Tuesday, 30 March 2010

ITW 2010 Shortlists Out!

The International Thriller Writers [ITW] are proud to announce the finalists for the 2010 Thriller Awards – Congratulations to the Nominated

Best Hard Cover Novel:
FEAR THE WORST by Linwood Barclay
THE NEIGHBOR by Lisa Gardner
THE RENEGADES by T. Jefferson Parker

Best Paperback Original:
SHADOW SEASON by Tom Piccirilli
URGE TO KILL by John Lutz
THE COLDEST MILE by Tom Piccirilli
NO MERCY by John Gilstrap

Best First Novel:
FRAGMENT by Warren Fahy
DEAD MEN’S DUST by Matt Hilton
DRACULA: THE UN-DEAD by Dacre Stoker
RUNNING FROM THE DEVIL by Jamie Freveletti

Best Short Story:
A STAB IN THE HEART by Twist Phelan
ICED by Harry Hunsicker
BOLDT’S BROKEN ANGEL by Ridley Pearson

Shots passes our congratulations to all the finalists!
2010 Thriller Awards Winners - To be announced at ThrillerFest V
July 10, 2010. Grand Hyatt, NYC
Special thanks to Vicki Hinze, VP Awards Allen Wyler, Awards Committee Chair Julie Korzenko, Liaison And the 2010 Thriller Awards Judges
Read the Rap Sheet Reports of when Shots Editors Mike Stotter and Ali Karim attended Thrillerfest in 2007

Photo (c) 2010 A Karim featuring NY Times Bestselling Writers and ITW Members Heather Graham and F. Paul Wilson at the World Horror Convention Brighton, signing ITW 100 Thriller Novels

Monday, 29 March 2010

Adrian Magson buys a Trenchcoat

Crime Writer Adrian Magson emailed Shots Ezine recently about a change in the direction of his writing, so I asked him to let Shots know what’s happening in his world -

I never expected to get two series on the go together, but I’m not complaining!
I've always wanted to write a spy thriller, but consistent with world events and slightly outside the pure intelligence-gathering or counter-espionage aspect. With the aftermath of the Stockwell shooting and other events bringing the security services' operations into the daylight, and the Russians flexing their muscles over South Ossettia (I wrote the Russian bit about a week or so before it happened, which was really spooky) 'Red Station' (Severn House – August 2010) seemed to provide the ideal blend. Following a disastrous drugs operation, and the death of two civilians, Harry Tate, an MI5 officer, is banished to an intelligence outpost staffed by security services ‘wipe-outs’. Unfortunately for Harry, when the Russians choose the same time to march across the border, this gives his bosses the opportunity to get rid of him and his new colleagues altogether.

The second Harry Tate novel comes out next year.

With 'Death on the Marais' (Allison & Busby - Oct) I wanted to write something different, and a French cop story set in the 60s was the result. I was partly educated in France during the 60s, so know the area and era, and it appealed to me to take a top criminal investigator (Lucas Rocco) out of Paris and dump him into the agricultural heartland of Picardie, to see what happens. He’s rough, tough, but still a cop, and there’s a second Rocco novel on the way, too.

David Headley pulled out all the stops to get these deals, and I’m very grateful to him. I also owe thanks to Mike Stotter and Adrian Muller, who have been quietly supporting me behind the scenes, and Ali Karim, too, for always being so supportive. Thank you guys!

Photo © 2009 Bouchercon Indianapolis – Adrian and Ann Magson at The Slippery Noodle

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Newsy Stuff

Some news worthy bits of information –

Left Coast Crime has come and gone and some awards were given out in the process. They are as follows –

The Dilys Award (given out by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association to “the mystery title of the year which the member booksellers have most enjoyed selling”): The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley (Delacorte)
The Lefty Award (for a humorous mystery): Getting Old Is a Disaster, by Rita Lakin (Dell)
The Bruce Alexander Award (for a historical mystery set before 1950): A Trace of Smoke, by Rebecca Cantrell (Forge)
The Panik Award (for L.A.-based noir, honoring deceased LCC 2010 chairman Paul Anik): Death Was in the Picture, by Linda L. Richards (St. Martin’s Press). Congratulations to all the winners. A full list of the nominations can be found here

According to Publishers Weekly David Baldacci’s new book Deliver Us from Evil will be published not only as a hardback but also as an e-book and an enhanced e-book. The enhanced e-book he explains will contain audio, video and photos along with deleted original text so that the reader can see the creative process. The full article can be found here.

