Put the night of March 5 in your diaries, people. That’s the launch of Crime Factory Publications, a (very) small publishing company I’ve set up with my two colleagues and friends from Crime Factory magazine, Cameron Ashley and Liam Jose.
A couple of months ago on this blog I mentioned 2012 was going to be a big year for me. In addition to several short stories coming out around the place in the next couple of months, my novel will be out as an e-book around mid-year with Snubnose Press. On top of all this, I’ve now got my own slice of the publishing business (he says, tongue firmly in cheek).
The Crime Factory crew have been discussing taking our work to the next level for a while now. Several factors drove the decision to finally bite the bullet.
First and foremost, nine issues of Crime Factory magazine (of which I’ve been on board for the last four) have given us contacts and access to quality crime fiction from great writers. We don’t always make the most of this and push the great writing we get as much as possible. Starting our own outfit is one way to reverse this situation. We also wanted to raise the profile of the magazine here in Australia where, in comparison to the US, we’re pretty much unknown.
Second, technology such as e-books and print on demand makes it possible for very small players like us to get material out there, even if it’s only to a niche audience.
Third, while there’s some great Australian crime fiction being published, the local scene is always not exactly bursting with diversity and genre fiction still very much plays second fiddle to capital ‘L’ literature, including in crime writing.
You’ve heard me bemoan the state of affairs on this blog many times. There’s no need to do it again.
Fourth, the three of us had this crazy feeling it might be the right time to do this, that we could pull it off. We reckon, just maybe, there’s a local audience for the crime fiction we like, stuff that’s a bit darker and different to much of the crime fiction currently published.
If that sounds naive or arrogant I don’t mean it to. All I am saying is that rather than sit around and analyse or complain we figured it’s a more productive use of our time to get out there and do something different.
In other words, it was time to put up or shut up.
Over the last few months we’ve put together a new website and a brand spanking new logo which adorns this post. We have also put together an awesome night of entertainment on March 5.
On hand to help us launch Crime Factory Publications will be Edger Award winning author Megan Abbott (you can see my previous raves about her work on this blog here and here) and acclaimed Irish thriller writer Adrian McKinty. I reviewed McKinty’s book, Falling Glass, last year on this blog. I’ve just finished his latest, The Cold Cold Ground and its every bit as good. Representing the Australian scene will be Perth-based crime writer David Whish-Wilson and author of the Simone Kirsch PI series, Leigh Redhead.
All the authors will be reading from their work and the good folks of Brunswick Bound bookstore will be on hand should anything take your fancy.
We’ll also be selling an Australian print only version of the book that came out last year through New Pulp Press in the US, Crime Factory: The First Shift. It includes stories by Ken Bruen (London Boulevard), Roger Smith (Dust Devils), Frank Bill (Crimes in Southern Indiana), Hilary Davidson (The Damage Done) and 23 others. First Shift is a great opportunity for local readers to check out the new wave of noir and hard-boiled writers in the United States who you won’t see much of in Australian bookshops.
We plan to follow this up a little later in the year with an all-Australian crime fiction anthology, Crime Factory: Hard Labour, which I’m helping edit. Although the exact line-up has yet to be finalised, so far it’s looking pretty impressive, with stories from name players such as Redhead, Helen Fitzgerald, Whish Wilson and Angela Savage, and a number of emerging writers.
We have also snagged the first ever Wyatt story by Garry Disher, ‘Wyatt’s Art’. ’Wyatt’s Art’ was originally published as ‘Cody’s Art’ in 1990 and ‘Wyatt’s Art’ in 1998, the last time it saw publication. Hard Labour will be available as an e-book and print on demand publication.
The venue on March 5 is Grumpy’s Green, 125 Smith Street, Fitzroy. Kick off is 7pm, with readings starting around 8pm.
Entry is free but you’ll have to pay for the books and booze.
Get a sitter. It’s going to be a great night and a fitting start to what’s going to be a wild ride.