It is not the first time the Whangaparaoa author has been feted by overseas critics and awards judges, as his short stories and novelettes have previously been nominated for the Derringer Award, the Edgar Award (considered the Oscar of crime writing), and the Ellery Queen Readers Award.
Ross has been published several times in both Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, the leading journals of the best mystery short fiction from around the world. His work has also featured in other magazines, and he was included in THE BIRDHOUSE, the 2013 anthology of the best short fiction compiled by the Mystery Writers of America.
"Pussycat, Pussycat" was published in the September/October 2014 issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, and is one of five finalists in the "Best Short Story" category for the 2015 ITW Awards:
- Richard Helms – “Busting Red Heads” (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)
- Stephen Ross – “Pussycat, Pussycat” (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)
- Gigi Vernon – “Show Stopper”, MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA PRESENTS ICE COLD: TALES OF INTRIGUE FROM THE COLD WAR (Grand Central)
- Bev Vincent – “The Honey Trap”, MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA PRESENTS ICE COLD: TALES OF INTRIGUE FROM THE COLD WAR (Grand Central)
- Tim L. Williams – “The Last Wrestling Bear in West Kentucky” (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)
While Ross is from New Zealand, his tale "Pussycat, Pussycat" is set in 1960s England. The narrator sells weapons, and his good friend Pussycat comes asking about a rifle, so that he can shoot pumpkins on a stick from a hidden spot in a tree. Is he planning to shoot someone, perhaps one of The Beatles?
ITW is an organisation comprising 3,000 thriller writers from 28 countries around the world. Its directors include the likes of #1 bestselling authors Lee Child and Peter James, and its mission is to: "bestow recognition and promote the thriller genre at an innovative and superior level for and through our Active members; to provide opportunities for mentoring, education and collegiality among thriller authors and industry professionals; and to grant awards for excellence in the thriller genre".
The 2015 ITW Thriller Award winners will be announced at ThrillerFest X on 11 July 2015, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. To see the full list of ITW 2015 International Thriller Awards finalists and categories, click here.