Meet the Mesdames, Catherine Dunphy ~ by Joan O’Callaghan

Joan O'CallaghanAuthors, teachers, business-women, and so much more…

Our own Joan O’Callaghan presents a series of interviews with each of our Mesdames.

A National Newspaper Award winner for feature writing, Catherine Dunphy was a staff writer at The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper, for more than 25 years.

She is the author of Morgentaler, A Difficult Hero, which was nominated for the prestigious Governor General’s Award in 1997. As well, she has written two books of young adult fiction related to the much-heralded Canadian television series, Degrassi High, which has been shown throughout the world.


Catherine DunphyJoan O’Callaghan interviews author Catherine Dunphy:

JO: What have you written?

CD: Morgentaler, A Difficult Hero (a biography nominated for a Governor General’s Award in Non-Fiction); BLT, a Young Adult novel; Caitlin, a Young Adult novel ( both feature characters from the Degrassi Classic television show); contributed to the Degrassi Talks series about Alcohol, Depression, Sexuality.

With Eve Crawford, wrote Fallaway Ridge, four-part mystery for CBC radio.

With Eve Crawford, wrote two episodes of Riverdale, a CBC television series.

Many, many articles for magazines such as Chatelaine, Readers’ Digest, Toronto Life.

JO: When did you start writing?

CD: A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. (In other words, started writing for money at a small weekly newspaper in early 1970s after university, travelling Europe and North Africa and a horrible job for Dun & Bradstreet.)

JO: Why write mysteries?

CD: Because I love to read them.

JO: Why do you think people like to read mysteries?

CD: Mysteries present life ripped wide open. Great, unforgettable characters. A way to express social outrage and mete out social justice. ( Nothing like a body to get even with a boss in a former life.)

JO: Is there a favourite place you like to write or ritual you go through when writing?

CD: Other than procrastination, nope.

JO: How do you balance writing with the demands of a day job and/or family?

CD: I wish I could say I get up EARLY in the morning, have one cup of coffee and do not look at either my emails or the newspaper until I have written 4.000 words. I can’t.

But that is what I aspire to do.

JO: What awards or other forms of recognition have you received for your writing?

CD: The aforementioned nomination for a Governor Genera’s award. A National Newspaper Award for feature writing. A nomination for a National Magazine award. A nomination for a B’Nai Brith award.

JO: What are you working on now?

CD: Am determined to be part of the second Mesdames book. A plot is brewing, albeit on the back burner.

JO: As a writer, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

CD: BUM IN SEAT

JO: What do you like about being one of the Mesdames ? One for all, all for one.

CD: Not a slogan; we are living it.

JO: Is there anything you’d like to add?

CD: Nope…..

Catherine is the author of Morgentaler, A Difficult Hero, which was nominated for the prestigious Governor General’s Award in 1997. As well, she has written two books of young adult fiction related to the much-heralded Canadian television series, Degrassi High, which has been shown throughout the world.

She has also written screenplays for the Canadian television series, Riverdale, as well as created a four-part CBC radio mystery series called Fallaway Ridge. She currently writes for magazines and teaches print journalism and magazine writing at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Joan O’Callaghan is the author of educational books and short stories, including Sugar ‘N’ Spice in the anthology THIRTEEN (Carrick Publishing, 2013). Her short story George is available for e-readers everywhere, including Amazon Kindle.

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Meet the Mesdames, Vicki Delany ~ by Joan O’Callaghan

Joan O'CallaghanAuthors, teachers, business-women, and so much more…

Our own Joan O’Callaghan presents a series of interviews with each of our Mesdames.

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most varied and prolific crime writers. Her popular Constable Molly Smith series (including In the Shadow of the Glacier and A Cold White Sun) from Poisoned Pen Press has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal.


Joan O’Callaghan interviews author Vicki Delany:

Joan: What have you written?

