Before we dive into it however, I thought I'd just quickly mention a couple of things. As many of you will be aware, down here in New Zealand our second largest city, Christchurch, suffered a huge earthquake last Saturday, causing billions of dollars worth of property and infrastructure damage. Historic buildings and homes have been lost, the University and schools closed (some temporarily, some perhaps permanently), people have been staying in shelters or with friends or neighbours, and plenty of businesses have been shut for days, at a time they were already walking an economic tight-rope thanks to the after-effects of the global financial crisis. By some absolute miracle, no one was killed - meaning that despite all the damage that will take weeks and months to repair (and some things will never be the same), long after the front-page headlines and nightly news soundbites and lead stories have ebbed, generally there is quite the feeling of 'we got lucky'.
There will be plenty of tough times ahead for the city where I went to University however, so if you would like to help, then I'd ask that you consider donating to an appeal that has been established by APN News & Media, who own several newspapers in New Zealand, including the Weekend Herald, who I have written several crime fiction related articles for.
You can go here to read more about this appeal - APN has kickstarted things with a $100,000 donation, and all funds raised will be donated to the Christchurch Mayoral Earthquake Appeal and be administered by the Red Cross, so you can be assured this is all legitimate. Please take a look and consider helping. I will put the link at the top of the sidebar for the next few weeks as well, as a reminder. Please consider helping out - long after the media stops covering the story in such depth and detail, the locals will still be feeling the effects and trying to rebuild the city and 'get back to normal'.
As many of you will know, the Canterbury earthquake also led to the cancellation earlier this week of the 2010 The Press Christchurch Writers Festival, and the postponement of the inaugural Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, which was due to be presented at a marquee event last night. I will keep you informed of what happens moving forward with the Award, as and when decisions are made. Thank you for all the messages of support, I appreciate them - but I would note that I was only a small cog in the larger Festival wheel, and that it's those based in Christchurch who put their heart and soul into Festival planning and preparation for months on end that I really feel for, especially given the tough weeks ahead for their community. Hopefully we will be able to do something with the eventual Award announcement to support the Christchurch community, when the time is right.
Onto the round-up.
Crime Watch Weekly Round-Up: In the News and on the 'Net
- Shane Gilchrist of the Otago Daily Times talks to award-winning British crime writer RJ Ellory, who has been visiting New Zealand this past week, about his long road to publication, setting his tales States-side, and the importance of character in crime writing.
- Blanche Clark of Australia's Herald-Sun interviews Val McDermid about her latest novel, TRICK OF THE DARK, and the ongoing evolution and supreme popularity of crime fiction.
- Jemima Laing of the BBC shares the recipe (and story behind) the 'Delicious Death' chocolate cake that will be part of the Agatha Christie 120th birthday celebrations.
- Linda Fort looks at the terrific line-up for the upcoming Reading Festival of Crime Writing, which kicks off today in the UK (most of the events are later this week and next weekend).
- Pablo Toledo of the Buenos Aires Herald has an interesting interview with Irish crime writer John Connolly.
- STV.tv interviews Scottish osteopath turned crime writer Caro Ramsay about "killing for a living" and her third and latest thriller DARK WATER (video interview and print article).
- Mark Smith of the Moonee Valley Leader talks to Australian crime writer PD Martin, who will be appearing at this month’s north-west Melbourne Business and Professional Women’s Club breakfast in Essendon on 24 September.
- Terence Brown of the Irish Times reviews OUR KIND OF TRAITOR by John le Carré, while also making some interesting observations about the growing 'weight' and respectability of crime and mystery writing.
- Betsy Price of The News Journal in Delaware looks at the part marketing, festivals, author tours etc play in the success of authors, using the experiences of mother and son crime writing team 'Charles Todd' as an example.