The Crime Writers’ Association


Debut Dagger 2012


Sandy Gingras


Sandy Gingras from New Jersey won the CWA 2012 Debut Dagger with her story Beached. Her success was announced at the CWA Daggers Awards Ceremony on 5 July 2012. The judges praised the fast pace, combined with a great voice and central character, in Sandy’s novel.

The judges also felt the field was strong enough for them to select a Highly Commended Entry. In fact, they were unable to decide between two stories, so for the first time we have a tie with both Broken-winged Bird by Renata Hill and The Watchers by Karen Catalona being Highly Commended.

Work commitments meant that she was unable to travel to the Awards Ceremony, but she emailed us her reaction:

“Like most writers, I’ve had many rejections of my work. After each one, my husband tells me “The Story of the Super Soaker” (which is a very large water pistol kind of thing) to make me feel better. Evidently the Super Soaker inventor had his share of rejections too. But the Super Soaker guy was like the “Little Engine that Could” of water pistol inventors. He kept on pushing on and believing in himself and trying and trying again to get his invention sold… My husband doesn’t like to see me get down on myself, and he thinks (happily) that I’m a good writer, so he repeatedly tells me this story to keep me going. It’s nice of him, but agonizing to listen to.

My first thought after I heard that I’d won the Debut Dagger was, “Thank goodness, I won’t have to listen to that stupid Super Soaker story again.” Then I went screaming around the house.

I am so happy to receive this award. It is such a great honor, and I’m so thankful, and I’ll do my very best to live up to it.”

Read the first three chapters of Beached here.

Beached: Lola Polenta’s life is in free fall. Her marriage is on the rocks, she’s getting all the crappy jobs in her new career, her home is sinking into a swamp, and she’s just screwed up her first date with the sexy Detective Johansen. She thinks life can’t get any worse… then she finds a severed arm.

About the Author

Sandy Gingras is the author and illustrator of twenty-four gift books. She lives on an island in New Jersey, USA with her husband, son, and golden retriever, Quincy.

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