While I'm much more familiar with being on the interviewer side of the discussion when it comes to crime writing and crime writers, whether for magazine or newspaper articles or hosting panels and one-on-ones at literary festivals, occasionally I find myself staring down the barrel of others' crime writing-related queries.
Recently I was contacted by journalist Kelly Andrew, who was writing a feature on 2011 Ngaio Marsh Award-winning author Paul Cleave, one of the leading lights of contemporary Kiwi crime fiction, and wanted a few comments about Cleave and New Zealand crime writing in general.
As is often the case when it comes to print features, you end up using only a fraction of what you chat about (when I do interviews with crime writers, I quite often have 3,000-5,000 words of great quotes and discussion, for an 800-word, 1,000-word, or if I'm lucky, 1,500-word article). So I, as it should be, feature very little in Kelly's eventual article, which was published in the Herald on Sunday yesterday.
It's an interesting article, looking at Cleave's continued and increasing popularity overseas, while he remains somewhat overlooked back home. It's a topic I've mused on many times, but I must say, I'd never thought of Cleave as "NZ's answer to David Hasselhoff", which is how the article opens. Maybe Paul should turn up to his next crime writing event in red bathers and sunglasses (though he'd probably prefer the Michael Knight persona)...
You can read the full feature online, for free, on the Herald on Sunday website here. Take a squiz - it's worth a read. And it's great to see some more good coverage of our crime writers in a major local newspaper. I'm travelling at the moment, but may post my full interview with Kelly later, sharing some general thoughts and comments I made to kickstart some further discussion about New Zealand crime writing.