Dutton are pinning high hopes on John Grisham’s young readers book that is due out on May 25. The initial print run for Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer is a million. More information can be found here.

Not one to beat about the bush Ian Rankin in an interview with Breandain O'Shea of Deutsche Welle just before the Lit Cologne explains why he believes that some of the best crime fiction is literature. And some of the best literature is crime fiction. He also talks about the bitchiness that can be found at literary festivals. The whole interview can be found here.

Nordic Bookblog have the first review of the collaborative effort between James Patterson and Liza Marklund. The novel is called Postcard Killers and the whole review can be found on the Nordic Bookblog.

According to Booktrade, best selling author Caroline Lawrence who is known for her Roman Mysteries is set to start a new series. The rights for The Western Mysteries: The Case Of The Counterfeit Injuns and three further 'cases' in the series have been sold to Orion publishers. More information can be found here.

Authors may have to think carefully where they set their books in future if this Montmartre fabric store has anything to do with it. They are suing author Lalie Walker after she set her recent crime novel in the area. The full article can be found in the Guardian.

It is a shame that Stieg Larsson is not alive to see how much his work is being appreciated. According to The Local (Sweden’s News in English) the film of The Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo has opened to rousing reviews in the US. The article can be found here.

Mark Timlin in the Independent gives Lee Child’s new Reacher book 61 Hours the thumbs up. The continuation will make for a most interesting read when it is released this March.

Stieg Larsson and Swedish Crime Fiction

On Thursday 18 March the Swedish Ambassador Staffan Carlsson played host to a wide range of crime fiction reviews, authors and other dignitaries when he hosted “Crimes of the Millennium – Stieg Larsson and the rise of Swedish Mystery Fiction at the Swedish Embassy. Radio presenter Mark Lawson chaired the event whilst the panel members were crime fiction critic Barry Forshaw who has just finished writing a biography of Stieg Larsson, (The Man who Left Too Soon), Eva Gedin (Larsson’s publisher), crime writer Lynda La Plante and Swedish author Håkan Nesser. The event was also being recorded for the British Library.

In a wide-ranging discussion they discussed the success of the Millennium Trilogy. Barry Forshaw wondered whether the poignancy of his early death could have had something to do with it. His publisher Eva Gedin dismissed this as she pointed out that Larsson died in November 2004 before any of the books had in fact been published. She informed the audience that she had immediately been enthusiastic about the manuscripts when she had seen them but at the Frankfurt book fair in 2004 she was not sure about the buzz that had been created. Surprisingly, they had been pre-empted by German publishers and there had been a lot of interest from Scandinavian countries. They had been pleased that Random House had picked up the series because they published some of his favourite US authors. Another question that arose was whether or not we the reader are getting the manuscripts as Larsson wrote them. His publisher explained that they were very well written but he wanted to be edited. However she did not agree that his death caused his success. She believed that he was a great crime novelist. Author Håkan Nesser also agreed as he commented, “hype is a hype is a hype”. He felt that it was Larsson’s time and that there are times when hype was needed.

Lynda La Plante expressed the view that she felt that the title was attention grabbing. The Girl With the Dragoon Tattoo was published in Sweden as Män som hatar kvinnor; the closest translation to the original title is Men Who Hate Women. As she went on to explain, the book comes through and hits you. She did not feel however that The Girl who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest were as good as the first book. It was unlike the Da Vinci Code, which was aimed at a specific audience. Lynda La Plante did however agree with Håkan Nesser and his publisher that his death had no sway in the popularity of the books. Eva Gedin also explained that on his death it became difficult to sell the rights to his books. France was apparently the first to buy the rights outside Scandinavia. In Germany however they have one-word titles, which are felt not to be expressive.

The question of who his influences were also arose and Gedin explained that two of them were Pippi Långstrump (Longstocking) and also the Twin Detectives.

