Monday, 25 May 2015

Shortlists Announced for the 2015 Crime Writer's Association Dagger Awards

The shortlists for the CWA's Dagger Awards were announced at the 2015 Crimefest held in Bristol, England, in mid-May:

The CWA International Dagger

Falling Freely, As If In A Dream by Leif GW Persson
Camille by Pierre Lemaitre
Cobra by Deon Meyer
Arab Jazz by Karim Miské
The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo
Into a Raging Blaze by Andreas Norman

The CWA Short Story Dagger

"Apocrypha" by Richard Lange – Sweet Nothing
"Red Eye" by Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane – Face Off
"The Hunter" by Dashiell Hammett – The Hunter & Other Stories
"Sweet Nothing" by Richard Lange – Sweet Nothing
"Juror 8" by Stuart Neville – OxCrimes
"The Dead Their Eyes Implore Us" by George Pelecanos – OxCrimes

[NOTE: The Face Off anthology features stories started by one author and finished by another. The proceeds from the OxCrimes anthology support Oxfam.]

The CWA Non Fiction Dagger

In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile by Dan Davies
A Kim Jong-Il Production by Paul Fischer
Ghettoside: Investigating a Homicide Epidemic by Jill Leovy
Gun Baby Gun: A Bloody Journey into the World of the Gun by Iain Overton
One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway by Ǻsne Seierstad
Just Mercy: a story of justice and redemption by Bryan Stevenson

The Endeavour Historical Dagger – sponsored by Endeavour Press

Havana Sleeping by Martin Davies
Lamentation by CJ Sansom
The Man from Berlin by Luke McCallin
The Seeker by SG MacLean
The Silent Boy by Andrew Taylor
The Taxidermist’s Daughter by Kate Mosse

The Debut Dagger – sponsored by Orion

Dark Chapter by Winnie M Li
Last Of The Soho Legends by Greg Keen
The Ice Coffin by Jill Sawyer
The Pure Drop by Nigel Robbins
Lock Me In by Kate Simants

 The award winners will be announced on June 30.

(Source: Crime Fiction Lover blog)

Monday, 18 May 2015

An Interview with Craig Johnson

Craig Johnson, the creator of the Longmire novels on which the popular television series Longmire is based, has published a new  novel, Dry Bones. If you're not familiar with the character, he's a Wyoming sheriff who is dedicated to his job and dogged in his pursuit of justice for those who are victims of crime.

In Johnson's latest book, the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex is discovered on the property of a Cheyenne rancher, who becomes the murder victim. Not only must Longmire uncover the killer, but he must also deal with the politics of the number of groups--including the rancher's family, the tribe, and the federal government--who are claiming ownership of the skeleton.

Kirkus Review has posted a television interview with Craig Johnson, who talks about his life as a rancher, his use of newspaper articles from Wyoming and nearby states as inspiration for the Longmire stories so that they're firmly grounded in reality, and his enjoyment of book tours where he can meet with his fans and discover what they like (or don't like) about his novels.

To listen to this interview, please click here.

Monday, 11 May 2015

The Plaid Raccoon Press Turns Four!

Today, May 11, marks the fourth anniversary of the Plaid Raccoon Press!

Four years ago today the province of Ontario, in its infinite wisdom, issued a business license to this saucy little Canadian procyonid and turned him loose on the world to publish crime fiction and supernatural fiction. Goodness knows, my living room hasn't looked the same since.

As with all anniversaries, it's a time to glance back down the winding gravel road we've been mooching along in search of entertaining stories, modest revenue, and a chance to tweak the bill of the annoying Random Penguin and his ilk whenever possible. Hard to believe we've published four novels in the Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel series, a supernatural thriller (The Ghost Man), and Sorrow Lake, the first March and Walker Crime Novel, as well as Lynn L. Clark's debut work, The Home Child in such a short time span. Seven publications in four years! Not bad for a little ring-tailed scamp who'd rather be off raiding someone's corn crib or catching trout in the stream out back.

Of course, being an independent author has its down side. Can't get mainstream media outlets to review my novels. The largest bookstore chain in the country won't stock them on their shelves or list the paperbacks in their database. Not eligible for government grants because I don't fit their definition of a professional author.

It is what it is, right?

On the up side, my fourth Donaghue and Stainer novel, The Rainy Day Killer, was longlisted for the 2014 Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel in Canada, placing ahead of submissions by Margaret Atwood, Linwood Barclay, Louise Penny et al.

I get fan mail from people who've read one of my books and were sufficiently pleased by it to write me an e-mail to let me know.

I meet people at art festivals and craft shows who bought one of my books the last time I was there and have come back for another.

So never mind the disdainful newspaper editors, the elusive agents, and all the other professionals in the industry who consider independent authors such as myself to be a pox upon their house. For each one of you, I have ten who've actually read one of my novels and go out of their way to tell me they can't wait for the next one.

THAT's what it's all about, folks. 

So today we're blowing out the candles on our anniversary fishcake and making a wish for the future.

Hard to believe the Raccoon is already four. He keeps crossing the road on his way to that cornfield on the other side, and he's still fast enough to get out of the way of the trucks before they blast him into next week. Seven books in four years, and two more to come before he turns five!

And as I always say -- there's nothing else I'd rather be doing!

P.S. Don't miss this opportunity to check out our newly revamped website. The Raccoon is very proud of it, and he suggests you peek into the new webstore before you leave!!!