Vicki: A lot! I have sixteen published novels (so far). I write the Constable Molly Smith series, of which the seventh, UNDER COLD STONE, has just been released, standalone novels of psychological suspense, the Klondike Gold Rush series, and novellas for Rapid Reads — an adult literacy line.

Joan: When did you start writing?

Vicki: About fifteen years ago. I was still working full time and had children at home, but I wanted to write so I took a few courses in creative writing at Sheridan College.

Joan: Why write mysteries?

Vicki: Because I read them! I write what I want to read.

Joan: Why do you think people like to read mysteries?

Vicki: Crime novels, it has been said, show the human psyche under pressure.

Crime novels take (usually) normal people and put them through a heck of a lot. Some survive, some do not. Physically as well as mentally or morally.

Crime novels allow the reader to ask him or herself: what would I do in this situation? What would I do if this happened to me? How far would I go to save my child/defeat my enemy/get revenge/save myself? What would I do for money/for love?

Would I do the right thing, or would I fail?

I believe people want to read about ordinary people living ordinary lives, facing extra-ordinary conflicts and tragedies.

It’s through the lens of the crime novel that we can explore people under extreme pressure. The use of a crime or a mystery allows the author to up the stakes for the characters, but the essential humanity and the complex range of human emotions are what’s all-important.

Joan: Is there a favourite place you like to write or ritual you go through when writing?

Vicki: I get up every morning, seven days a week. I go to my main computer in my office, and read e-mails, read the papers online, spend a bit of time on Facebook or Twitter.

Then it’s time to start to write. I walk into the dining room and stand at my Netbook computer which is on the half-wall between the kitchen and the dining room and boot it up. As I pass through the kitchen, I put one egg on to boil.

I always write, standing up, on the Netbook. I read over everything I did the previous day, doing a light edit as I go. I then take my egg into the study and eat it while checking email.
Then back to the small computer for several writing hours.

Joan: How do you balance writing with the demands of a day job and/or family?

Vicki: I am lucky enough to now be a full-time writer. In the early days, when I was working full time and had children living at home, I just took it slowly. I read and I wrote when I got the chance and continued taking courses in creative writing.

Joan: What awards or other forms of recognition have you received for your writing?

Vicki: My books have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal. They have been praised by writers such as Louise Penny, Julia Spencer-Fleming, and Susanna Kearsley, among others. A Winter Kill was short-listed for an Arthur Ellis award for best novella, and Gold Web was short-listed for a Bony Blythe for best light mystery.

Joan: What are you working on now?

Vicki: Something brand new. I have a three book contract with Penguin Obsidian for a cozy series set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The first book is titled BY BOOK OR BY CROOK, and is written under my pen name of Eva Gates. It will be out in February.

Joan: As a writer, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Vicki: Read. To be a writer, says Stephen King, you have to read and you have to write. Read, and read a lot. It’s the only way you are going to learn the craft of writing.

Joan: What do you like about being one of the Mesdames ?

Vicki: The friendship and camaraderie.

Joan: Is there anything you’d like to add?

Vicki: Just my thanks for interviewing me! Oh, and people can find me at http://www.vickidelany.com or http://klondikeandtrafalgar.blogspot.com. I’m on Facebook and Twitter @vickidelany

Mesdames Vicki Under Cold StoneVicki Delany is the author of the popular Constable Molly Smith series (including In the Shadow of the Glacier and A Cold White Sun) from Poisoned Pen Press, as well as the Klondike Gold Rush mysteries from Dundurn, and standalone novels of Gothic Suspense also from Poisoned Pen Press.

Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com , www.facebook.com/vicki.delany, and twitter: @vickidelany. She blogs about the writing life at One Woman Crime Wave (http://klondikeandtrafalgar.blogspot.com)

Joan O’Callaghan is the author of educational books and short stories, including Sugar ‘N’ Spice in the anthology THIRTEEN (Carrick Publishing, 2013). Her short story George is available for e-readers everywhere, including Amazon Kindle.

