Rock musician turned writer wins Ned Kelly Award in all-star line-up

Before It Breaks by Dave Warner won the 2016 Ned Kelly Award for Best Fiction in a ceremony that took place during the Melbourne Writers Festival on Sunday 28 August. Run by the Australian Crime Writers Association, the award is this country’s oldest and most prestigious prize honouring crime writing. Warner took out the fiction category from a shortlist that included some of Australia’s best-loved crime writers.

In its media release the Australian Crime Writers Association described the fiction category shortlist as a ‘battle of the heavyweights’ with five former winners making the cut including Garry Disher, Candice Fox, Adrian McKinty, Barry Maitland and Mark Dapin.

Warner said Before It Breaks was special to him because it was his first adult novel in 14 years.

‘I’d been carrying the germ of the plot in my head for most of those like some dormant virus, so it was great to finally sweat it out,’ said Warner.

‘Australian crime writing is studded with terrific exponents of the craft. I’m honoured to have my book chosen for an award and thank all those who read Australian crime novels and thereby give us a chance to celebrate our vocation,’ said Warner.

A celebrated Australian rock musician, the author is known for his band, Dave Warner’s From the Suburbs, which has been performing since 1977. He is also a screenwriter with credits that range from the indie film Garage Days to episodes of McLeod’s Daughters.

The Ned Kelly Awards began in 1995 and have since grown in importance and scope with more categories, more entries and greater acclaim for the winners each year.

This was the second year in a row that Fremantle Press books have made the shortlist. Last year’s shortlisted Fremantle Press book was Sweet One by Peter Docker. Before It Breaks by Dave Warner is available in all good bookstores and online.

Warner will return to Western Australia in November to perform at the Fremantle Press 40 Year Anniversary event at Fremantle Arts Centre.

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