture Blog.

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Ghost Money makes long list for Ned Kelly crime writing awards

Ghost MoneyThe long lists for the 2013 Ned Kelly awards for Australian crime writing have been released.

My novel, Ghost Money, has made the long list for best First Fiction, along with a number of other excellent books.

Ghost Money continues to get excellent reviews. So, if you haven’t bought a copy, why not do so.

For those who don’t know the plot, here’s the pitch:

Cambodia, 1996, the long-running Khmer Rouge insurgency is fragmenting, competing factions of the coalition government scrambling to gain the upper hand. Missing in the chaos is businessman Charles Avery. Hired to find him is Vietnamese Australian ex-cop Max Quinlan.

But Avery has made dangerous enemies and Quinlan is not the only one looking. Teaming up with Heng Sarin, a local journalist, Quinlan’s search takes him from the freewheeling capital Phnom Penh to the battle scarred western borderlands. As the political temperature soars, he is slowly drawn into a mystery that plunges him into the heart of Cambodia’s bloody past.

Ghost Money is a crime nove about Cambodia in the mid-nineties, a broken country, what happens to those trapped between two periods of history, the choices they make, what they do to survive.

It’s available here in digital format for $4.99 and hard copy for $10 plus postage.… Read more

Ned Kelly Awards for Australian crime writing: the shortlist is out

The shortlist for Australia’s annual crime writing gongs, The Ned Kelly Awards, was released this week.

While the big publishers usually dominate the Neddies, although this year it’s a clean sweep. Allen and Unwin, Pan Macmillan, Harper Collins and Random House share the prizes. Make of that what you will in terms of the state of local crime writing.

The Neddies have three categories: Best First Fiction, Best Fiction and True Crime.Reflecting a wider trend in publishing, this year’s shortlist for best first crime novel has a distinct dystopian/fantasy feel to it. When We Have Wings by Claire Corbett is a PI story set in a world where people have the ability to fly and genetic engineering is rampant. Kim Westward’s The Courier’s New Bicycle is the story of a bike courier who transports contraband through the alleyways of a Melbourne set in the future. Word is it’s good and at the risk of being proven wrong I suspect it may be the one to watch.

The exception is The Cartographer by Peter Twohig, set in Melbourne in 1951 and dealing with a young boy who flees into the city’s sewers after witnessing a violent crime.

Best fiction is a three-way contest between Malcolm Knox’s The Life, J.C Burke’s Pig Boy and Barry Maitland’s Chelsea Mansions.… Read more

I’m in a book with some guy called Lawrence Block

Dark Prints Press anthology, The One That Got Away is out and it contains a story by yours truly.

You can order the book here and the digital edition will be available soon.

Based in Perth, Western Australia, Dark Prints Press is one of a growing number of small local niche publishers focusing on genre fiction. For Dark Prints, the focus is on crime and horror and sometimes the two together.

Submissions have just opened for their upcoming anthology, A Killer Among Demons, which will feature twisted tales based on a combination of paranormal/supernatural crime themes. Details are here if you’re interested.

The One That Got Away has a similarly dark premise. It contains 12 tales  about getting away with crime. My story, Two Blind Cats, features the ex-Australian army soldier, now criminal for hire, Gary Chance, who has previously appeared in other short stories I’ve penned.

There’s also a piece by my Crime Factory colleague Cameron Ashley, Ned Kelly short story award winner Zane Lovitt and many others, including some guy called Lawrence Block.

Check it out when you get a chance and support the great work being done by Dark Prints Press.

 

New crime anthologies and Ned Kelly Awards

An interesting trend that seems to be occurring parallel with the rise of e-publishing is the growing popularity of short story anthologies.

I’m told by people who know about these things, that anthologies are not popular with mainstream publishers. Well, e-publishing is now allowing small niche publishers to get their product out there.

Exhibits A and B are two upcoming crime anthologies, both of which I have stories in.

In September, the first Crime Factory anthology will be available through US indie crime publisher, New Pulp Press.

Crime Factory: The First Shift contains 28 noir stories from established and emerging authors in the US, UK, South Africa and Australia. There’s names Australian crime readers may be familiar with, including Ken Bruen (author of The White Trilogy and London Boulevard), Adrian McKinty (Falling Glass), and local writer, Leigh Redhead (Thrill City).

First Shift is also a chance for Australian audiences to check out several members of the new wave of noir writers in the United States who are relatively unknown here, including Hilary Davidson, Dave Zeltserman, Scott Wolven and Dennis Tafoya. South African writer, Roger Smith, whose upcoming book Dust Devils is on my to read list, also contributed a story.

You can pre-order Crime Factory: The First Shift here at Barns and Noble and Amazon.… Read more