Tuesday, July 15th 2008 : "CWA Duncan Lawrie Daggers"
On Thursday evening the winners of the Duncan Lawrie Daggers were announced at the Four Seasons Hotel in London. I wasn't there in body - we'd planned a few days holiday on Holy Island - but I was certainly there in spirit. Like most crime writers I enjoy reading the genre too and I knew who I wanted to win.
On the Tuesday before the big day I chaired a panel of shortlisted translators at the Lit and Phil library in Newcastle. The new International Dagger recognises the translator as well as the author and Ros Schwartz, Peter Millar and Stephen Sartarelli provided a fascinating insight into the craft of taking a writer's work, transforming it into a completely new form and still maintaining the spirit and voice of the original. Ros Schwartz translates Dominique Manotti, one of my favourite authors, and I was delighted to hear, over a crackly mobile phone on Friday morning, that Manotti's THE LORRAINE CONNECTION had won the Duncan Lawrie International Dagger.
I've loved Frances Fyfield's books since she started writing. It's her courage that I admire the most. Each book is different, a new adventure for the reader. I still carry around in my head scenes that I read year ago and characters that I met. She's been nominated for dozens of awards, so it was fantastic to hear that this year she'd won the big one, the Duncan Lawrie Dagger.
Last year the short story awards were announced on a separate occasion - a mistake I think because the crime short story is difficult and worthy of proper recognition. Martin Edwards had been a friend since I joined the Crime Writers' Association in the 80s. I enjoy his novels but I think he's a truly great short story writer and THE BOOKBINDER'S APPRENTICE is one of the creepiest tales I've ever read. I knew it deserved to win, but would the judges share my opinion? They did and I'm thrilled. It's fitting that Martin, who has encouraged British short fiction through his work as editor of the CWA anthology, should have his own work recognised.
Tomorrow morning I'm off to Harrogate for the crime-writing festival. A chance to catch up with old friends. My Scandinavian agent and German publishers will be there this year, so I'll be interested to know what they make of the third Shetland book. I'll let you know...
Posted by Ann at 06:24 PM GMT