- by Denise Dietz
For those who don’t already know, I met my husband, novelist Gordon Aalborg, through the NINC loop (on line). Gordon lived in Tasmania, I lived in Colorado Springs. We decided to collaborate on a romatic suspense and fell in love. I flew to Australia to meet-for the first time-the man who had successfully wooed me with words, and we were married two months later at a NINC conference. Gordon wrote his lyrical vows and I sang “Evergreen.”
Gordon’s latest book, Dining with Devils – a Tasmanian Thriller – came out this month. The following is an article written by Gerry Doyle, author of numerous short stories published in the United States, abroad and on the Internet. Gerry’s first novel, From the Depths, was released in November 2007. He has worked as an editor and a reporter for the Chicago Tribune since 2001. He’s also OK at ping-pong and has had cocktails on three continents. Gerry wrote the following for ITW Big Thrill at http://www.thrillerwriters.org/ and I have permission to post it on NINC:
Gordon Aalborg’s DINING WITH DEVILS starts with a murder, a dead pigeon and a small serving of real-life revenge.
A blind man competing in a Tasmanian competition for gundogs–dogs trained to retrieve game birds–seems at first to be the likely suspect when the dog trial judge is shot. Until, of course, it is realized the gun in use at the trial is loaded with blanks. The death, followed by two kidnappings with possibly cannibalistic intentions, catches the attention of police Sgt. Charlie Banes. The killer’s trail stretches back to a cave in Canada, where one of his kidnapping victims had trapped him and left him to die.
And Banes must connect the disparate crimes before a serial killer makes a meal out of his friends.
The revenge aspect? A blind friend of Aalborg’s in Tasmania once did compete in gundog retrieving trials, with a dog bred by the author. But his enthusiasm was shattered by a judge who told him he should give up.
“The idiot, insensitive twit had to add, ‘and besides, you can’t win anyway,'” Aalborg said. “I wanted to shoot him right there on the spot (and I wasn’t alone!) but couldn’t, obviously, so now I’ve done the next best thing by having somebody else do it in DINING WITH DEVILS.” The book, due out in April from Five Star/Gale/Cenage, also draws on many other experiences from Aalborg’s life. He has trained gundogs and spent nearly 20 years in Tasmania. And his work as a journalist, “so long ago that it was still a respectable profession,” he says, helped him become a better writer.
But his fiction writing career didn’t start with hard-edged ripped-from-the-headlines plots. It had a softer side. A more feminine side, even. His first novel was a romance title published under the pseudonym Victoria Gordon, who went on to write another twenty. “Thriller writing is much, much more difficult,” he said. “I got into thrillers after I married mystery (and romance) author Denise Dietz, and became involved in what euphemistically might be called ‘domestics’ about which genre is harder to work in. “Before we got together we actually wrote a romantic suspense (FINDING BESS) together, via e-mail, with me in Tassie and her in Colorado. What a hoot—she kept wanting to kill people off and I kept wanting to get them into bed together.” Turning to thrillers helped in “maintaining some semblance of domestic harmony and my proper role in the household firmament,” he added.
DINING WITH DEVILS is his second novel starring Sgt. Banes. And although he says he feels drawn back to that character, he most enjoyed writing Viv, a geriatric Tasmanian rascal, or “rum’n” in Australian parlance, and the old man’s recalcitrant Jack Russell terrier Bluey, who also features in both books and a third in progress.
“I have known and liked many such characters both in the Canadian bush and in Tassie, and they are genuine characters—engaging, infuriating, unique each in his/her own way, and fascinating.”
Bouncing among cultures, from Australia to Tasmania to Canada to the United States, has exposed him to a huge range of such people, he says. And the linguistic differences are equally rich.
“I have been known to say that I can read, write and edit in several languages—Canadian English, British English, Australian and/or Kiwi English and what passes for English with your mob,” he said.
For more on Gordon Aalborg and DINING WITH DEVILS, visit his website: