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October 4, 2022

Byron Writers Festival: A life of crime

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Featured authors exploring ‘A Life of Crime’ at this year’s Byron Writers Festival: Bryan Brown, Matthew Condon, Trent Dalton and Steve Toltz.

One of the highlight panels at the festival this year will bring together best-selling authors Trent Dalton and Steve Toltz with actor Bryan Brown and acclaimed author and podcast creator Matthew Condon to discuss how they bring the lives of criminals to life in their writing.

Iconic Australian actor Bryan Brown has been telling stories with his distinctive Australian voice on TV and in film for a long time, but this time he’s writing crime in his first book Sweet Jimmy. Brown’s friend Sam Neill says ‘Quite apart from his other manifold talents, Bryan turns out to be an excellent writer. An authentic voice; highly imaginative yet completely believable, with a flair for fully realised characters and a gripping narrative … This is utterly baffling. I’m furious.’

Trent Dalton is no stranger to crime, having worked as an investigative journalist, and before that growing up rough and street smart in the seedier suburbs of Brisbane. Many of the characters and events in his best-selling novel Boy Swallows Universe are inspired by Dalton’s own experiences.

One of Australia’s most fearless writers Steve Toltz’s new novel Here Goes Nothing is a darkly comic story about what it’s like to be murdered, only to come back as a ghost to watch your murderer seducing your wife. His first novel, A Fraction of the Whole was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and is narrated by the character Jasper Dean from his prison cell.

Matthew Condon is a journalist who has spent almost a decade investigating crime and corruption in Queensland. His book The Night Dragon and subsequent breakout true-crime podcast Ghost Gate Road, delves deep into a famous cold case, the deadly Whiskey Au Go Go fire and a quest for justice that finally brought down one of Australia’s worst killers, Vincent O’Dempsey.

Don’t miss this fascinating and entertaining panel ‘A Life of Crime’ at Byron Writers Festival on Sunday 28 August.

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