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Mesdames on the Move ~ Joan O’Callaghan



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1940’s Southern Murder Mystery: To Kill A Debutante

THE MESDAMES ARE PROUD TO BRING YOU NEWS OF THIS SPECIAL UP-COMING EVENT:


You are cordially invited to the 15th Annual Debutante Ball for Miss Rita LaBeauregard in Southern Georgia. Miss LaBeauregard has found a suitor 15 times but tragically they wind up dead the next day. We will take you back in time to the 1940’s through a murder mystery dinner theatre experience that allows the audience to not only figure out whodunit but actually choose the ending that they want to see! If you like, come dressed as a Belle, Dandy or even in your finest gingham!

Blue Moon Café
1677 Snyder’s Rd E Petersburg ON
Tickets can be purchased at www.thebluemoon.ca

Mystery Dinner and Show: $54.00
(inc. tax and grats)
When: July 4, 5 19, 26 & 27th & August 16 &17th Guests Arrive: Starting at 6:30pm
July 27th and Aug 17th are matinees at 12:30 p.m.
We certainly hope to see you there!!

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Raising a Glass to the Best Bloody Conference Ever! ~ by Donna Carrick

June 14 Bloody Words Panel on SettingsWhat do you call 250 Canadian Crime Writers at the Toronto Hyatt Regency in June?

A Bloody Blast, that’s what!

Chaired by our own Mme Cheryl Freedman (aka She Who Must Be Obeyed), featuring Canadian Guest of Honour Vicki Delany, and with most of our Mesdames in attendance, the 2014 Bloody Words Conference was, arguably, one of the best Writers’ Conferences ever held in our fair city.

Before the Conference even began, we were thrilled to enjoy “An Evening With Arthur”, at the formal Arthur Ellis Awards Banquet on June 5. Several of our Mesdames attended this Crime Writers of Canada function, including the evening’s MC and our current Chair of CWC, Mme Vicki Delany.

The Goddaughter's Revenge, Melodie CampbellWe were flying proud when Mme Melodie Campbell was presented with the Arthur Award for Best Crime Novella for her hysterically funny caper: The Goddaughter’s Revenge. If you don’t have your copy, be sure to line it up for your summer vacation!

(Below, Top)Toronto’s prestigious Arts and Letters Club provided a glittering venue for our CrimeLit ladies and gents. Here you see Vicki Delany, Robin Harlick, Howard Engels (who was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award that evening!) and Cheryl Freedman.

(Below, Bottom, Left) On Melodie’s far left is Vicki Delany, immediate left is Lou Allin, on her right, Arthur Ellis Chair Cheryl Freedman and of course, the Hanged Man himself!

(Below, Bottom, Right) Long-time supporter of Canadian Crime Writing, artist and former Crime Reviewer Don Graves presents Melodie with a fabulous landscape from his collection!

June 14 BLOG AE BW 1
Thirteen, an anthology of Crime StoriesThe Mesdames made a terrific showing this year, receiving TWO nominations in the Best Short Crime Story category for our anthology titled THIRTEEN:
The Emerald Skull by Sylvia Maultash Warsh
Watermelon Weekend by Donna Carrick

And, speaking of Awards, Mme Joan O’Callaghan also made the very short-list as a runner-up for the Bony Pete Award, for her story Runaway!

We were thrilled to also raise a cheer for Mesdames’ founder Madeleine (M.H.) Callway, whose debut novel Windigo Fire will be released by Seraphim Editions, Fall 2014. Kudos to you, Mad!

(Below, left to right)Donna Carrick, Sylvia Maultash Warsh, Sylvia’s daughter Jessica, and husband, Jerry, Lynne Murphy, Joan O’Callaghan, Ed Callway, our Mesdames’ founder Madeleine (M.H). Callway herself, and Lynne Murphy.

On Friday, June 6, (at high noon, no less) our CrimeWriters of Canada Board met for a wonderful lunch, hosted by former President Robin Harlick.

