Tuesday, December 4, 2012

9mm interview with Andrew Kelly

For the 68th instalment in Crime Watch's 9mm series, I thought I would bring you another interview with a relatively new-to-me New Zealand crime writer, Andrew Kelly, who I came across recently.

Kelly is an Auckland-based IT expert who has been writing for several years, and has published two humorous crime thrillers in ebook form earlier this year, LIKE A DIAMOND and LIGHT-FINGERED LUCY. The late, great Dame Christine Cole Catley, an icon of the New Zealand literary world, said of LIKE A DIAMOND: "I have been laughing, and still am". 

You can read more about Kelly at his Smashwords author page here, but for now, he stares down the barrel of 9mm.

9MM: An interview with Andrew Kelly

Who is your favourite recurring crime fiction hero/detective?
Old Skool! Definately Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. Have the complete anthology on book paper and on my Kindle. Loved all the TV incarnations - and the film's aren't too bad either.
Otherwise ... it's an usual choice: James Bolivar DiGriz - alias 'The Stainless Steel Rat' - the anti-hero crime-fighting criminal of the series of humourous SF books by the late Harry Harrison.
What was the very first book you remember reading and really loving, and why?
One of my earliest recollections was of 'A Wizard of Earthsea' by Ursula K. Le Guin. It was pure escapism from the 'mean streets' of Hastings in the 1960's! It may've actually been one of the first books I got out on my very own library card. Ha!
Otherwise I read avidly throughout my childhood - I was a regular at the Hastings Public Library every Saturday for years.
Before your debut crime novel, what else had you written (if anything) unpublished manuscripts, short stories, articles?
Had to dig around on my C drive to answer this one. The 'earliest' complete manuscript I've still got dates from October 2001, it was entitled 'My Cup Runneth' and followed the exploits of its male protagonist as he races across Europe in search of a semi-legendary item pursued by all sorts of people. The novel may've been dodgy - but the idea was sound and I reckon I'll incorporate it into another - future - one. As is so often the case, huh?
I've had articles published - but these are to do with my working life in information security.
My first manuscript, completed in the late 90's, concerned a bunch of Russian mercenaries working in Tajikstan. Yes...
Outside of writing, and touring and promotional commitments, what do you really like to do, leisure and activity-wise?
What 'touring and promotional commitments'? Chance'd be a fine thing. Ha!
'Leisure and activity-wise'? I'm a PC gamer big-time, a reader-and-researcher, an amateur military historian, a big movie fan - and I like a glass of Sauvignon. Oh, and I've got the whole 'husband-and-father' thing going on, too!
What is one thing that visitors to your hometown should do, that isn't in the tourist brochures, or perhaps they wouldn’t initially consider?
Walk down Karangahape Road (K Road) early-ish on any given Saturday morning. It's a revelation! One of those fantastic, eclectic, slightly-edgy streets every big city needs to keep its soul. Like Cuba Street in Wellington (a favourite haunt, too).
If your life was a movie, which actor could you see playing you?
Good God, what a question! Er ... Robert De Niro? James McAvoy as a younger me? I certainly rate him ... the Scotish MI6 agent in 'Light-Fingered Lucy' is based on him 'playing' the role...
Of your books, which is your favourite, and why?
F'sure 'Light-Fingered Lucy': Lucinda DeLacy, aka 'Lucy Litefingers', internationally renowned cat burglar, and all-round glamour puss.
With her, I wondered what’d happen if I took a ‘Jane Doe’, then removed much of her sense of responsibility, remorse, and empathy. Could such a self-centred, self-preserving - and self-rationalising - character be interesting and entertaining? Could her story be humorous  would it be fun to write?
After a few pages, I decided 'Hell, yeah!'
What was your initial reaction, and how did you celebrate, when you were first accepted for publication? Or when you first saw your debut story in book form on a bookseller’s shelf?
When I 'published' my first e-book? Fantastic! A real sense of achievement  (Luckily) I decided I didn't care if it became 'the next big thing' - or not - it was just the sheer joy of seeing it 'in print'. That still hasn't left me...
 I've done what every writer has always wanted to do: Be immortal!
What is the strangest or most unusual experience you have had at a book signing, author event, or literary festival?
Not me signing anything ... but I once told Stephen R. Donaldson - the highly-successful author of the 'The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant' series - that I found his books 'a little too depressing'! He signed my copy of 'The Power that Preserves' ... but didn't look best pleased! Ha!


Thank you Andrew Kelly. We appreciate you taking the time to chat to Crime Watch


  1. Craig - As ever, a great interview, for which thanks. I love his wit!

    1. Thanks Margot! Not sure my wife shares liking my 'wit' so much though! Lol :-)