Wednesday, March 28, 2012

All About our Interview Subject Author - Paul Thomas


DEATH ON DEMAND, by Paul Thomas (Hodder Moa, $36.99), released February 28; Thomas will be part of the “New Zealand Crime” session, chaired by Craig Sisterson, in Wellington on March 11 during Writers & Readers Week in the New Zealand International Arts Festival; he will also be appearing at library events in Hamilton, Dunedin, Mosgiel and Christchurch during New Zealand Book Month. Click here for details
Paul Thomas is a novelist, scriptwriter, journalist and sports biographer. Thomas has also worked as an editor, public relations executive and a consultant. He is a prolific writer who has written numerous novels, select sports biographies and a collection of short stories. As a celebrated crime writer, Thomas is known for the comedic and satiric qualities of his books as well as an ability to depict crisp realism. Paul Thomas is based in Wellington.

Some Bio - Thomas, Paul (1951- ) is a novelist, scriptwriter, journalist and sports biographer.

Thomas was born in Harrogate, Yorkshire. He was educated at the University of Auckland. Before turning to writing full-time Thomas worked as a journalist, editor, public relations executive and a consultant.

A prolific writer, Thomas’ novels include Dirty Laundry (aka Old School Tie, 1994), Inside Dope (1995), Guerrilla Season (1996), Final Cut (1999), The Empty Bed (2002) and Sex Crimes (2003). Inside Dope was the winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Novel 1996.
Although Thomas has been celebrated as a crime writer, he is always ‘a writer of wild, blackly comedic thrillers’. Critics agree that much of what defines Thomas as a writer is his sense of the comic and the satiric. In Writing Gothic Matilda: The Amazing Visions of Australian Crime Fiction, Michael Pollack and Margaret MacNabb write about Thomas’ early novels, ‘These comic novels leave the reader laughing, that’s for sure. The sparkling dialogue, absurd situations and all the crackling one-liners are pure entertainment. But there is always the shadow of doubt falling over the page…After reading Paul Thomas… one never reads a newspaper or watches a television newscast with the quite the same degree of innocence again.’

With The Empty Bed (2002) Thomas’ work shifts, becomes less funny and more ‘real’. Writing in the Evening Post Juliet Ashton argues that ‘Thomas doesn’t put a foot wrong in this bleakly brilliant depiction of a marriage unravelling… That makes the book sound very grim. But in fact it’s a compulsive and acerbic read.’ Crime Factory claims with this novel ‘Thomas turns to a more classic style of crime writing’ and at the same time ‘there are elements of the psychological novel, now raised to an art form.’

In addition to his novels, Thomas’ short stories have appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian Financial Review, Metro, The Eye, Australian Penthouse and The New Zealand Herald. He has written the screenplay for a number of television movies, including Ihaka: Blunt Instrument. He has also adapted his novel Inside Dope for the screen.

Best known as a fiction writer, Thomas began his writing career as a journalist and a collaborator on a number of sporting biographies including, Christmas in Rarotonga (with John Wright, 1990), Running on Instinct (with John Kirwan, 1992), Straight from the Hart (with John Hart, 1993), Change of Hart (with John Hart, 1997) and A Whole New Ball Game (2003).

Sex Crimes is a collection of blackly humorous stories which explore the unpredictable and sometimes fatal consequences that can occur as a result of the pursuit of sex. 'A master of plot, pace and the killer one-liner' Marele Day.  Paul Thomas participated in the 2004 Book Council WOW (Words on Wheels) tour of the deep South.  Work in Progress (2006) was published by Random House New Zealand.  Paul Thomas lives in Wellington.

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