Congratulations to the winners of the 2007 Davitt awards Karen Kissane (Best True Crime & Readers’ Choice) for Silent Death: The Killing of Julie Ramage, Sydney Bauer (Best Adult Crime) for Undertow, Jaclyn Moriarty (Best Young Adult Crime) for The Betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie, and Kerry Greenwood (Readers’ Choice, with Karen Kissane) for Devil’s Food.
In my experience, there are few surprises at literary awards nights. Winning authors usually get word in advance to encourage them to turn up to the prize-giving ceremony and as I hadn’t received a heads-up, I didn’t expect to win. This inkling was confirmed when I turned up at the Celtic Club on Friday night and found myself seated at the table next to furthest from the stage! Seeing Sydney Bauer arrive with a large box of books nailed it. I turned to my companion Mary and said, ‘My money’s on her to win.’ Impressive piece of detective work, yes?
Actually, I’d already picked the winner when I read the review of Undertow in the Sisters in Crime magazine Stiletto (No. 28, Winter 2007). Now I look forward to reading the book.
Suspense over, I was able to relax and enjoy the evening. Guest speaker Estelle Blackburn’s story was amazing; her journalistic research, not to mention her passion and drive, ultimately resulted in the exoneration of two men who’d served long prison sentences for murders they did not commit–the longest-standing convictions to be overturned in Australian history. Like Estelle, my first book took six years to write, but I didn’t have to sell my home to finance it. As with all Sisters in Crime events, it was a well-organised and entertaining evening. And I still get a buzz out of meeting people wholly unknown to me who have read and enjoyed my first novel (thanks Chele, Anne, Maxine, Jeanette and Chris for your kind words).
But it struck me on the way home in a taxi that this pretty much brings to an end the mileage I’ve got from Behind the Night Bazaar. It’s been 18 months since the book was published and there are no more awards that I know of for which it’s likely to be eligible. I’ve had a great run since the Victorian Premier’s Awards in 2004, doing author talks since 2005 up until a few months ago. But my focus now needs to be on the sequel and the next few books after that.
I’ve got big plans for 2008, which I hope will see me getting lots of writing done, as well as some on-the-spot research. But I’m giving too much away about that just yet. I’m a crime fiction writer after all. Gotta maintain the suspense…