Hard Labour is a new all-Australian anthology of short crime fiction being launched by Crime Factory in October and I’m thrilled to be part of it.
The Hard Labour anthology is bookended by stories from two of Australia’s crime fiction greats, Peter Corris (aka ‘the Godfather of Australian crime fiction’) and Garry Disher (‘The Master’), the latter contributing the first ever Wyatt story, unpublished in over a decade.
In between is a mix of new fiction from established and emerging authors, including Leigh Redhead, Helen FitzGerald, David Whish-Wilson, Adrian McKinty, Andrew Nette, Cameron Ashley and myself, with a foreword by Sisters in Crime National Co-Convenor Lindy Cameron. (See here for a full list of contributors).
Those familiar with my work will know I write crime novels set in Thailand. Last year, in a shameless attempt to endear myself to the Australia Council judges, I decided it was time I tried to write fiction set in Australia. My first attempt, ‘The Teardrop Tattoos’, set close to home in Melbourne’s inner north, won the 2011 Sisters in Crime Scarlet Stiletto Award. A second story, ‘Killing Peacocks’, was accepted for the Hard Labour anthology.
‘Killing Peacocks’ is based on a true story that I have re-imagined and relocated to the East Gippsland town of Cann River. I’ve always wanted to write a story set in Cann River as it strikes me as the kind of place people go to disappear.
The story is told from the perspective of a drifter who goes by the name of Greg ‘Macka’ MacDonald. Macka has done time and is haunted by his crime. Cann River seems like the perfect destination — ‘The life of a hermit, mine for the taking,’ as he puts it. But violence continues to dog him, and Macka is forced to decide whether some might have to die so that others might live.
Hard Labour will be launched at Grumpy’s Green on Monday 8 Oct from 7pm. Details here. Great value at $13.99 per hard copy and $2.99 per e-book. Available through the Crime Factory online shop or on Amazon.