Below, from the left: Jill Downie, Vicki Delany, Linda Wiken, Melodie Campbell, Donna Carrick, Alison Bruce, Cathy Ace, Phyllis Smallman, Robin Harlick, Peter Kirby.
June 14 BLOG AE BW 3
As the Bloody Words Conference began in earnest, the schmoozing and laughter could be heard in every corridor.

(Below, Top, from left)Canadian Guest of Honour Vicki Delany in full Fiona flair for the banquet, Jane Burfield, John Thompson, Joan O’Callaghan.
(Below, Bottom, from left)First picture includes four previous-year finalists for the Un-hanged Arthur Award: Lois Gordon, Gloria Ferris, Madeleine Harris-Callway, Kristina Stanley. Next: Mel Bradshaw, Donna Carrick, International Guest of Honour Michael Jecks, John Kenney, Lynne Murphy, Joan O’Callaghan, Sylvia Maultash Warsh.

And, of course, this fine Conference is known for its world-class panels. There were numerous writers of distinction speaking on various aspects of the Crime genre.

(Below, Top, from left)Rosemary McCracken, Joan O’Callaghan, Cathy Astolfo
(Middle)Cathy with her full panel.
(Below, Bottom, from left)Dorothy (D.J.) McIntosh, Rosemary M’s panel, including Jake Doherty, Rosemary Aubert.

What is a Writers’ Conference without some good old silly fun? Our authors explore how far they will go in the quest for cover recognition, pounding the catwalk at the Books With Legs event!

Our newest Mme Lisa de Nikolits struts her latest title The Witchdoctor’s Bones. Vicki Delany sports her work Under Cold Stone, and the lovely Melissa Yi dons her book Terminally Ill.

NOTE: Byline Photo features the Bloody Words Panel on Settings. Left to Right: Lisa de Nikolits, Moderator Donna Carrick, Elizabeth J. Duncan, Maureen Jennings, International Guest of Honour Michael Jecks.

ALL PHOTOS courtesy of: Donna Carrick, Lisa de Nikolits, Cathy Astolfo.

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Life is like a book of chocolates ~ Guest blogger Lisa de Nikolits

Life is like a book of chocolates.

Yeah, I know, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense! But bear with me and let me explain.

I am a bookaholic and a chocoholic and it occurred to me the other evening that certain chocolates simply ‘go better’ with certain books, while other chocolates are equally wrong.

In much the same way you wouldn’t pair red wine with fish (although these days that’s under debate), or steadily chug a rare single malt scotch with a main course meat dish, you need to be discerning about which chocolate to pair with a particular book.

Here’s a sampling of a few recently-read books, with retrospective insights as to my imagined perfect chocolate pairings. You’ll see that like my taste in chocolate, I enjoy reading a variety of genres and if you’re going to get all snobby on me, like the wine connoisseur/Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc quaffer who cringed when I admitted to using boxed white for my summer porch spritzers, then this post probably isn’t for you – but I have no shame in admitting to being an avid reader and an equally equal-opportunity chocolate-eater!

DavidFosterWallaceI recently enjoyed DD Miller’s David Foster Wallace Ruined My Suicide & Other Stories and the originality and vibrancy of these stories had me dipping into a precious stash of Freddos, tiny chocolate frogs that accompanied me back from Sydney, Australia. Why Freddos? Because the stories in this book are as delightful as chocolate frogs; playful with crackling exploding embedded bits of pop rocks, inviting all manner of memories from childhood to mix in with the complexities of adulthood. Life used to be a froggy party and now it’s… well, it’s adulthood, and as you reach for a fresh-faced Freddo and look down at the smiley faces of the shredded empty packages on the floor, it just seems like the right thing to do, while the protagonist reaches for another beer.

When reading Midsummer, the exquisitely beautiful new novella by Carole Giangrande about families, loss and longing, I’d say you need a Champagne Truffle from Godiva, made with Dom Perignon, kissed with Gold Leaf and cast in 64% Private Reserve Dark Chocolate.

