Category Archives: Emerging Writers’ Festival

“My name’s Andrew and my first book’s coming out digitally” and other musings about e books

It’s official. The merits of digital versus print books now shares top billing with ‘why don’t mainstream Australian publishers do more genre fiction’ (they just don’t and probably won’t in the near future, so just get over it and write), as literary conversations I now try to avoid.

This was confirmed for me at an event I attended as part of the wonderful Emerging Writers’ Festival, which ended in Melbourne last week. I’d muscled in on a conversation between a book industry person (they wouldn’t tell me exactly what they did) and another emerging writer whose first novel is due out soon through one of Melbourne’s independent publishing houses.

When I told the industry person my first book was coming out through a digital only publisher in the States, they looked at me and said. “Is it going to be another of those 99 cent jobs? They just devalue you and your writing.”

When the person started to criticise digital books, I suggested they were dealing with an outmoded business model. The person then accused me of being anti-publisher.

As I’ve said on this site before, I love dead tree books. I love their smell, their feel, the companies that produce them, the shops that sell them, the whole box and dice.… Read more

Crime Factory issue 10 is out and other updates

A quick heads up that issue ten of Crime Factory is now live on the site and definitely worth checking out.

The Crime Factory team have amassed a pretty amazing line-up of talent for this issue. Dave Honeybone interviews Aussie crime writer David Owen (author of the Pufferfish series), William Boyle dissects Charle’s Willeford’s 1962 noir classic Cockfighter, James Hopwood lifts the lid on the sci-fi spy smut novels of Clyde Allison, and there’s a fantastic piece in our ‘True Crime Deposition’ section by Josh Stallings, and much more. Doing the hard yards on short fiction in this issue are Patricia Abbott, Thomas Pluck, Mark Joseph Kiewlak, Benoit Lelievre, Seamus Scanlon, Rob Loughlin and Deborah Sheldon.

I’m extremely proud to have an in-depth interview in this issue with probably the best living female noir writer currently working, if not the best full stop, Megan Abbott. I managed to steal a bit of time during Megan’s lightning visit to Melbourne for the launch of Crime Factory Publications in early March, to talk about her books, cheerleaders and the lure of noir. It’s a great interview. I know because Megan’s mum, Patti, said so.

Megan’s upcoming book is called Dare Me. It’s a coming of age noir story set in the world of competitive cheerleading and all the advance word to date is it’s fantastic.… Read more

Not another post about the crisis of the publishing industry

This is not going to be another post about the crisis in the publishing industry.

Well, not quite.

The Emerging Writers’ Festival has been running over the last week in Melbourne.

The events I attended, including the crime genre panel at the Wheeler Centre last Thursday night (more about that later), were great. Good speakers, interesting discussion, a refreshing absence of hipsterdom.

I’ll certainly be marking the week off in my diary next year and trying to attend more events.

Not surprisingly, a central theme of the proceedings was the future of publishing. Much of the discussion focused on whether it was in crisis or not.

Before going any further, it’s important to set the record straight. I love books. I mean the paper kind you can smell and touch and thumb through. I’m not going to be coy about it, I really hope the manuscript of my crime novel set in Cambodia gets to become a book made out of a dead tree.

Hopefully you’ll be able to buy it from a neighbourhood bookstore owned by someone you’re on first name terms with. Shit, I even hope I make some money off it.

I also love newspapers, party politics, Hawaiian shirts and a whole lot of other things that have an uncertain future.… Read more

Crime time at the Emerging Writers’ Festival

Melbourne’s Emerging Writers’ Festival gets underway later this week. The agenda features a mind-boggling array of writers, editors, publishers and other literary types.

This year, the Festival includes a series of panels on genre writing. Young adult, speculative fiction, romance and crime are all going to get a going over.

And guess who’s got a slot on the crime fiction panel on Thursday, June 2?

Yes, I’m going to be one of the three panel members. I’m the emerging writer (go team!).

Also on the panel is Jarad Henry, policy advisor to the Victorian police by day and author of two books, the most recent of which is the 2008 novel Blood Sunset.

The third person is veteran crime writer, Kerry Greenwood. Greenwood is the author of approximately fifty books, including the well-known series featuring the female sleuth, Phryne Fisher.

I’m sure it will be a great discussion so come along.

This is going to be my first literary panel and I have to admit I’m a little nervous, especially given the experience of my co-panelists. Carmel has asked me to send her my thoughts about being an emerging author. Hmm, I’m going to have to think about that. Any aspiring or emerging writers reading this post who’ve got ideas about what I should say, are encouraged to drop me a line.… Read more

View from the transit lounge

I spent ages trying to think of a snappy heading for this post.

In the end I settled on ‘View from the transit lounge’, because as an aspiring author it’s easy to feel like you are always stuck in the transit lounge, feverishly clutching your manuscript like a boarding pass, watching other writers start or continue their literary journeys, while you… well, whatever, you get my general drift.

Moments of doubt aside, 2011 is shaping up to be a good year for me writing-wise.

Exhibit A is this website. If it’s your first visit, welcome. If you’ve been here before, you may notice that I’ve had a bit of work done. Actually, a lot of work.

Thanks to Rowan McKnaught from Studio Skiing for doing such a high quality, reasonably priced job, and for putting up with all my technologically illiterate questions.

I started Pulp Curry in mid-2010 to publicise the manuscript for my unpublished crime novel, Cambodia Darkness and Light. While that’s still a big part of why I’m doing it, the site has taken on a life of its own, getting quite a lot of traffic and giving me the opportunity to sound off on various obsessions about crime film and writing.

Time permitting (I’ve got a day job, you know), hopefully, it’ll go onto bigger and better things.… Read more