Entries in Ned Kelly Awards (2)


Ned Kelly Awards

Crossing the Lines my strange little metafiction won the Ned Kelly Award for 2018!  I know!  I'm not sure if I entirely believe it yet. Every Australian crime writer dreams of winning the Ned someday, and I have been shortlisted before, but I am so glad it was Crossing the Lines they chose to honour.  I've copied my acceptance speech below.

Acceptance Speech

A couple of years ago, after having written six or seven crime novels, I set out to explore other genres.  The file I opened on my laptop was simply named "non crime novel".  Eventually it was published under the title Crossing the Lines.  The irony of the winning a Ned for my "non crime novel" is not, I assure you, lost on me.

Clearly all I've established by my attempted literary expedition to new worlds is that I am in my heart and soul a crime writer.  And here, tonight, in the company of the extraordinary and talent colleagues in the crime writing community, I can't imagine why anyone would want to be anything else.  

I do first want to pay tribute to my fellow shortlistees - Candice Fox, Anna George, Alan Carter, Iain Ryan and Gary Disher.  I am truly honoured to share a list with you.  I feel a little like I've stolen this award but considering that it's the Ned Kelly, perhaps that's appropriate.

To the ACWA who do the phenomenal job of administering the Ned, and the Ned Kelly judges who read the mountain of entries to choose from among them, thank you.  There is not a writer alive who does not wish to be read and the light shone by the Ned Kelly and awards like it serve to help readers find their way to our books.  In addition to everything else the Ned Kelly is a show of support and for that I am very grateful.

My publishers:  The brilliant and brave Poisoned Pen Press in the US, particularly Barbara Peters who first believed in this book.  My beloved Australian publishers, Pantera Press.  To be honest I'm still not sure if Pantera believed in this book or if they simply believed in me.  Either is wonderful and something for which I can only offer a writer's gratitude.

My friend and agent Jo Butler who championed this book from the beginning.

Finally my family and friends.

My poor husband who married a lawyer and found himself financially tied to a writer, who remains my first reader and my first editor.  My boys who advise me on how exactly to kill people.  My sister, Devini and my day who have been unfailing in their support.

Leith Henry and Angela Savage who kept me from giving up on this manuscript and Robert Gott who launched it into the world about a year ago now.

Crossing the Lines is in many ways my love letter to writing, to a writer's live with all its highs and lows, it absurdities and previleges.  This is very definitely a high and a privelege.  To everybody who took a chance on this strange little book, thank you with all of my heart.



Awards and Snow


Another mad month... I seem to spend my life hurtling these days.  The second half of the year is always particularly busy for me.  I usually have a book coming out and the months before are filled with all those precedent things like copy edits and cover finalisation.  

It's also award season.  Now, awards are a funny thing... a book honoured with an award is still the same collection of words and ideas that it was before the award was made.  You haven't actually achieved anything more than when you first wrote the novel... and yet there is something undeniably heartening about having your work recognised. 

I know myself that I often feel like a pretender in the writing community... like I accidentally walked into a gathering of the extraordinarily talented and erudite without the requisite security pass.  And so being included on a shortlist is for me a kind of relief... it says, they know I'm here and they want me to stay (or they're not goign to kick me out, at least).  It's silly, I know.

Anyway, the last couple of weeks have found A Murder Unmentioned on two shortlists.  The first to be announced, was the Davitt Award in which it was shortlisted for Best Adult Novel by a woman.  The award is presented annually by the Sisters in Crime Australia.  I'm joined on that shortlist by two of my very talented writing friends, Honey Brown and Malla Nunn.

A Murder Unmentioned was also shortlisted for a Ned Kelly Award in the Best Book category. It's the first time any of my books have been recognised by the Neddies, and Malla Nunn joins me on that shortlist too.

It's very cool.  And particularly lovely to know that despite being the sixth book of the series, the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries is not losing momentum.  Let the tail wag!

My other brilliant news is that I've been offered (and have accepted) the Eminent Writer in Residence Fellowship at the Museum of Australian Democracy.  For those of you who don't know, the Museum of Australian Democracy is at Old Parliament House in Canberra. Six years ago (in September in fact) when Pantera first offered me a publishing contract, they proposed driving to Batlow to meet me and sign the necessary documents. Afraid it would mean I'd have to clean the house, I suggested we gather in Canberra instead. I chose Old Parliament House as the venue because the building seemed to embody a lot of the themes about which I wanted to write... I thought it would be somehow symbolic to meet my publishers for the first time and sign a contract there (Yes I know...debut authors are ridiculously romantic about such things!) So now, I'm returning to research and begin writing what will be my thirteenth novel. There's a rather wonderful circularity about it, and despite having become a hardened veteran, I can't step into Old Parliament House without recalling the excitement and happiness of that time. I am very grateful for the selection panel's broad interpretation of the word "eminent" and to the ACT Writers' Centre and the Museum of Australian Democracy for this opportunity.  I am also in awe of the generosity of my husband, Michael, who is once again picking up the slack as I wander off to write

National Bookshop Day was spent in Jindabyne with Snowprint Bookshop who invited not only me but Michael and the boys for a wonderful booksy weekend in the mountains which included a specially created Rowland Sinclair themed game of Murder!



We returned home to more snow!  It's been a gloriously cold winter.


And of course, Give the Devil His Due was copy-edited and the cover finalised... ta da!