I’m flying out to Rockhampton at six AM tomorrow morning, so I really should be in bed right now. And I will be soon, I swear, but for this: earlier today I learned the latest Review of Australian Fiction is out, featuring stories by Kim Wilkins and Meg Vann.
Perhaps this requires some context. Let me start again.
One of the nice things about being a writer is meeting people you find yourself liking. This isn’t one of those things that happens immediately. In fact, it starts quite slowly: you spend a year or two meeting people you kind of like, or don’t like at all, and then suddenly you’re are a writing event of some kind and you stumble over a reader or fellow writer who you get along with quite well. And then you keep going to writing events, or you start hanging out with other writers, and these same people keep showing up again and again.
This is, in a round-about way, how I came to know Meg Vann. For a while she was a person I recognised from writers’ workshops, then a friend of a friend, and some time after that she became one of the finest writers of crime fiction I know who hadn’t gotten around to being published yet. There was something criminal about that, too. Almost sinister, given how good Meg’s work is (I remember the first time I went to critique a chapter from Meg’s novel in a writing course; it was remarkably clean and precise and well-thought out and I sweated bullets trying to think of something to say beyond “well, I really like this,” and eventually decided that I should probably say just that). I was just on the verge of calling it the result of some kind of vast conspiracy when she announced she’d sold a novelette a few months back.
And so one of the finest unpublished crime writers I know has become one of the finest published writers I know. I can only wish her the kind of audience her work deserves, and direct people over to the book.ish purchase page in the hopes one or two folks will check it out.