It's always such a wonderful feeling to pick up the hard copy of a book or anthology you've got a story in.
Well, today this box of beauties arrived down under - my author copies.
It's The Tattered Blue Line anthology, edited and published by Frank Zafiro. Frank is an outstanding crime fiction author himself and an ex-cop, and he has edited this excellent collection of crime fiction short stories with the theme of the issues surrounding contemporary policing in western liberal democracies.
I was utterly thrilled to be invited to submit a story. I was then humbled and honoured to have my story ("Clean, Green, and Obscene") accepted for inclusion in this line up of great crime writers, all of whom have coalface experience in law enforcement environments.
My colleagues here, from the USA, Canada, and Europe, are Frank Zafiro, Colin Conway, Jim Doherty, P.S. Harman, J.J. Hensley, Mark Bergin, Quintin Peterson, Scott Kikkawa, James L'Etoile, Elizabeth Nguyen, Pearson O'Meara, Stacy Woodson, and Erik Djerneas.
Grab yourself a copy and enjoy these gems - explore the humanity the authors bring to the page.
It's on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tattered-Blue-Line-Contemporary-Policing/dp/B09XZJS4VH/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3KA3TCJG5BLAN&keywords=the+tattered+blue+line&qid=1651753296&sprefix=the+tattered%2Caps%2C329&sr=8-1
On this day, Anzac Day, when we as Australians and New Zealanders commemorate our veterans, it is as always fitting to remember that their sacrifice, in blood and suffering, is what we owe our freedom to.
The freedom that so many take for granted and do not appreciate, but the freedom that enables us to live our lives, enjoy our rights, and bathe in freedom of speech and ideas. The same freedom that many would take from us.
My own tribute is to dedicate a blog, as I did last year and before, to both my grandfathers, who fought for the Australian Army in the World Wars, defending those freedoms.
My paternal grandfather was Gordon Reginald Patterson and he went to the Western Front in 1917. He turned 18 six days before he enlisted. Private Patterson then joined the Australian Army Infantry in the trenches in northern France and Belgium for all the horrors that entailed. He came back to Australia in 1919. He died when my father was only 6 years old. His photo is below, and I can see my father in his face.
My maternal grandfather was George Harwood Smith and he went to the second World War in 1941, as a 39 year old. He served with the Australian Army Motor Transport in Indonesia. When the Allied forces in Java surrendered to the Japanese in 1942, Private Smith went into the infamous Japanese POW camp at Changi in Singapore, where he remained a prisoner until the end of the war. Alas, I don't have any photos of Grandfather Smith in uniform.
I can't begin to even imagine the horrors both my grandfathers endured. But I can be forever grateful for what we now enjoy, thanks to the sacrifice of them and millions of other Allied service personnel.
Rest in peace, my grandfathers, and lest we forget.
I'm thrilled to be appearing today on Frank Zafiro's excellent podcast, Wrong Place, Write Crime.
Tune in to listen to Frank and I chatting all things crime author as ex-cops.
Bringing you hard-boiled and noir tales of crime and corruption. And various related opinions!