Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Best of Whatever—Cameron Ashley

The Top Ten things I love about Crime Factory founder Dave Honeybone:

  • Dave is the world's tallest librarian. Fact. He hates when people point out his height, but sorry, it must be pointed out. Seriously, if I had to go collect money, I'd take Dave and Seth Harwood for back-up. Plus, he's always good for fucked-up library stories, like the time he caught a guy having a wank while watching porn on not one but TWO library computers. Dave had to tell the guy that masturbating in the library is not the done thing and see to it that he zipped up and left. Dave calls the guy a perv, I call him an innovator. Whatever. We don't always see eye to eye, Honeybone and me. Oh! And if you ever meet Dave, he may bust out his librarian voice – hilarious.
  • Dave will lend you books with absolutely no need to ever get them back again. Seriously, he hands them out like Halloween candy. Not just to me but to CF reviewer Andrew Prentice and others. Dave has such love of crime fiction that he will share it with anyone who gets it, simply for the love of sharing it.

  • Dave now loves comics. Took him some time to come around, but you will not meet a bigger SCALPED or UNKNOWN SOLDIER fan than The Honeybone. Dave: when are we writing our “Outback Scalped”?

  • Back when Dave ran the Ned Kelly's (the Aussie crime fiction awards) with the awesome Peter Lawrence, the night was waaaay cooler, more enjoyable and held in a much more aesthetically-appropriate venue (a fucking jazz bar!). Now, co-opted totally by the Melbourne Writers Festival (at which barely any crime writers appear), they are kind of odd, detached from the spirit of the event, and filled with people who have barely read a crime novel in their lives. Basically, the Ned's lack the noir power of Dave.

  • Dave recently threatened to move to Canberra, thus depriving me of a reliable drinking partner and one of the only people here who understands what the fuck I'm rambling on about. Fortunately, sanity prevailed and he and his family are staying put in Melbourne. Unfortunately, he is still not willing to bear arms with me in our fight with the Literary establishment. Ahh well. At least we can still have Hightail Ale with Jamie chasers.
  • Dave has an idea for an Aussie crime novel that starts with a decapitated head floating in a cop shop aquarium. Yeah, I think he should finish it too.

  • Dave could barely hear the interview he did with Peter Temple in CF 4. He had to sit there with his ear right up against the recording device, listen to the recording, pause it, transcribe and repeat and repeat and repeat. The interview was later significantly changed, much to Dave's amusement. Oh, prospective writers take heed: DAVE STILL MADE DEADLINE.

  • Dave is under-appreciated by the country in which he lives and the genre which he loves. Fact. If he had moved to America instead of Australia, he'd be David Thompson (and I mean that with all due respect to the late Mr Thompson – that's just how special Dave is).
  • Ken Bruen came over to dinner at Dave's house in 2003. I was there too. In Dave's backyard, we smoked and Ken told me that the secret to writing was to write every day for two hours a day, first thing in the morning and then...stop dead. Dave and I told this to Jason Starr a couple of years later. Starr laughed, called it “bullshit.”

  • Dave gave CF to me when he realized that he could not participate in its relaunch, much to my own personal heartbreak. It's a scab he simply did not want to pick. Fair enough. I still like to think that one day he'll be back and we can dust off his desk once and for all and get some real shit done. We'll see. Remember: this is a man who single-handedly created CF (okay, he had a designer friend help), in Australia, back before massive internet exposure, print on demand, or any of the nonsense that the magazine so comparatively easy for us today. We had subscribers all over the world – including, no shit, Syria – and the mag was so highly regarded that the first person to reply to my tweets about the relaunch was none other than Duane Swierczynski. So, here's to Mr David Honeybone, Crime Factory godfather, pulp-fiend and my dear friend. Thank you for everything, Dave. We may do things differently in this newish factory, but everyone who works in it owes their shifts to you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Uuuuummmmm, yeah, it's Cam people. The picture on the left is his usual state


  1. I sure am sorry to have missed out on CF's early days.

  2. thanks
    and we're all set up nicely for that boxing day test - aussie's favourites in my book 4-5, 6-4 the draw.

  3. I want to read the story about the head floating in a cop shop aquarium. God, I love that idea for a story.