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Open Right

Alex Hammond

Author, Corporate, Speaking Out

Critically acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Alex Hammond’s debut novel Blood Witness was shortlisted for the 2014 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Crime Novel. It was also selected for the State Library of Victoria’s Summer Read 2014 where it was the most borrowed title. This novel is currently under option as a TV series while its sequel The Unbroken Line is released in 2015.

Where were you born?

I was born in Johannesburg on a Christmas Day. My memories of South Africa are patchy — I emigrated to Australia with my family when I was five years old — so I’m passionate about Melbourne particularly the CBD and inner city.

What other jobs have you had?

My very first job was as a garbage collector working along Port Philip’s beaches. And of course there was my work as a law clerk which partly inspired my crime writing. But for the most part I’ve worked with words and the internet in various roles including copywriter, editor, web manager and digital media manager.

What themes are recurring in your work?

You know, the small stuff. Loss. Redemption. The difference between law and justice. The lengths to which good people will go when placed in extreme circumstances and how easily this becomes corrupted.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Definitely having my debut novel published in a challenging and demanding time for books and publishing. Being the only crime book selected by the State Library of Victoria for the summer read was also a highlight. Having my novel optioned based on the pilot episode I adapted from it was also a huge thrill.

What are you passionate about?

Social justice, the rights of the forgotten members of our society, the importance of challenging misogyny, racism and sexual prejudice. The significance of popular and genre fiction in a country where literary fiction is often prioritised.

Haven’t I seen you before?

I’ve appeared at the Emerging Writers’ Festival (2013, 2014), NSW Writers’ Centre (2013) and throughout libraries across Victoria as part of the Summer Read and High Road to Reading campaigns (2014).

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

The sequel to Blood Witness titled The Unbroken Line which culminates in a gripping showdown at the Spring Racing Carnival is released on the 24th of June 2015.

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