Wednesday links

Here’s a few good links for your Wednesday morning:

First of all, Wakefield author Derek Pedley has written a ripper of a piece on the impact of SA police not speaking to the media. This is fascinating from a true crime perspective (get on Dead by Friday if you haven’t already, by the by) but also important reading for every SA citizen.

Next, we have this article about hashtags and how they signify meaning (fascinating and highly recommended for all you wordnerds out there). Contains the brilliant NY Times quote:

When Slate‘s Julia Turner profiled the hashtag in 2012—months before it would be named the American Dialect Society’s Word of the Year—she noticed that it allowed “the best writers to operate in multiple registers at once, in a compressed space.”  She concluded, “It’s the Tuvan throat singing of the Internet.”

Next (and on theme), we have some Tuvan throat singing:

Last but not least, there’s the SA Writers Centre‘s editing boot camp program, which has just been released. I guess we all know about SAWC, about how they were the first of their type in Australia, how they continue to serve as a model for writers’ centres around the world, how they manage to do so much for literary culture in SA … (oh we’re bloody lucky over here).

Happy Wednesday guys!

Dead by Friday extract

Dead by FridayDerek Pedley’s a man with a taste for the darker side of life. His award-winning true crime books are gripping, mesmerising – and occasionally terrifying, when he reminds us what even the most ordinary of folk are capable of.

Dead by Friday recounts a tale of murder and adultery that gripped Adelaide over ten years ago. Shortlisted for the Ned Kelly True Crime Award (the nation’s highest true crime honour), Dead by Friday tells the full story of what happened in the Carolyn Matthews murder case of 2001. With a cast of unbelievable characters – including the hitman who ate his contract in a sandwich! – Pedley skillfully and entertainingly manoeuvres his readers through the details of the case.

It’s an amazing book, but if you’d rather try before you buy: a long extract can be found here.

Book Fair Success!

What a weekend it was!

Don Pyatt Hall looked incredible, thanks to Liz, who spent hours sewing bunting (so cool, right?) and finding the perfect decorations.

Then, the books themselves, all marked down and arranged neatly due to the enormous efforts of Trevor, our sales rep extraordinaire, and Jonny, warehouse manager and backbone of all WP’s operations.

But the best part of the whole weekend was the authors! We kicked the weekend off with Rodney Fox’s launch, and that guy can tell a yarn. The hall was in stitches for his speech, then they queued up for ages to get their books signed by the man himself.

Other highlights included Lisa Fabry’s talk on the guilt-free benefits of vegan desserts, which had us all drooling, and Derek Pedley’s explanation of the process behind Dead by Friday — an amazing book and an amazing author. Valerie Volk’s fascinating writing processes were explained, and Jude Aquilina treated us to a couple of readings. Bruce Munday explained all things stone walls and Margaret Merrilees gave an excellent overview of her work, The First Week, while Sharon Kernot explained the processes behind the creation of the world in Underground Road.

And, of course, we left Don Pyatt Hall on Sunday night with a lot less books than we’d arrived with on Friday, already talking about how we’ll do it all next year.

Thanks all for coming, enjoying, giving talks or just sipping wine. It’s lovely to have such a great bunch of people reading and interested in Wakefield titles, and it warms the cockles of our Wakefieldian hearts to know that more than a few of you will be reading our books over the break!

Author Profiles – Derek Pedley

Derek Pedley is a journalist with more than 25 years’ experience at Australian newspapers. He is now engaged in the dark art of daily news production at the Advertiser and adelaidenow.com.au. His work has been shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Award for Best True Crime twice, with Australian Outlaw – The True Story of Postcard Bandit Brenden Abbott shortlisted in 2007, and Dead by Friday shortlisted in 2013. Pedley lives in Adelaide’s far northern suburbs, on the wrong side of the Mullet-Proof Fence.

We asked Derek a few questions about his career as a crime writer, and the fascinating story behind his latest book, Dead by Friday.

Derek PedleyWhat was it that drew you to write about this particular crime?

Michelle Burgess and her thoroughly deranged behaviour and personality. She is a remorseless sexual predator and I wanted to find out what made her tick. There was also the fact that the hitman ate one of the murder contracts in a sandwich. For me, that really summed up the bizarre nature of this case.

As a journalist with more than 25 years of experience, can you tell us what the most interesting story you’ve worked on is?
The exploits of bank robber and fugitive Brenden Abbott were sufficiently fascinating – and elusive – to keep me occupied for ten years and two books.

What will you be looking at in your next book?
I have an idea for another book involving unsolved major crimes. But I’m taking an extended break because since 1998, I’ve been constantly planning, researching or writing a book. It’s time to recharge the batteries and I’m enjoying spending a lot more time with my family.

Which living person do you most admire?
That’s a dead heat between American writer David Simon and singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen

What are your favourite Wakefield Press titles, aside from your own, and why?
It’s hard to narrow it down. What I like most about the Wakefield catalogue is the amazing breadth of Australian stories, whether it’s landscapes, histories, people, or infrastructure. It is absolutely essential that readers support a publisher like Wakefield, because no one else in SA – and perhaps even Australia – gives a voice to Australian stories the way Wakefield does. Their motto is “We love good stories and publish beautiful books” and I think that’s exactly what readers want.