The Newcastle-based independent publisher Myrmidon has celebrated its fifth birthday in style, with the team heading down to London on Friday for the Crime Thriller Awards hosted by the CWA, ITV3 and sponsors Specsavers. It was a big night for the Myrmidon folk as Craig Smith’s book Cold Rain was up for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award. Alas, it didn’t win but a shortlisting is no mean feat for an up and coming publisher.
Crime is an important genre to Myrmidon and some of their upcoming titles appear to be sizzlers. Smith returns in the spring with Every Dark Place, as well as his very first novel, the Whisper of Leaves. And if you like your crime hard-boiled and futuristic then watch for Jon Grahame’s upcoming post-apocalyptic trilogy Reaper, Angel and Redemption. The first two will arrive during the course of 2012. Publisher Ed Handyside is also hoping to unveil a new book by C David Ingram whose book The Stone Gallows unleashed the sometimes kind, sometimes unscrupulous ex-cop Cameron Stone onto the streets of Glasgow.
Handyside reckons that besides being an exciting genre in and of its own right, crime fiction is filling a void left by espionage with the evaporation of the Cold War as a backdrop. “Crime fiction readers have a thirst for the unusual,” he says. “They like principal characters who are old ladies, dysfunctional tattooed waifs, down-at-heel journalists, even serial killers. They often tend to have a streak of vulnerability attached to them too, as well as an unusual angle, profession or disposition.”
The company’s ethos has always been to find the freshest writers and most compelling stories and to do that they’re always scouting for new talent. “That’s why we take material from unrepresented writers as well as from agents, even though this can give us something of a headache when it comes to dealing with submissions,” he continues.
It’s this approach that has led them to writers like Craig Smith, as well as Tan Twan Eng, whose book The Gift of Rain was long listed for the Man Booker prize.
To celebrate five years publishing new writers with interesting stories to tell, Myrmidon is offering five free crime books to one lucky reader of Crime Fiction Lover. All you have to do is tell us about your favourite book of the last 12 months. Click here to do so.