Archive for August, 2006

ABC Radio Interview

August 22, 2006

Tracked down this radio interview I did back in early March with Richard Fidler, the straight man who played guitar for the Doug Anthony All-Stars. He now hosts the Conversation Hour every morning on ABC Radio in Sydney and Brisbane.

Anyway, thought I’d whack it up here on the blog, so you could download and listen. You could then play it to yourself on one of those nights when sleep won’t come easily.

Researching Wired…

August 22, 2006

I’ve been doing some research the past week or so for the new book, visiting a few places in Melbourne where drugs were dealt and crooks were busted. The memory likes to play tricks, so it pays to get out and about with a pen and notepad.

For Wired, my travels have taken on a seaside theme. On Sunday, I took a trip down to Williamstown Beach, then followed that up with bits and pieces of Elwood and St Kilda. If it wasn’t so cold down here in Melbourne, I would’ve dipped a toe or two in the water.

When I was researching the first book, I made a special trip to Griffith beforehand. For those that haven’t read Undercover, I’m not exactly the most popular person in south central NSW. Well, popular with some; others are not so welcoming.

I arrived late in the afternoon, and decided to de-bag in the same motel I stayed at back in 1994. As I alluded to in Undercover, the owners of this particular motel allegedly have a strong ‘family’ connection. No surprises then that I didn’t book ahead.

When I checked in, I wasn’t too fussy about which room they put me in. I just needed to get a feel for the place. The gods must’ve been smiling because I was given room 314, the same room I stayed in 10 years earlier. Very, very weird.

The next morning I skipped town after checking out all the sights one more time. Speaking personally, the best view of Griffith comes from a rear-view mirror. But hey, that’s just me.

Wired Rundown

August 16, 2006

Now that I’m bashing away at it, here’s a very brief and rough guide to Wired, my next book due for publication some time early in 2007:

Operation Desert Storm: an amphetamines deal worth just under half a mill is under threat when my cover is blown in a Melbourne hotel. The major players are an Iraqi middle man, a Tasmanian bikie with a thing for antique jewellery, and a big-name supplier as cagey as he is dangerous.

Operation Runner: Asian heroin dealers and the complicated sting that sucks them in.

Operation Rex: Cocaine, Chapel Street, and one very angry supplier. Unfortunately, the anger’s directed towards me.

Operation Rada: A clever con-man with an extortion plan. Well, maybe not that clever in the end…

Operation Rapur: Brown hash for heaps of cash.

Operation Faust: Greedy Romanian heavy deals heroin to me in a roadside buy/bust.

But wait, there’s more…

I also detail a few jobs that were short but interesting in their own way. These will be interspersed with the major operations.

So, there you go. Wired is up and running. I’ll keep you posted about the progress.

Also, if you’re reading this and you’re thinking about leaving a message but decide not to, please do! I thrive on feedback, and I’d love to hear what’s on your mind. Cheers.

Brazen Cheapskate!!!

August 10, 2006

Now that I’m clearing out old photos stored in my hard drive, here’s one that some friends sent me a year or so ago.

How’s this guy’s form? He thinks he can waltz into Borders, pick up a copy of Undercover, kick back like he owns the joint, and walk out eight hours later completely up-to-date on all things covert policing.

Hey, mate. Here’s a tip for you. Dive those short arms of yours into the long pockets located in those khaki bloomers you’re wearing, grab hold of your stinkin’ wallet, open it for once, salute the squadron of moths eating away at its insides, and make your way to the cash register.

Can you believe it? Borders is no friggin’ library, and he’s half-way through the book. I mean, come on. Does anyone know this freeloader?

If so, he’s in luck. I’m prepared to smoke the peace pipe, and send him a signed copy of White Lies for free. Yes, free: a concept he is very familiar with. But free, only on one condition. I want proof that he told his mates Undercover‘s a good read…

And thanks for the sneaky photos, Simon and Simone. Ever thought about doing some surveillance work?

Child Exploitation/Neglect

August 10, 2006

Young beachgoer/reader captured enjoying Undercover. Like many, it looks like he’s struggling to get past the Acknowledgements…

White Lies Reviews

August 3, 2006

I’ll give a rundown on the new book Wired soon, but before I do, I have some general house-cleaning to attend to. First, some words on White Lies.

Reviews in the print media have been a bit thin on the ground for White Lies. I did get a favourable one in the Herald-Sun in Melbourne and another in the Gold Coast Bulletin called the book “tantalising”. Here’s a quote from the Hun review:

The author is a natural storyteller, expertly conveying the hardcore grind of undercover work, the cold clunk of dread as a deal turns feral, and the will that controls nuclear-strength panic… the tension in some scenes is unbearable.

All very nice, but compared to the coverage Undercover received, it’s been pretty quiet for the newie. However, I did find one review the other day on the internet when I did a bit of “vanity googling”. Here’s the best bits from it:

Reading White Lies is a little like watching an undercover cop show like Stingers, except that these are real-life cops, real-life crims and real-life events.

Marrett shares his life with a wryly humorous voice which is easy to read and believable. He is also honest about the ups and downs of the job and of the necessarily secretive life he led for six years. For anyone with an interest in police and detective work, this is an absorbing read.

So, seeing as I’m writing a third book now, I’m interested in what people out there think. Which book was the better read? How did you think they differed? What did you like and dislike about the books? I realise I might be opening myself up a bit, but jump right in and have a go. It’s always good to receive feedback, good or even very, very bad…

Damian Marrett Blogs Here

August 3, 2006

Hi. It’s Damian here. Welcome to all of those who have come over from my website. I don’t know. I just thought I’d give this blogging thing a go instead of updating the website. I’ve been so slack on that front that I thought it’s best to start afresh. Apparently, this is where all the writers hang out these days…

I plan to at least post on here weekly. I’m writing the third book at the moment, Wired. Hence the name of this blog, wiredthebook. I’ve got plenty to report on several fronts, but I’ll leave you today with an article in yesterday’s fish and chip wrapper on LA producer Dan Dubiecki.

In conjunction with Melbourne producer Torus Tammer, Dan’s got the film option rights to both of the books. Torus and Dan have been partners for years and are both passionate about making the film. Dan’s currently carving up Hollywood with Thank You For Smoking, so I feel like I’m in good hands. I think The Australian gets rid of content after a few days, so here’s some of the bit that talks about me:

Dubiecki and various partners have options on Undercover and White Lies, by former covert Victorian police officer Damian Marrett; Galax-Arena and Terra-Farma, science fiction books for young people by Gillian Rubinstein; and Syrup, a white-collar comedy by Max Barry.

One of Dubiecki’s shorts was with Melburnian Torus Tammer, who moved home from LA in 2003 and knows Marrett.

“Tell someone in LA that Australia has organised crime and they can’t comprehend there is that aspect to our society,” says Tammer, who is producing the Marrett adaptations with Dubiecki. “But take away all the drugs, sex and seductiveness and the story (Undercover) is about a cop who is addicted to his work. And a lot of people can relate to that.”

They want to find an Australian director and this is also an option for the Rubinstein books, which Dubiecki is producing alongside his Lebanese-Canadian fiancee, Lara Alameddine. Reitman is likely to direct Syrup.

“We want to bridge the gap between Australian film and American film,” Dubiecki says. “As I am gaining more success I can get US funds to fund Australian-made films.