Crime might go down during cold weather but not on the page.
That’s the modus operandi for the partnership between Sisters in Crime Australia and Words in Winter Central Goldfields. They’re plotting an event, Crimes for a Cold Winter’s Day, on Sunday August 20, 11.30 am – 1.30 pm, at the Maryborough Library.
Join regional writers – and Sisters in Crime members – Carmel Bird, Susan Green and Elizabeth Coleman in conversation with Janice Simpson about their wildly different but entertaining approaches to plotting, characters, time periods, atmosphere, and sleuths. Just the thing to warm the imagination (and soul) on a cold winter’s day.
Local author Carmel Bird is fond of reading true crime and crime fiction, as well as watching crime documentaries and movies.
Crimes darken the fabric of much of her fiction writing, yet only three of her many novels, Unholy Writ, Open for Inspection, and Family Skeleton, are specifically ‘crime’.
Bird grew up in Tasmania – a fine spot, she says, for crime, beginning with the official theft of the land by the British in 1803, as well as the systematic massacre of the First Peoples. She now lives in rural Victoria, where her Field of Poppies is set. This novel is fraught with crimes.
Bird has published 36 books of various kinds, the latest being a collection of short fiction, including a certain amount of felony, but concentrating more on the facts of species extinction and the contemplation of the future of the planet.
In 2022, the University of Tasmania awarded her an Honorary Doctorate of Letters, and in 2016 she received the Patrick White Award for Literature.
Castlemaine author Susan Green has published 12 books for children and young adults since 1987 – including teenage romances, picture storybooks and junior novels – but it is her gifted confidential inquiry agent, Verity Sparks, who has brought her the most success.
The Truth About Verity Sparks was both an Honour Book in the CBCA awards and a White Raven selection in 2012. It was released in the UK as Diamonds and Deception in 2016. The sequels are Verity Sparks Lost and Found and the Davitt Highly Commended Verity Sparks and the Scarlet Hand.
In 2017, her first adult novel, How Bright Are All Things Here, was published by Pan Macmillan.
In 2021, after intending to submit a story to the Scarlet Stiletto awards for over two decades, she finally did – and won an award.
Her story, Creativity Now!, was a runner-up in the ‘Body in the Library’ section (prize $750). Susan inherited her love of mystery and detection from her mother Helen, whose crime library numbered into the thousands.
Ballarat-based screenwriter and playwright Elizabeth Coleman (Secret Bridesmaids’ Business) turned novelist’s debut crime novel, A Routine Infidelity (Pantera Press) introduces commitment-phobe 35-year-old Edwina (Ted) Bristol who runs EBI, a private investigation agency.
Her latest case is to conduct routine surveillance on a couple suspected of having an illicit affair. She also discovers her sister Bob has fallen prey to an internet catfishing scam. With some help from her acutely intelligent miniature schnauzer, Miss Marple, they set out to find the scammer, who has already fleeced Bob of $500 . . .
Elizabeth has also written for countless television dramas, including every season of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries.
Compere Janice Simpson’s debut crime novel, Murder in Mt Martha, came out in 2016. Since then, she has published A Body of Work and has finished her PhD in creative practice. She took on the voluntary position of Words in Winter director for the Maryborough area last year as a favour. There is no funding and it has been a huge labour of love. Janice would welcome volunteers.
Crimes for a Cold Winter’s Day will run from 11.30am-1.30pm at the Maryborough Library, corner Alma and Nolan Streets, Maryborough. Author books will be on sale.
The event is free but bookings are essential at eventbrite.com.au