And on the subject of awards

While I was away finding out who won the 1st annual Thriller Awards, the Daggers were given out:

Duncan Lawrie Dagger: Anne Cleeves – Raven Black (Macmillan)
Duncan Lawrie International Dagger: Fred Vargas – The Three Evangelists (Harvill)
The CWA Ian Flemming Steel Dagger: Nick Stone – Mr Clarinet (Penguin)
The CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction : Linda Rhodes, Lee Sheldon and
Kathryn Abnett – The Dagenham Murder (The Borough of Barking and Dagenham)
The CWA New Blood Dagger Louise Penny – Still Life (Headline)
The CWA Dagger in the Library: Jim Kelly
The Debut Dagger – Otis Twelve – the pseudonym of US writer D V Wesselmann – Imp

I am so, so thrilled that Otis finally took the Debut Dagger. I’ve read the synopsis of IMP and it sounds fabulous, and if there was justice (and good timing) some enterprising publisher would snap the damn thing up. More on Otis’s win appears after the jump.

Thursday night (June 29), the CWA’s gala black-tie Dagger Award ceremony at the Waldorf Hilton in London’s Aldwych was the scene as the 2006 Debut Dagger was awarded to D.V.Wesselmann (aka Otis Twelve) for his novel, “Imp.”

This was Wesselmann’s unprecedented fourth consecutive appearance on the Debut shortlist. In 2003, ’04, and ’05 his “Tools” novels, “On the Albino Farm,” “Sometimes a Prozac Notion,” and “Dead Man Dancing,” were each nominated for the hotly contested Debut Dagger emerging writer prize sponsored by Orion.

“Imp,” the 2006 winning submission, uncovers the secrets of the last, missing week of Edgar Allan Poe as revealed by the lost journals of his rival, his friend, his literary executor, his failed assassin, Rufus Wilmot Griswold. “Imp” is a Gothic-Noir laudanum and absinthe soaked quest through the perversions, violence, and horror of pre-Civil War Baltimore that inverts a literary legend and celebrates the human compulsion to do wrong.

In his acceptance, Otis commented, “It seems odd that the Debut Dagger has become, in my case, the twisted equivalent of a Lifetime Achievement Award.” He went on to say that “while others suc  as Caroline Carver, Edward Wright, and Joolz Denby took the Debut by storm, I seem to have captured it by long bloody seige.”

Thanking the organisers led by Edwin Thomas, the CWA, and Orion for their dedication to aiding new writers as they strive to breakthrough, Wesselmann took special notice of his wife and partner, “Debbie – the naked redhead – the only writer I’ve ever slept with – for money…,” and his special gratitude to Kay Mitchell, former Debut organiser. “Kay has become a great friend, supporter, and champion of my work. I owe her a great debt,” he said. Otis also sent out thanks to other writers who “…have made this bizarre journey great fun. John Rickards, Allan Guthrie, Ray Banks, Sarah Weinman, I.J. Parker, and my Midwest mate, Sean Doolittle. I hope my writing can measure up to theirs.”

Wesselmann / Twelve becomes the 9th recipient of the coveted Debut Dagger. His novel, “On the Albino Farm” was the winner of the 2005 London Book Fair Lit-Idol Competition. Wesselmann’s short story “Life Among the Bean Bugs” was runner-up for the 2005 Kurt Vonnegut Prize and his tale, “The Goodness of Trees” was awarded a $10,000 Templeton Foundation award in 2004. His fiction has appeared in The North American Review, CrimeSpree Magazine, and anthologies such as “Best New Noir 2006” (Wildside Press – 2006), “The Power of Purpose Anthology” (Cosimo – 2005), and the eagerly awaited, underground cult classic “Fuck Noir” (TBD).

(He is represented by Ali Gunn of Gunn Media Enterprises – London)