Monday, June 18, 2007

Fantastic News!

The Theakston's Old Peculier shortlist is now public knowledge. Making the list:

All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses and Eye - Christopher Brookmyre
The Dead Place - Stephen Booth
Two Way Split - Allan Guthrie
Blood and Honey - Graham Hurley
The Death Ship of Dartmouth - Michael Jecks
Cold Granite - Stuart MacBride

Well, what can I say? I personally know three of those authors. Stephen Booth was nominated last year, and since I was at Harrogate I had the pleasure of seeing him on the panel.

The dark horse of UK crime fiction, Allan Guthrie, has made it to the final cut. This is fantastic news, because the longlist included a number of leading, established names, including Ruth Rendell, PD James and Reginald Hill. And it's even sweeter, knowing the tough road he had to publication in the UK, unable to get an agent or a deal until Ian Rankin declared it a tragedy he was being published in the US and not the UK.

And... I predicted Stuart MacBride would make the list, about a year ago. It's funny to think that almost two years ago I met Stuart at Harrogate, interviewed him, and of course caught up with him last year. I can't help feeling a bit disappointed that this year he's up for the Theakston's prize and I can't be there.

No matter what happens, I'm thrilled for all of them to be on the list. And it really sucks to have friends up against each other. Last year, I had to decide who to vote for and it came down to Rankin and Val McDermid... and I voted for the winner. Tough choice, though.

Maybe it's a good thing I won't be there. I don't have to buy anyone a drink after to commiserate.


Anonymous said...

Question. Is Al Guthrie who goes on Stuart and John Rickards sites the very same man who is on the shortlist? I always wondered who he is! Maybe now i get a face to the name..
I'm thrilled for Stuart too. Well deserved.
And of course for the others too.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Yes Chelbel (he has a blog called Hard Man, which is the name of his latest book, and has done some events with Stuart this year). Al writes hardboiled stuff, and it's really worth reading. Might not be everyone's cup of tea, because it is generally pretty violent, but he's a fantastic writer. Highly recommend his stuff.

And how can we not be thrilled for Stuart? He's great. And to get this far with a debut title - which is true of both Al and Stuart here. It's outstanding, and they should both be proud.

Anonymous said...

I like reading Al's posts. He's a funny guy (in a demented McBride kinda way). Will he be at harrogate then? Must read his stuff now that i know he's a writer.
Any recommendation where to begin? Has he a standalone?
*shuts up and goes off to look at his blog*

Sandra Ruttan said...

I think you can pick up Al's work anywhere and appreciate it. Not sure if he'll be at Harrogate - presumably!

Hard Man said...

"I always wondered who he is!"

Me too.

Stuart MacBride said...

It's usually the smell that gives him away. All that ferreting about in the underbelly of noir gives him a distinctive odour. Sort of a cross between coal-tar soap and fried onions.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Ah. Thanks for reminding me why I didn't name a cat after him.

Although I think my cats would appreciate what Al does to dogs.

Evil Kev said...

Congrats to both Stuart and Al. The Theakston's is a very significant award because it is fan driven.

The only thing I want to see is if either of them win, I want the winner to clutch the keg to their heart and say "You like me! You really like me!" and blow some kisses.

That would be classy.