The Chair Mark Lawson wanted to know whether or not Larsson was an economical writer. Håkan Nesser thought that he was not. But as he explained, you tended to read quickly and therefore not notice the language. He felt that he was not economical with words. Lynda La Plante felt that in book 3 there were too many characters. In contrast to this Eva Gedin said that she had liked book 3 and that Larsson had wanted a group of people and did not want there to be only 2 and that she felt that he had plotted the characters right. Håkan Nesser on the other hand felt that in the film there were too many characters and thus one got lost, as you were unable to keep track of them. He also commented that things were now changed in the 90s and that good crime fiction was getting closer to the main stream. Larsson’s publisher also expressed the view that he was aware of the fact that he was writing crime fiction and that what he wanted to do was to entertain especially since he had been reading the genre since his early teens.

Lynda La Plante expressed the view that he had created in-depth characters. Barry Forshaw also commented that he felt that Larsson was fully aware of tradition but that he wanted to do things differently from someone such as Henning Mankell for example.

Mark Lawson also raised the issue of themes that could be found in his books and these included cyber crime, political corruption and domestic violence. Barry Forshaw raised the point as to whether or not Larsson had feminist pretentions? Eva Gedin pointed out that the serial killer in the book was based on real cases. She also acknowledged that there had been some critics of the film due to the amount of violence.

Of course the perennial question as to whether or not there were any other novels was also arose. Gedin informed the audience that whilst it may be possible there were none that she knew of and that she was quite content with the 3 that had been published. Barry Forshaw also said that he felt a sense of closure and that his conclusion was that he did not think that there were any other books.

Mark Lawson also raised the topic of Swedish crime fiction in general and asked what were its particular qualities. Håkan Nesser explained that his books were not political in contrast to Henning Mankell’s, which were political, and Stieg Larsson’s, which were extremely political. He also explained that it was felt that their characters were not supposed to have any emotion. Barry Forshaw also pointed out that they had strong women characters. Mark Lawson also pointed out the fact that landscape and setting were also very important and had been used by Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell very strongly. Gedin also identified the fact that Swedish crime tended to be set in small cities and towns. Barry Forshaw also said that one should not forget the social analysis that is also pulled apart in their books. According to Håkan Nesser they show the political decline of Swedish society. Lynda La Plante confessed that she found Henning Mankell boring and depressing as crime was everywhere in the world. She also felt that whilst they were trite they were well written.

The event at the Swedish Embassy was well attended and amongst those in attendance included my fellow Shotsmag contributor Ali Karim, Karen Meek from Euro Crime, critic Jessica Mann, CWA Diamond Dagger Award winner Andrew Taylor, CWA Gold Dagger Winner Ann Cleeves, Andrew Clark and Chris Simmonds from Crime Squad, Selina Walker from Transworld Publishers and freelance journalist Jake Kerridge to name a few. With members of the audience also given the opportunity to ask questions and from the type of the questions that were asked, as well it is clear that the phenomenon that is Stieg Larsson and his books still have a long way to run.

Monday, 1 March 2010

National Crime Fiction Week

Website to help celebrate crime writing week

The Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) has created a new website to promote National Crime Fiction Week.

A nationwide celebration of crime writing, National Crime Fiction Week will run from Monday June 14, for one week.

Members of the CWA will take part in readings, discussions, readers’ group events and workshops all over the country, including in many libraries.

The website, on www.crimefictionweek.co.uk, will provide information, events listings, contacts and posters for download.

The CWA also has print flyers which can be sent out to events organisers, and reader development officers. Please direct requests to info@thecwa.co.uk

A key part of the week will be the announcement of the winner of the Young Crime Writers' Competition. Organised by the CWA in partnership with library authorities nationwide, the entries will be judged by members of the CWA.

CWA Chair Margaret Murphy said: “This promises to be an exciting week that celebrates crime writing in all its forms.

“We are already receiving excellent support from libraries and other interested organisations and we are confident that will build even further as the week approaches.”

* If you have organised a Crime Fiction Week event, you can add it onto the website by filling in the form on the website (take the JOIN IN link).


For press enquiries or more information on the CWA, please visit the website,

www.thecwa.co.uk, or contact media.enquiries@thecwa.co.uk