Thursday, July 17, 2014

9mm: the story so far...

As I'm looking to restart regular 9mm interviews here on Crime Watch, pressing onwards to the 100 interview mark and beyond, I thought I'd take a look at where things stand right now. Following on from the round-up post yesterday listing all of the interviewees thusfar (72 published interviews from 80+ interviews conducted), I've noted a few things.

Here's a cherry-picking of a few interesting points, taking a step back and looking at the spread of the interviews so far:

1. New Zealand-ish-ness: one of the themes of Crime Watch is highlighting great crime fiction from around the world, but particularly featuring New Zealand authors who may not get as much coverage elsewhere. With 24 Kiwi authors featured in 72 interviews, that seems to be going well!

2. The deadlier of the species: 20 of the 72 interviewees are female. Clearly I need to improve this - although I'm not gunning for 50:50 necessarily, it would be good to get it up a lot higher than 28 per cent. I do have four female authors in the next batch of interviews to be published, so that's a start at least.

3. Anzac brotherhood?: surprisingly perhaps, I've only published one 9mm interview with an Australian crime writer - the fantastic Michael Robotham (who sets his books in England). This definitely needs rectifying: there are many terrific Australian crime writers penning great crime tales set Downunder. I have interviewed Peter Corris, but not for 9mm. Given I'm now living in Sydney, I'd better get my A into G, as we'd say down this way, and pepper the upcoming instalments with some of my Ocker brothers and sisters.

4. The big two (USA and UK): 31 out of 72 interviewees are from the UK or the USA, which is pretty good I think, considering how dominant those markets are in English-language fiction. I've loved crime fiction from the UK and United States since I was a kid, but I've consciously tried to include lots of authors from other countries too in 9mm (not just New Zealanders), so I'm pretty pleased that 'the big two' only make up 43 per cent. I'm also pleased that the US interviewees cover 14 different states too, so there's some nice geographical spread beyond the traditional New York/California hot beds.

5. Geographic spread: speaking of spreading it around, geographically, I'm relatively pleased that I've covered 13 countries so far. It could be more, of course and I definitely need to make more of an effort to include Asian, African, and Latin American authors, though of course the language barrier can make that tough. Thirteen countries is a good effort, but now the bar has been set I should try to raise it. There are some great authors in translation from other countries too. If you have any recommendations, please do share them - I'd love to extend things beyond what we have covered so far.

6. Big names and lesser-knowns: Another of my goals for the series was to expose Crime Watch readers to a wider range of quality crime writers, from the brand-name bestsellers through to critically acclaimed but lesser-known established authors, and new or up and coming writers. Looking down the list of 72 interviewees, I'm pretty happy that I've achieved that. I've got to interview some hugely popular authors, as well as featuring other authors I've loved but who aren't as well known, and introduced myself to new authors too. Everyone has been so generous with their time, and patient with my questions. There is a special vibe in the wider crime fiction community, and I'm really glad and grateful to play my small part in it.


What do you think of the 9mm series so far? Are there authors you've love to see interviewed?

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