Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Around the World in 80 Interviews

Back in 2010 I kickstarted a quickfire author interview series on Crime Watch, for a bit of fun in amongst the lengthier feature interviews with crime writers that I was writing for the likes of Good Reading, the Weekend Herald, and others.

I'd seen quickfire interviews on other websites, and wanted to do something a little different, so I looked through the transcript of my hour-long interview with Lee Child, who I'd interviewed for a feature in NZLawyer prior to his New Zealand visit, for questions that had arisen during our back-and-forth banter and chat that were general in nature rather than tied to his books, could be asked of other authors, but most importantly, were a little unique - not just 'where do you get ideas from?' or 'who would play your main character in a TV or film adaptation' etc.

I narrowed it down to a mix of nine questions, some silly, some standardish, some unique (I've since had several bestselling authors, who conduct hundreds of interviews, tell me one or more of the questions is something they've never ever been asked, which is kind of pleasing). So 9mm was born, with Mr Child the first instalment of a series that could be as long as a piece of string. I had no set plans for how long it would go, timewise or number of instalments.

Over the four years since, I've interviewed more than 80 crime writers all over the world, by phone, email, and in-person. I've incorporated the questions into long interviews conducted for mainstream media features, and interviewed some authors just for 9mm and Crime Watch. The pace has slowed a lot - the first fifty interviews were published within a year, and we're now only up to 72 (several are unpublished as yet).

However, the series continues. I've made a real effort to include a broad range of crime writers, both geographically and in terms of big-name bestsellers, award winners, lesser-knowns, and up-and-comers. I hope that you, the Crime Watch readers, have got something from the series. It has certainly been a lot of fun talking to all of these magnificent writers. I thought a round-up, "where we are so far" blog post might be in order, since it's been a while. So here's a wee geographic look at the interviewees.

I'd love to know some of your favourites, or who else you'd like to see featured in future. Feedback is most welcome - please leave a comment. But for now, here's the 9mm suspect list thusfar, arranged geographically. I've taken a look at the country, continent, and/or region or state of each author, just for fun and to see where there might be some gaps I should try to cover in future.

New Zealand
  • Alix Bosco - Auckland
  • Andrew Grant - Canterbury - sets books in SE Asia
  • Andrew Kelly - Auckland
  • Ben Atkins - Auckland
  • Ben Sanders - Auckland
  • Bev Robitai - Auckland
  • Blair Polly - Wellington
  • C. George Muller - Nelson
  • Cat Connor - Wellington
  • David McGill - Wellington
  • Donna Malane - Wellington
  • Harry St John - Bay of Plenty
  • Jack Eden - Wellington
  • Joan Druett - Wellington - sets books on historical high seas
  • Liam McIlvanney - Otago - sets books in Scotland/Ireland
  • Paddy Richardson - Otago
  • Paul Cleave - Canterbury
  • Roy Vaughan - Northland
  • Scott Bainbridge - Hamilton
  • Steve Malley - Canterbury
  • Vanda Symon - Otago
  • William Cook - Wellington
  • Yvonne E. Walus - Auckland/South Africa
  • Zirk van den Berg - Auckland/South Africa
  • Michael Robotham - New South Wales - sets many of his books in UK


United States

  • CJ Box - Wyoming
  • David Carnoy - New York
  • Dennis Palumbo - California
  • Faye Kellerman - California
  • Gregg Hurwitz - California
  • Jack Kerley - Alabama/Kentucky
  • James Lee Burke - Louisiana/Montana
  • Jeffery Deaver - North Carolina
  • John Hart - North Carolina
  • Joyce Yarrow - New York
  • Kathy Reichs - North Carolina/Quebec
  • Lee Child - New York - sets books all over the States
  • Lisa Gardner - New Hampshire
  • Lisa Unger - Florida
  • Mark Gimenez - Texas
  • Margot Kinberg - California
  • Michael Connelly - California
  • Michael Koryta - Indiana
  • Robert Crais - California
  • Steve Hamilton - Michigan
  • Victoria Houston - Wisconsin

Latin America

UK & Ireland
  • Craig Russell - Scotland - sets books in Germany and Scotland
  • Declan Burke - Ireland
  • John Connolly - Ireland - sets books in USA
  • Mark Billingham - England
  • Martin Edwards - England
  • PD James - England
  • Peter James - England
  • RJ Ellory - England
  • Rob Kitchin - Ireland
  • Simon Kernick - England
  • Stella Duffy - England/New Zealand
  • Stuart MacBride - Scotland
  • Val McDermid - Scotland

Continental Europe

  • none so far (although Zirk van den Berg and Yvonne E. Walus are both South African, and set their books in South Africa, although they are now both living in Auckland, New Zealand). 

What do you think of that line-up of interviewed authors? Which authors would you love to see join the rogue's gallery of 9mm here on Crime Watch? Feedback appreciated. 


  1. Craig I always enjoy your 9mm interviews. Here are some that I would like to see: Giles Blunt from Canada (his John Cardinal series is my favorite crime series that I read), Gianrico Carofiglio from Italy, Peter May (who has series set in several areas of the world) and Garry Disher, Peter Temple and Peter Corris from Australia. I could go on and on but I'll limit myself to these. Thanks so much for Crime Watch. I look forward to every installment. Dennis McGough

  2. I enjoy the short-and long interviews. Thank you for them. If you get the chance, interview Australians Garry Disher, Peter Corris and Gabrielle Lord.