Greg Manson with his new book.
Greg Manson with his new book. John Gass

Debut author crafts crime novel using memories of home

THE Tweed has a new crime 'noir' author.

Wardrop Valley resident Greg Manson has just released his first book, 'Coorparoo Blues and the Irish Fandango'.

Mr Manson wrote the book, containing two stories, some five years ago and although he self-published the book then and sold hundreds of copies from the back of his ute, he couldn't find an Australian publisher interested in taking the book to the next level.

"I couldn't find a publisher to distribute the book and expose it to a wider audience.

"Because of that, I basically gave up on it," Mr Manson said.

About two years ago Mr Manson, through a friend of a friend, approached American publishing house Verse Chorus Press based in Portland, Oregon.

Verse Chorus Press' publisher Steve Connell proved to be interested in Australian culture and authors and had already published a number of works by Australian authors such as crime writer Peter Doyle.

Mr Connell agreed to edit and publish Coorparoo Blues and the Irish Fandango and the book had its second release in August of this year.

Coorparoo Blues tells the story of private investigator Jack Munro's experiences during WW2 and the events surrounding Mr Munro's efforts in trying to find the husband of a 'blond bombshell' client.

Mr Manson's inspiration for the story came from the film noir era of the 1940s which saw a number of on-screen detectives such as Sam Spade as portrayed by Humphrey Bogart take centre stage.

In the 1990s the theme was revived with films such as LA Confidential which saw Australia's Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce act as 'noir' detectives Bud White and Edmund Exley.

The Irish Fandango reintroduces PI Jack Munro who is asked to investigate the death of a Spanish Civil War veteran with a 'stained' past.

Brisbane is the backdrop to both stories and the author takes the reader back to a time when the city was rather old-worldly and peculiarly attractive compared to the modern state capital it has become.

Mr Manson grew up in Coorparoo, an inner city suburb of Brisbane and in the book introduced an authentic recreation of the area, he described as a "small subtropical port thrust into the centre of world affairs as the Pacific War hung in the balance".

Many of the book's characters are based on people Mr Manson met during a widely varying career which included such jobs as meat packer, actor, bouncer, builder, rock 'n roll journalist and cattle farmer.

Apart from writing, Mr Manson now occupies himself with looking after his property in the Wardrop Valley where he grows pecans and plays music with his band 'Guriguru'.

Mr Manson will sign copies of his book at Tweed Centro's Collins bookstore on November 8 and anyone interested in buying a copy can do so at Amazon.com and Murwillumbah's bookstore Pulp Fiction.



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