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SheKilda, or did she?

October 25, 2016

If  you can get to Melbourne on 19 November 2016 and you are mad about crime fiction, then SheKilda is a must! Organised by Sisters In Crime Australia, this one day extravaganza on everything criminal and thrilling, will give you the chance to chat to some of Australia’s best female crime fiction authors as well as enjoy panel discussions on a wide range of topics. Why not make a weekend of it? Join us in Melbourne at St Kilda Town Hall between 9:00-17:00, and then later at the bar! The last time I attended a SheKilda event everybody had a ball. Hope you can come!

Here is the SheKilda program of events.

Click here for tickets and hotel information.

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What is ‘Antarctic Noir’?

October 14, 2016

In  comparison with other icy locations for crime fiction , such as Scandinavia or the Arctic, comparatively few have been set in Antarctica. Matthew Reilly’s Ice Station (1998) and James Rollins’ Subterranean (2009) spring to mind. I am one of the very few crime fiction authors who has set two thrillers there: firstly, Thirst, and now my new book, Devour, published by Constable/Little,Brown. I can only put this down to the degree of difficulty in getting to Antarctica, and, perhaps, because it is such a truly alien place, hard to bring to life on the page in a credible way unless you have actually experienced it? A fellow Sister In Crime author, Ann Turner, has set her latest mystery in Antarctica, Out Of The Ice, and we recently were on a panel with Hazel Edwards discussing this very topic. In fact, on 7 October this year, Hazel Edwards, who has set some of her two hundred books in Antarctica, officially launched ‘Antarctic Noir’. Here’s a link to her article.

Antarctica is the perfect location for a thriller because it offers isolation, jeopardy, and no readily available police force or backup when a killer is on the loose. It also enables me to put characters under pressure, because Antarctica is fraught with hazard, and even before I introduce sabotage and murder to the mix!

So what is ‘Antarctic Noir’? In my opinion it’s crime fiction set in Antarctica, in which the threat originates from there or the mystery will lead them there. The central character is usually somebody who has enough skill to survive the extreme environment. They will face a threat from a human or non-human killer. It’s interesting to point out that in Ice Station and Subterranean the heroes were male with military/law enforcement backgrounds. I am fascinated by what ordinary people can do in extreme circumstances – people who are clever, skilled but vulnerable. So in Thirst, the hero is a glaciologist (he’s also pretty good at swinging an ice-axe!) and in Devour, an investigative journalist, Olivia Wolfe, who is well-trained in self-defence but out of her comfort zone in Antarctica.

I should point out that there has never been a murder in Antarctica, and long may it stay that way. But it doesn’t mean we can’t imagine murder and mayhem in fiction!

The stories in both Thirst and Devour have been inspired by real events in Antarctica, in particular scientific expeditions. Click this link to a video where I explain, ‘Why Antarctica?’ Enjoy!

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Afternoon at the pub with 5 crime fiction authors?

October 9, 2016

Fancy a relaxing afternoon chatting to 5 crime fiction authors over a beer one Sunday in October? Join me and authors Nigel Bartlett, Candice Fox, Bruce McCabe and A.B. Patterson on Sunday 23 October at 3pm, at the Australian Youth Hotel, Sydney. Bookings through Eventbrite here.

Here are brief bios on the author’s joining me:

Nigel Bartlett is a freelance writer and editor who has worked for many of the bestknown
publications in Australia. In 2012 he completed a research masters in creative writing at the
University of Technology, Sydney. King of the Road is his debut novel.

Candice Fox is the middle child of a large, eccentric family from Sydney’s western
suburbs. Candice’s books Hades, Eden and Fall are
published with Random House Australia. Hades and Eden both won Ned Kelly

Bruce McCabe is the author of Skinjob, a cutting-edge thriller following the lives of
an FBI agent and a policewoman as they work frantically to solve a high-pressure
case. Bruce lived in Kenya, Fiji and Japan before returning to Sydney, where he is
now based.

A. B. Patterson is an Australian writer who knows first-hand about corruption,
power, crime and sex. He was a Detective Sergeant in the WA Police, working in
paedophilia and vice, and later was a Chief Investigator with the NSW Independent
Commission Against Corruption. Harry’s World, hard-boiled and
noir, is his multiple award-winning debut novel.

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Characters to die for

October 3, 2016

A night of dark plots and twisted characters – an event with James Phelan and L.A. Larkin at Readings, Carlton.

Action thrillers are often associated with heart-pounding, high stakes plots, but it is the central characters that win our hearts and make us want to read the next book in the series. Larkin and Phelan will discuss how they create engaging characters and what is involved in writing for a book series. The authors have very different protagonists – ex-CIA operative Jed Walker and British investigative journalist, Olivia Wolfe – and they will discuss the creative challenges this presents.

This is a free event but please book here so that Readings can cater for the right numbers.

Date and time: Wed 19th Oct 2016, 6:30 pm.

Location: Readings Carlton — 309 Lygon St, Carlton, Victoria, 3053.

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Antarctic Noir, 7 Oct, Melbourne

The Ice Women Cometh!

Join me, and author Ann Turner, on 7 October 2016 in Melbourne as we discuss our latest crime fiction novels and why we chose Antarctica as their primary location. If you are fascinated by the great icy continent or love action thrillers, then this could be a fun night for you. Tickets can be booked through EventBrite.

Date: 7 Oct 2016 at 8 pm.

Location: Rising Sun Hotel
Cnr Raglan St & Eastern Road
South Melbourne, VIC


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