While reading the entrancing poetry collection by Catherine Graham, Her Red Hair Rises With The Wings of Insects, I think you’d need chocolate-covered ginger, mysterious, exotic, deep, with many nuances of flavours; bittersweet, tart, memorable, teasing with the soft texture of melting chocolate, the tiny roughness of the ginger graining against your tongue, leaving a tiny sugar bead, palate satisfaction and a lingering taste of wanting more.

I picked up Linwood Barclay’s, Fear The Worst, delighted to find that I hadn’t yet read it. This book called for a good stash; a bar of Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut, Cadbury’s Hazelnut and a big slab of Aero. The wrapper on the Cadbury chocolates proclaims that you get 10% extra joy and I certainly get that with all of Linwood’s books!

Thirteen, an anthology of Crime StoriesFor Thirteen by the Mesdames of Mayhem, I’d suggest a box of Lindt Lindor Assorted Chocolate Truffles; the ‘irresistibly smooth’ chocolate balls have a solid shell (the suspense that won’t let you in just yet, but keeps you wondering what’s inside), and then, the surprise and delight of an ever-pleasing resolution.

Here’s a less light-hearted read; Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease by Gary Greenberg. A funny thing about this book; I purchased the hard cover and removed the cover jacket to find the book spine proclaiming that I was reading The Left Hand of God by Paul Hoffman! The interior of the book was correctly installed, but it had the wrong cover! There’s one perfect confectionary solution for this book; chocolate-covered pretzels, twisted, salty, crunchy, disturbingly satisfying, leaving you feeling utterly replete.

The Book of Stolen TalesWhen reading one of my favourite authors, D.J. McIntosh, (The Witch of Babylon and The Book of Stolen Tales), I’d recommend a box of delicious Asbach Chocolate Filled Liqueurs.

Next on my list is As A Thief In The Night by Chuck Crabbe and I’m not quite sure what this book will bring, so I’m going to cover all bases and have Reese’s Pieces, Reese’s Peanutbutter Minis and an old favourite, Ferrero Rocher all close at hand.

Now, you might ask, what about The Witchdoctor’s Bones? What would I recommend for that? Well, the chocolates would have to be South African, so I’d say an assortment of Sweetie Pies, Crunchies, Top Deck (milk chocolate with a topping of creamy white chocolate) and a Cadbury’s Turkish Delight. It’s a fairly long book, so you need a good supply! P.S., I know most of those chocolates are British but they are also South African favourites.

In the final analysis, I’d say, regardless of your book of choice, or your choice of chocolate, keep reading – and enjoy!

The Witchdoctor's BonesOriginally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits has been a Canadian citizen since 2003. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Philosophy and has lived in the U.S.A., Australia and Britain.

Her first novel, The Hungry Mirror, won the 2011 IPPY Awards Gold Medal for Women’s Issues Fiction and was long-listed for a ReLit Award. Her second novel, West of Wawa won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal Winner for Popular Fiction and was one of Chatelaine’s four Editor’s Picks. West of Wawa is available in bookstores and online.

Her third novel, A Glittering Chaos, launched in Spring 2013 to reader and reviewer acclaim, and is about murder, madness, illicit love and poetry.

Her fourth novel, The Witchdoctor’s Bones was launched Spring 2014. The Witchdoctor’s Bones is a thriller about the darkest secrets of African evil; the novel seamlessly weaves witchcraft and ancient folklore into a plot of loss, passion and intrigue and a holiday becomes a test of moral character.

All books published by Inanna Publications.

Links:
www.lisadenikolitswriter.com (website with reviews, photographs and reader comments)
twitter: @lisadenikolits
FaceBook
http://www.goodreads.com
http://pinterest.com/lisadenikolits/

YouTube readings:
http://bit.ly/1e4g8ZR Melusine is fired
http://bit.ly/1ahnDIU Hans’ Medicine
http://bit.ly/1eFSp0K Hans and Melusine

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Arthur Ellis Awards ~ June 5, 2014, Arts & Letters Club, Toronto

Thirteen, an anthology of Crime StoriesWell, Friends, the results are in.

