Chief Executive of NewsMediaWorks, author and first-time novelist Mark Hollands is the first self-published author ever to be shortlisted for the Ned Kelly’s, in the ‘Best First Fiction’ category.
His novel, Amplify, released last November, introduces anti-hero Billy Lime, an entertainment entrepreneur who risks losing everything when the lead singer of a band he’s promoting is murdered.
Set in Sydney, Amplify explores the glitz of the city’s clubs and pubs, and the dark side of its excessive behaviour. Billy Lime must save the tour and find the killer to clear his name.
The Ned Kelly judges said of the novel: “A rip-roaring, thriller-come-expose of the sex, drugs and rock’n’roll lifestyle, Amplify is a combination of textbook life on the road for a rock band and high threat action thriller with enough twists to make a normal person think the life of a promoter wasn’t such a great business choice. Laced with humour and irony, populated by vivid and memorable characters, this is highly entertaining reading.”
Hollands said: “I am really thrilled to receive this nomination, even to be shortlisted is a tremendous honour for me. I wanted to create a hard-edged, Australian anti-hero that lovers of crime thrillers anywhere in the world can relate to.
“Amplify is the first in a series of Billy Lime adventures. It is set in the present day and anchored in the music industry rather than a city or region.
“The rock business delivers a fascinating and contemporary social commentary on the changes we are all experiencing in the digital content revolution. It’s great to allow the real world to intersect with a plot that twists and turns with each chapter.”
Amplify is a fierce page-turner, edited by Miles Franklin winner Tom Flood. Hollands was a long-time journalist with News Corp and is currently Chief Executive of the newspaper industry body, NewsMediaWorks.
Review from 2UE Breakfast presenter Garry Linnell: “Does it get any better than this? Bikies, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll and a parade of truly authentic modern Australian characters makes this a real page-turner. And Billy Lime is sublime.
“Hollands has put together a complicated man and a fascinating narrative that deserves a long-running series – and if Hollywood hasn’t come looking already to sign Billy Lime up, it soon will. It’s like reading a book with a fast, grinding guitar soundtrack in the background. Fast, tight and guaranteed to get your pulse racing. Well worth the ticket.”