Sunday, May 16, 2010

Please sir, can I have some more?

Today the 2010 Auckland Writers & Readers Festival comes to a close - around 100 writing-related events have been held over the past five days. Why haven't I been reporting on it, you ask? Well, its because the AWRF, even with its lengthy lineup of dozens of visiting authors and many local literary luminaries who put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) in a variety of writing styles (from sports biographies to poetry to songwriting to literary novels, and more), doesn't include a single event or author that would fall in the crime, thriller, or mystery category. Not a solitary single one.

Plenty could be said about that massively glaring snub, but I'll leave it at that. If you are interested in reading about some of the fantastic non-crime/thriller events at the festival, please visit the always-excellent Beattie's Book Blog - Graham Beattie (who is also a damned fine crime fiction reviewer) is doing a fantastic job with festival reporting.

But for those of us that fret about how crime fiction is treated by some books event organisers down here in New Zealand, never fear. Not only does the upcoming The Press Christchurch Writers Festival have a great lineup of international and local crime writers on its as-yet-unannounced programme, but there are plenty of independent author tours as well.

As I said earlier this week, the dates for Irish crime writer John Connolly's New Zealand tour have now been announced (1st to 3rd June). And British thriller writer Simon Kernick will also be visiting New Zealand in early September (around the time of the Christchurch festival).

Now word has come through that another British star, R.J. Ellory (pictured right), will also be visiting New Zealand from 8-10 September. The event details have not yet been confirmed, although I understand this tour is not connected to the Christchurch Festival - so it is likely RJ Ellory will be appearing in other cities, such as Auckland, during that time.

Ellory, who was orphaned as a young boy, later spent time in jail for poaching, became a rock guitarist, wrote 22 unpublished novels in longhand before he was first published, and now has published seven novels. His New Zealand tour is in support of his upcoming book, THE SAINTS OF NEW YORK. Already Ellory's books have been won or been shortlisted for several major crime fiction awards, including the CWA Steel Dagger for Best Thriller (shortlisted twice), the CWA Dagger in the Library, and the Barry Award for Best British Crime Fiction (shortlisted twice).

I have a copy of his latest book, THE ANNIVERSARY MAN, sitting in front of me now, and am very much looking forward to reading it, and then meeting him in September when he comes to New Zealand (I will make sure I get a 9mm interview from him, amongst other things).
Have you read any of Ellory's crime fiction? What do you think? Do you like meeting visiting authors? Attending literary festivals or author events? Thoughts and comments welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, just came across from Rap Sheet and loving what you are doing here. BTW - Roger Ellory is a great guy and a fantastic writer. He spent a weekend in March at the Scottish Association of Writers annual conference. Brilliant speaker. Make sure you get a chance to say hi.