Our beloved THIRTEEN did not win the Arthur Ellis Award last night, but it certainly made a terrific showing, with TWO nominations for Best Short Story.

Our two nominees are: Watermelon Weekend by Donna Carrick, and The Emerald Skull by Sylvia Maultash Warsh.

The Goddaughter's Revenge, Melodie CampbellWe want to send a heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS to our very own Melodie Campbell, whose book The Goddaughter’s Revenge won in the category of Best Novella!

Our hats are off to all of the winners, and all of the nominees, with a special mention to Charlotte Morganti, whose outstanding manuscript Snow Job was short-listed for the 2014 “Unhanged Arthur” Award!

AND, without further ado, here are the 2014 WINNERS of the coveted Arthur:
Congrats Arthur 2014

Congrats Arthur 2014

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Meet the Mesdames, Donna Carrick ~ by Joan O’Callaghan

Joan O'CallaghanAuthors, teachers, business-women, and so much more…

Our own Joan O’Callaghan presents a series of interviews with each of our Mesdames.

An executive member of Crime Writers Of Canada, Donna Carrick volunteers her time as a mentor to aspiring CWC authors. She remains active in the Canadian writing scene, supporting Sisters In Crime, Word On The Street, Bloody Words and a variety of other venues for the literary arts.

Donna CarrickJoan O’Callaghan interviews author Donna Carrick:

JO What have you written?

DC I currently have three Crime novels to my credit:

The First Excellence ~ Fa-ling’s Map, 2009, Literary thriller set in China
Gold And Fishes, 2006, Literary Thriller set in post-tsunami Indonesia
The Noon God, 2006, Mystery/Suspense set in Toronto

I’ve also penned a number of short stories, some of which appear in my anthologies:

Sept-Ȋles and Other Places, 2011, Literary Crime stories
Knowing Penelope, 2012, eclectic Crime/Detective stories

As well as in:

THIRTEEN, an anthology of Crime Stories (Carrick Publishing, 2013)
EFD1: Starship Goodwords (Carrick Publishing, 2012)

JO When did you start writing?

DC I don’t remember beginning my writing life, but I do remember the first time I articulated my desire to be a writer. I was six years old, and had written a series of poetic ‘ditties’ for my mother, based on popular children’s poems. When I saw her smile, I knew my die was cast…

JO Why write mysteries?

DC That’s a potentially loaded question. No doubt, many Crime writers will tell you they love the art of placing clues, or the carefully constructed plot. I do cherish those elements, but they are not the reason I write Crime.

I refer to my work as “Literary Thrillers”, which may provide a clue. My first love is Literature, including poetry. That’s where my education and passion lay.

However, my personal experiences, especially those of my impressionable youth, have endowed me with a heightened sense of “good vs. evil”. I know that may sound odd; however, no matter what story I set out to write, no matter what my intentions, sooner or later, a criminal will appear. And, sooner or later, my hero will be called upon to take action.

(It’s probably best not to question too closely what this indicates about my own world-view. LOL)

My stories tend to be character driven, rather than plot or clue driven. I believe they represent the best and the worst of people I’ve encountered.

JO Why do you think people like to read mysteries?

DC I can’t speak for other readers, but for me it comes down to the “quest for justice”. Even when good does not prevail, Crime genre usually offers us a chase, holding the criminal element “to account”.

JO Is there a favourite place you like to write or ritual you go through when writing?

DC I’ll write any place, any time. In a busy life, the opportunity is so rare that I can’t afford to miss it when it presents itself. My favourite place is looking out the window of our Northern home.

JO How do you balance writing with the demands of a day job and/or family?

