Thursday, 28 July 2016
The Golden Age of Murder has today featured in the shortlist for the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction. Another moment to savour in what really has been a wonderful year so far. My fiction has appeared in three CWA Dagger shortlists over the years, and "The Bookbinder's Apprentice" went on to win the Short Story Dagger, but this is the first time my non-fiction has been so honoured. Suffice to say that, given the book has won three awards and now been shortlisted for three others, it is undoubtedly the luckiest of all my many writings.
I see myself first and foremost as a writer of fiction, but I've always loved reading and writing non-fiction, and I published several non-fiction books and many articles before my first novel and short story appeared in print - a quarter of a century ago (yep, I began young!)
It's easy to under-estimate non-fiction, and unfortunately there are still people out there who do just that .Yet in the age of the internet, when so much material is available for free, it's quite something to get a non-fiction book published, let alone widely recognised. My warmest congratulations go to the authors of the other books on the shortlist.
The CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction has an illustrious history. It was first awarded back in 1978 for Audrey Williamson's The Mystery of the Princes, a book I hope to write about here before too long, and there are some real classics to be found in the list of former winners. But no book about the genre - as opposed to books focusing solely on true crime - has ever won the Dagger. Will this year be an exception? Who knows? The answer will be revealed in October.