Congratulations to Christos Tsiolkas, friend and mentor, who last month won the 2009 Commonwealth Writers Prize, an award wholeheartedly deserved by this talented and generous man for his 2008 novel The Slap.
Despite recently winning an international prize and signing television deals, Christos has still made time to read draft manuscripts for both me and my partner, Andrew Nette, ’cause that’s the kind of guy he is. Am I feeling the pressure, having a Commonwealth Writers Prize winning author as a reader? – Damn right I am.
Speaking of Andrew, I reckon his first novel Last Chances, is a winner. The book is set in 1996 in Cambodia – the main reason we spent last year there – and traces a missing Australian through turbulent political times. It’s a fantastic read, and it’s not just me who thinks so. Andrew’s readers – including Christos – have been full of praise for Last Chances, too.
The advance press is a bit misleading. As I don’t have a book coming out this year, I offered to facilitate a few sessions at the festival, an idea put into my head by Robert Gott. Robert and I met at the inaugural Crime and Justice festival last year and have kept in touch. I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed his three William Power (aka ‘Australia’s first dickhead detective’, to quote Shane Maloney) novels, Good Murder, A Thing of Blood and Amongst the Dead. Anyway, thanks to Robert that I’ll be appearing at the Crime and Justice Festival again this year.
The 2008 festival was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to it this year. Click here for program details.
Meanwhile, I am snatching every moment I can to work on the fourth draft of Pattaya Bay. In fact, I’d better stop blogging and get to it now…