In early February the CWA made much anticipated announcement of the winner of the 2015 Diamond Dagger.
We caught up with Catherine Aird to find out what winning the Diamond Dagger meant to her.
How do you feel about being awarded this year’s Diamond Dagger?
I’m delighted and it feels very nice, I can assure you. I got a phone call to let me know a few weeks ago and I’ve had to keep it to myself until it’s announced. But I’m truly delighted. I think I’ve enjoyed writing my books probably more than my readers have enjoyed reading them.
Who will be the first person you will tell?
Oh, I haven’t thought about it, actually, because I have been busy trying to keep it secret. I try to keep my local life and my writing life quite separate. I’ve lived in my village for 60 years and although people know I write, it doesn’t really feature in my day-to-day life here! I want to go on living here, so I don’t put anyone local in my books and try not to feature as a writer in local life.
How does it feel to be in such illustrious company as the previous recipients?
It’s very nice because I am a big fan of their work. I have read everything that PD James wrote and Margaret Yorke as well, she was a good friend of mine. I would imagine I’ve probably read something by everyone who won the award because, over the years you do read so much. I’m so glad to be part of such a happy group as the C.W.A and we do all tend to read each other’s work as time goes by. I try to keep up!
What’s the most recent crime novel that you’ve enjoyed reading?
I have been given a whole set of M.C Beeton’s books so I’ve been re-reading those. I read Martin Edwards’ book The Frozen Shroud, it only came out a couple of weeks ago. Did I enjoy it? Yes indeed, very much.
Which of your characters have you had the most fun with?
I’ve enjoyed them all actually. But I do have a very daft police constable, Detective Crosby, to whom I can put all in all the silly things, so to speak and I am very attached to him. But also to my series detective, Detective Chief Inspector C.D. Sloan, who is a rather naive police constable who is always doing the wrong thing but somehow seems to get there. I find him most endearing.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on a book called the learning curve. I can’t tell you anything about it because if I did, it would immediately transpire as to who it is who did it. I had a book of short stories out in the summer last year too and a novel before that but if you asked me to think back further, I’d need to look it up! The great thing in writing, you have to put your last book out of your mind while you are writing the present one. You can’t keep thinking about what you wrote in 1965.
The Diamond Dagger will be presented to Catherine at the CWA Dagger Awards Ceremony on the 30th June in London. Tickets are on sale now via the CWA website. The CWA International, Endeavour Historical, Short Story, Non-Fiction and Debut Daggers will also be presented on the same evening.
This post first appeared on the Crime Readers’ Association website in February 2015.