At last I can share some exciting news - young Kiwi crime writer Ben Sanders, who broke into the scene as a 20-year-old with his excellent debut THE FALLEN, has recently signed a deal with New York-based publisher MacMillan to develop a US-based crime series. Sanders (pictured in the blue shirt in the centre of the photo to the right) is a rising star on the crime writing scene, and it's fantastic to see him taking this next step. US publishing deals aren't common for antipodean writers, so a huge congratulations to Ben. Now US readers will be able to enjoy his pacy, character-fuelled storytelling.
As part of the new deal, Sanders will be writing a series set in the United States. Speaking to him recently, he was very excited about considering some various possibilities - the US is a diverse place, with different locales providing quite different backdrops for crime tales. Unfortunately this means goodbye, for now, to Sanders' characters Detective Sean Devereaux and security specialist John Hale, a terrific tag-team.
I've had the pleasure of interviewing Ben Sanders for several articles and events, from small library crowds to large audiences at major Writers Festivals. He's an intelligent and personable guy, as well as talented thriller writer. I'm really looking forward to seeing how he evolves with this new opportunity and direction.
Here are some excerpts from the official press release announcing the new deal:
You can read more about Ben Sanders here:It’s not the first time the North Shore author has beaten the odds in an industry that is defined mostly by ‘slim chances’. When his first book, The Fallen, was released, Sanders was just 20 years old, a university student and still living at home. The book was number one on the New Zealand fiction bestseller list for five consecutive weeks, and a New Zealand Listener Best Book of 2010. His follow up book, By Any Means, was a finalist for New Zealand’s Dame Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, and spent a number of weeks on New Zealand’s top-ten bestseller list. Now, at 24, Sanders is a structural engineer, still living at home (or, more accurately, living at home again) and already a veteran author with a folder of glowing press reviews and three bestsellers under his belt.That was enough to catch the eye of Brendan Deneen, Senior Editor at Thomas Dunne Books and head of MacMillan Films in New York City, who, in mid-November, approached Sanders with an invitation for the author to pitch an idea for a totally new American-based series of crime novels; a challenge Sanders took up with enthusiasm. Less than two weeks later, the publisher predicted a bright future for the rising star and offered him a multiple book contract based on Sanders’ three-page synopsis. The author is now taking an indefinite leave from his day job to commit himself full time to project.