Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NZ crime on TV3's Sunrise show

Slowly but surely the word is seeping out that New Zealand has something of a growing crime and thriller fiction wave. We're still adding snowflakes to what will hopefully become a snowball, but every additional bit of mainstream media coverage is helpful, and another step on the road towards readers realising that we do have some good high quality crime and thriller fiction being written right here.

Hopefully over the coming months and years this will just continue to grow and grow - after all we have a population not far off Scotland's, and look how they support, appreciate, and celebrate their own crime writing and crime writers.

This morning on TV3's Sunrise show, book reviewer Gail Woodward had a segment talking about New Zealand crime, and she looked at the debut novels of Alix Bosco (CUT & RUN) and Lindy Kelly (BOLD BLOOD). You can watch the segment here.

I think the TV3 website subeditor got a little carried away with the headline - "New Zealand murder mystery novels take crime genre by storm" - that would be nice, but isn't quite true (yet).
I think that although in future Kiwi crime writers might very well take the genre 'by storm' (we certainly have some quality writers capable of making a big impression), we're not quite there yet...

Hopefully this sort of publicity will help build the recognition of New Zealand crime and thriller writers however, as they are still pretty overlooked in the local (and international) literary world.

Thoughts? Comments?


  1. Fantastic that crime fiction got a bit of telly time.

    There are a few of us working on making crime fiction a strength of New Zealand writing. But as you said, these things take time and good publicity...

  2. I thought Gale was awful. That comment about the books thankfully not coming out of 'That Wellington School... which is a good thing' was unnecessary. So what if some of our authors need some training in the beginning? Shame on her for that. That aside she was an extremely vague reviewer. Maybe she's out of that 'Wellington school for reviewers'.

  3. I actually haven't been able to see the entire segment, because my computer here won't play Flash properly - but I could see why some would think a comment about the 'wellington school' is unnecessary.

    Having said that, i think there does appear to be a concern amongst many in the NZ books community that certain things are too dominated by 'that Wellington school', in terms of the industry being a little incestuous at times.

    There is nothing wrong with writers being trained, but if that is seen by some gatekeepers or decisionmakers as the only, best, or premier/superior entry-point into the industry (which unfortuantely is how some seem to act), then that's not a good thing.

    So anything which broadens the range of local authors, genres, books etc that Kiwi readers are exposed to (and who get to appear at festivals, awards etc) is a good thing in my mind.

    I will reserve judgment on the quality of the review/reviewer until I get to properly watch the entire thing

  4. I was surprised by a few of the reviewers comments - it sounded like she hadn't read these books at all!

  5. Following the last 'anonymous' comment - I know what you mean. She said something like 'the main character is a nurse or doctor or something'.

    Well done Gale. Maybe she was a pig farmer?

    That aside, it was excellent of her and Dymocks to try and push NZ crime fiction, and for that she deserves a pat on the back. I just wish she'd sounded like she knew what she was talking about...

  6. Finally managed to watch this (on a computer I could download Flash 10 onto). Overall a pretty good review. I agree with some comments that the reviewer could have been a bit more detailed or clear (BOLD BLOOD is set in the Top of the South Island, not 'somewhere in the Waikato etc), but overall it was a very positive news piece for Kiwi crime fiction.

    I liked the way Oliver Driver in particular seemed quite keen on CUT & RUN, and giving a bit of a plug for people to read more Kiwi crime fiction. Which of course you all know I agree with.

    Was a bit of a strange Top 5 they had, but oh well. The biggest thing to come out of that I think was the way they said, and reiterated a few times, that we need to read more Kiwi crime fiction, and not have a cultural cringe about our own crime/thriller fiction.

    Might have to go check out the Newmarket Dymocks and see how they fare on my bookstore review scale, since that's where the reviewer is from. Hopefully they are reasonably supportive.