Monday, April 27, 2015
By Vicki Delany
Rick and I have BOTH been nominated for an Arthur Ellis award for our 2014 novellas. Mine is Juba Good, about an RCMP officer stationed in South Sudan, and Rick's book is The Boom Room.
I'd beg for your votes, but the Arthurs are juried awards. The judges have spoken, and all we can do now is wait for the winners to be announced. No point in Rick and I facing off with sharpened pencils at 20 paces.
The Arthurs are Canada’s top award for crime writing, given by the Crime Writers of Canada. It is, as they say, an honour to be nominated.
That's not all the kudos for the Typists either Barbara Fradkin's None So Blind is a nominee for Best Novel.
The winners will be announced at the Arthur Ellis Gala at the Arts and Letters Club (very swishy) in Toronto on Thursday May 28th. If you'd like to attend, either to cheer us on or just to mix with the Canadian Crime Writing Gliterati (as if) tickets are available from firstname.lastname@example.org
I've written before about writing novellas for Orca press. My first was A Winter Kill, about a young policewoman in Prince Edward County, Ontario (where I happen to live) which was also nominated for an Arthur. It lost to Lou Allen's Contingency Plan, which even in my mind was the better book.
When I went to South Sudan in 2011 I met an RCMP officer who was there working with the UN in a training and advisory role. I immediately thought that this would be a wonderful concept for a book. But, it wouldn't be a light read. South Sudan is not the sort of place you can set a comedy or even a family-driven procedural. I briefly considered sending Molly Smith there, but then I wouldn't be able to have John Winters or Lucky Smith go with her. She could have come back from her time in South Sudan, but I dismissed that right off as the experiences she might have had there weren't the sort of things I want to get into in a Smith and Winters book.
The concept was, I realized, perfect for a novella. And thus I began Juba Good.
I loved the character, Sergeant Ray Robertson (after 17 published books, my first male protagonist), and so did the nice people at Orca. After Juba Good, they wanted another Ray Robertson book. Unfortunately the security situation in South Sudan has deteriorated so much since my visits, I didn't think I could write honestly about it.
So off Ray went to Haiti. The next Ray Robertson book is titled Haitian Graves, and will be released on August 23rd.
Good luck to Rick and to Barbara on May 23rd! May the best book win.