Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dunedin crime writer wins unpublished author competition

Little by little, New Zealand crime writing seems to be getting more attention, and it's great to see. Not only do we have authors like Paul Cleave, Neil Cross, Vanda Symon, Paddy Richardson, Michael Green and Alix Bosco putting out multiple titles with bigger publishing houses in recent times, but each year we also seem to have the welcome addition of more and more debut authors joining the Kiwi crime fiction ranks. Just in the past 18 months or so the likes of Lindy Kelly, Trish McCormack, Roy Vaughan, transplanted Scot Liam McIlvanney, Ben Sanders, Bosco, and Donna Malane have debuted on booksellers' shelves, amongst others.

We've also had a nice run of unpublished Kiwi crime writers getting recognition for their manuscripts; Wellingtonian Malane won the NZSA-Pindar Publishing Prize, which was open to writing of any type, Wellingtonian Bob Marriott was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger, and Aucklander Shauna Bickley won the 'romance' section of the Kinglake Publishing Unpublished Author Competition for a novel as much about crime as romance.

Now another Kiwi, Andrew Porteous of Dunedin, has won the crime section of the Kinglake competition, with his now soon-to-be-published detective story A POLITICAL AFFAIR. Porteous is an English graduate who works as a library assistant in the University of Otago science department, a former law student at Victoria University, and has written several plays over the last few years, but A POLITICAL AFFAIR was his first attempt at a novel.

The story is set in Dunedin and involves inexperienced part-Maori detective Lachlan Doyle, who finds himself investigating the murder of the Prime Minister's personal assistant. "It's a pretty local story and for it to be picked up in the UK is bizarre," said a stunned Porteous in a recent interview with the Otago Daily Times after his unexpected win in the competition was announced. "I thought it was a joke when they told me I'd won."

You can read the full Otago Daily Times article here, and another story on Porteous's success in the Wanganui Chronicle here. Good to see the New Zealand media picking up on the story.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks fantastic news. Sounds like an excellent concept for a novel. I look forward to reading it when it comes out.