DC With varying degrees of success, I’m afraid. Married with three children, two of whom are still school-aged, and an office manager in a busy Accounting environment to boot – writing remains my constant love and passion, but I won’t pretend that it gets all the attention I’d like to give it.

JO What awards or other forms of recognition have you received for your writing?

DC In 2011, The First Excellence was honoured with the first-ever Indie Book Event Award, which Alex and I flew to NYC to receive. That was a thrill!

Most recently, my story Watermelon Weekend in the Crime anthology THIRTEEN by the Mesdames of Mayhem was short-listed for the prestigious Arthur Award for Best Short Story.

The Arthur Award is a long standing-dream of mine, so this nomination means a great deal to me.

JO What are you working on now?

DC I have two new Crime novels underway, though I’m not sure which will be completed first. They both feature brand new characters, and that’s all I can say at the moment.

JO As a writer, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

DC Write because you love it. There really is no other reason to do it. Money is nice, but remains elusive for most writers. Recognition is the salve that heals us in difficult times, but it, too, is not the primary motivation.

Follow your passion. If it leads you into the Literary Arts, then give it everything you have.

JO What do you like about being one of the Mesdames ?

DC I’ve never met a more talented, generous, witty and intelligent group of writers. These ladies share their knowledge, war-stories, wine and laughter. They make this writing-life fun!

JO Is there anything you’d like to add?

DC If you are a lover of Crime genre, a reader or a writer, editor or publisher, then I hope to see you at Bloody Words 2014! This will be the final “HURRAH!” for Canada’s most popular Crime Conference.

Time is running out – SIGN UP NOW!

Conference: June 6 – 8, 2014.
Place: Hyatt Regency Toronto at 370 King Street West in the downtown theatre district.

Donna is the author of 3 mystery novels: The First Excellence ~ Fa-ling’s Map, Gold And Fishes and The Noon God.

All titles are available in paperback as well as Kindle versions. Her first collection of 5 mysterious short stories titled Sept-Iles and other places is available for Kindle. Her second anthology, titled Knowing Penelope, features brand new sexy & sassy PI Penelope Canon.

Joan O’Callaghan is the author of educational books and short stories, including Sugar ‘N’ Spice in the anthology THIRTEEN (Carrick Publishing, 2013). Her short story George is available for e-readers everywhere, including Amazon Kindle.

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Meet the Mesdames, Melodie Campbell ~ by Joan O’Callaghan

Joan O'CallaghanAuthors, teachers, business-women, and so much more…

Our own Joan O’Callaghan presents a series of interviews with each of our Mesdames.

Melodie Campbell got her start writing comedy (stand-up and columns.) She was invited into the Toronto Press Club in 1994. In 1999, she opened the Canadian Humour Conference. She has over 200 publications including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories and 4 novels. Her fifth novel, a mob caper entitled The Goddaughter’s Revenge (Orca Books), has been nominated for the prestigious Arthur Award for Best Novella. She has won 10 awards for fiction, and was a finalist for both the 2012 Derringer and Arthur Ellis Awards.


Melodie CampbellJoan O’Callaghan interviews author Melodie Campbell:

JO What have you written?

MC The award-winning comic crime Goddaughter series (The Goddaughter, The Goddaughter’s Revenge, The Artful Goddaughter).

The best-selling Rowena Time Travel series (Rowena Through the Wall, Rowena and the Dark Lord, Rowena and the Viking Warlord).

A Purse to Die For (with Cynthia St-Pierre).

40 short stories (ten awards for short fiction) and 100 comedy credits.

JO When did you start writing ?

MC At the age of 4. My parents called it lying. That was so short-sighted of them.

JO Why write mysteries?

MC I love the twist at the end. I love to surprise and delight readers. There is nothing more luscious than a well-crafted crime novel where you don’t see the ending coming.

JO Why do you think people like to read mysteries ?

MC Again, it’s an intelligent ‘read.’ Mysteries are well-plotted. Something ‘happens’ in a mystery, and there is a resolution at the end. Usually, it’s a resolution that includes justice. That doesn’t always happen in real life.

