Probably, due to my winning the Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Fiction, there might be a bit more traffic here over the next few days, so I suppose I’d better make a post! Indeed, if you haven’t heard, I’ve been added to a list of Australia’s most wonderful and exciting crime writers, paraded before my peers, and given a little statue to honour my achievement. I couldn’t be more proud of myself. Myself, and the people who had a hand in plucking me up from obscurity and making this of me – this, a fully fledged, real, actual, even slightly popular maybe, writer.
Don’t think for a moment I’ve forgotten that actually, yes, everyone and anyone who sits down to put their mind to the keys and play out their innermost stories is a fully fledged, real, actual, writer. You don’t have to be anything other than a putter-down-of-words to be a writer. I don’t believe in holding back labels, because it encourages nastiness – you mark my words. The moment anyone starts saying ‘These people are real and worthy and these people aren’t’ we’re right back in the dark ages. And when you start saying ‘these people are real’ and ‘these are real but less real’ and ‘these are on their way to being real’ you just create a class structure. Let’s not do that. At least not here.
But I suppose there are degrees of feeling these descriptors, whether they’re self-applied or not. There are times, I’ve discovered, when even the most high-flying of writers feels like a failure – feels fraudulent somehow. But there are moments, like that one in which I stood on the stage at the Brisbane Writer’s Festival and gave thanks for my Neddie, that you’re confirmed to yourself. I feel, in the wake of this honour, like I’m on the path I was meant to be on. I feel confident. I guess that’s what an award like this was designed for. To give the first-time writer a bit of a zing and to tell the long-time writer to keep going. The lovely Michael Robotham called it a ‘right of passage’ in his words before he announced my name. Unlike most rights of passage, I’ve found this one distinctly pleasant.
What news is there aside from this little gold nugget of an event in my life? Well, I’m hard at work on book three of the Bennett / Archer series, book one of which is due for release in the US in February 2015. I signed the contract for Fall (book three) just the other day at my agent’s house over coffee, while her delightful horse-shaped-dog begged me for pats. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of book two of the series, Eden, in December here in Oz. I do hope readers will enjoy Eden, because I’ve been having violent terrified conniptions of second-book-horror over it, as apparently all writers do, when they’re not on post-Neddie highs. But I’m being all zen and trying not to think about those horrors. I did it once, I can do it again… RIGHT?! I’m trying to do it for a third time here in the library right now, to the ironically loud clatter of other silent-room-workers’ keys. Sneakily, I’ve got 7k down on something exciting for you for 2016. Something outside Frank, Eden, Hades and their dark and twisted world. Still dark, twisted, and… worldy… so don’t you fret. I’m very keen to get onto it. I think it might blow your socks off. Just got to get this pesky PhD out of the way first. Oh God the friggen PhD.
Anyway. That’s it for now. I’m alive, I’m working, I feel great and I won the Ned Kelly. More news as it happens. Thanks for being here, Blogfollowers. Xx