And it was even for myself, and not part of some prank or dare. That's not to say I've never browsed the magazine before, in doctor and dentist offices, or some of Mum's copies when I was growing up (I remember a pretty cool recipe book they put out that was in our Nelson home too). Just that I'm not really the Weekly's regular target readership; that is the 1 in 4 New Zealand women who apparently read it every month, and the 1 in 2 New Zealand women that read at least one copy each year. I'm not sure how that compares to other local publications, but given that annual readership would entail at least 1 million unique New Zealand women, that's a pretty impressive reach, and must make the AWW (NZ ed) close to the most well-read publication on sale here.
So why did I 'try something new' and buy the February issue (pictured above, with newsreader Wendy Petrie on the cover). Well, my sources told me there might be an article I'd be very interested in, within its pages this month. And sure enough, flicking through to the books and review section (page 163-164 in particular), I found it: an interesting two-page interview with our own crime queen Vanda Symon, listed as the Weekly's 'Author of the Month'.
Symon is interviewed by Weekly staffer Sarah Lynch about her new book BOUND, her fascinating heroine Sam Shephard, research and writing, her family life, finding inspiration, and future plans, amongst other things. Interestingly, Lynch also asked Symon whether she saw herself "as part of a golden age of New Zealand thriller writing" - perhaps further recognition that the 'big media' in New Zealand is picking up more and more on the (small but growing) wave of top quality Kiwi crime writers we have now.
Symon said: "Now is a very exciting time to be writing crime fiction in New Zealand, with a strong core of successful crime writers and lots of emerging ones. And now we have the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, which is fantastic as it finaly rewards and gives recognition to great New Zealand crime writing."
Both Symon's BOUND and Stuart MacBride's SHATTER THE BONES are also reviewed in this issue of the Weekly (along with several non-crime books). Unfortunately the interview and reviews are not available online - however given the ubiquitous nature of the Weekly, local readers of Crime Watch should have no problem going and picking themselves up a copy this month.
After all, if I can, you can....