Friday, December 17, 2010

NZ Crime Wave: feature in leading magazine

The excellent recent New Zealand Listener article on the Ngaio Marsh Award and New Zealand crime fiction is now available to be read in full online. Click on the image above to read, or here.

Comments and feedback welcome. And yes, it is me looking all strange in the photo.


  1. Finally got around to reading the article (only because it was published online and I didn't have to go buy a Listener for one article). Overall great article although the whole Alix Bosco thing still irks me and reasoning now doesn't work.

    Given that the article was written before the award was given ... I think that the accolade of winning the award would strike down all the reasons (except legal) for bearing the pseudonym in the first place.

    Bosco quoted ...

    “When novelist Stephanie Merritt recently ‘outed’ herself as crime-writer SJ Parris, she was quoted as saying: ‘From the beginning, I knew it would not be “me” writing these [crime fiction] books. They felt so new and different in flavour I wanted to give them a chance to make their own way in the world, free of any expectations created by the books I had written previously.’ I couldn’t put it better,” says Bosco, via email.

    So you have now earnt the respect of local and international judges, won a much covetted award, and an inaugural award so the books have stood on their own, free from any preconceived incumberance ... and yet you remain mysterious. After much speculation and thought, sorry but that annoys me and does not endear me to want to buy your books.

    Whilst I believe that you were happy to dabble your feet in the water anonymously and it wasn't from any sense of literary snobbery ... I think that because you just won the 100m freestyle in your first race ... it's time to drop the guise.

    However I suspect that the revelation will not be earth-shattering when it happens, and a lot of use will be headscratching and wondering what the fuss was all about.

  2. What would be interesting would be if Mr Sisterson ran another of his polls. Do people care any more about Alix Bosco? Has she / he left it too long and now just annoying their readers? Something like that. I'd vote for 'I'm over it'. A month ago I was curious. Now I just don't care who he is anymore.

  3. I am the first anon poster ... I was wondering, does it affect your opinion of the books, and /or your intention to purchase future novels under the Alix Bosco name?

    In short, is the guise harming the books?

    I think it is.

  4. Hello anonymous... I am the second anonymous poster. I would still buy the books if there was a 'coolness' factor around it, but that's not here and the whole thing just seems like a marketing strategy that has backfired. I agree with what you said earlier that now that her book has proven itself she has no reason to stay anonymous (according to her own reasoning). I really hope Mr Sisterson runs some kind of poll because whether I'm right or wrong, it would be good for Bosco to know whether what they are doing is damaging or enhancing book sales. I wonder if internationally anybody even cares.

  5. Thanks for the comments - I agree that Bosco has created an interesting dilemma for him/herself - but clearly s/he still thinks that whatever reason they have for the pseudonym is applicable, and more valuable (at least in his/her eyes) than any marketing etc they may be losing by not being as available for interviews/book signings etc.

    I will think about some more polls (including the one you suggest) in the new year. Computer access is iffy here in Vientam