JO Is there a favorite place you like to write or a ritual you go through when writing ?

MC Sitting at the rickety desk in front of the pretty arched window, with Frankenpoodle reclining on the chaise beside me. Peace and comfort, with odour of dog.

JO How do you balance writing with the demands of a day job and/or family ?

MC I don’t. I am completely unbalanced. I fall over regularly.

JO What awards or other forms of recognition have you received for your writing ?

MC The Toronto Sun billed me as Canada’s “Queen of Comedy” (Jan. 5 2014.)
I’ve won ten awards for my short fiction. Most recently, The Goddaughter’s Revenge won the 2014 Derringer (US). The same book has been shortlisted for The Arthur in Canada. Cross fingers…

JO What are you working on now?

MC The Goddaughter Affair. Yes, Gina and Nico are off on another clandestine caper in The Hammer! This time, coffins and counterfeiting share the limelight.

JO As a writer, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

MC I’m paraphrasing into my own words: Writing is work, hard work. Some days it doesn’t seem like work, and those are the days we live for.

JO What do you like about being one of the Mesdames ?

MC It’s FUN! What a great bunch of clever and witty women. I love it when we get together.

JO Is there anything you’d like to add ?

MC Worst mistake? In 1993, a producer from HBO saw my play ‘Burglar for Coffee’ in Toronto, called me ‘completely nuts’, and offered me a spot writing pilots. Which I turned down. This is probably the worst mistake ever made by someone not legally insane. Who had ever heard of HBO in 1993?

The Goddaughter's Revenge, Melodie CampbellBy day, she is the highly proper Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada. By night she transforms into a fevered scribe of comic crime and time travel novels. There is no truth to the rumour that she once did a somersault off the press club billiard table.

THE GODDAUGHTER (Orca Books)
“Impossible not to laugh” Library Digest

ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL (Imajin Books)
“Hot and hilarious!” Midwest Book Review

www.melodiecampbell.com
www.funnygirlmelodie.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MelodieCampbellAuthor
Twitter: @melodiecampbell

Joan O’Callaghan is the author of educational books and short stories, including Sugar ‘N’ Spice in the anthology THIRTEEN (Carrick Publishing, 2013). Her short story George is available for e-readers everywhere, including Amazon Kindle.

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Meet the Mesdames, Rosemary Aubert ~ by Joan O’Callaghan

Joan O'CallaghanAuthors, teachers, business-women, and so much more…

Our own Joan O’Callaghan presents a series of interviews with each of our Mesdames.

Our third, Rosemary Aubert, is the author of sixteen books, among them the acclaimed Ellis Portal mystery series and her latest romantic thriller Terminal Grill. Rosemary is a two-time winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for crime fiction, winning in both the novel and short-story categories.


Rosemary AubertJoan O’Callaghan interviews author Rosemary Aubert:

JO What have you written?

RA Four books of poetry. Five romance novels. Five mystery novels (The Ellis Portal series). One novella. One historical.

JO When did you start writing ?

RA Before the age of ten.

JO Why write mysteries?

RA Because I started doing it and I can’t seem to stop. Blame it all on Nancy Drew.

JO Why do you think people like to read mysteries ?

RA Solving puzzles gives them a sense of empowerment.

JO Is there a favorite place you like to write or a ritual you go through when writing ?

RA No ritual. I always construct a very detailed outline before I begin the actual novel. I generally do a year or more research. I work in the dining room and the bedroom of our apartment.

JO How do you balance writing with the demands of a day job and/or family ?

RA I’ve done it all my life and it’s still a strain….

JO What awards or other forms of recognition have you received for your writing ?

RA Two Arthur Ellis awards. Several nominations of various sorts. The Alberta Poetry Prize. The best recognition is when a stranger hears my name, approaches me and says, “I’ve read all your books and I love them.”

JO What are you working on now?

RA A new mystery and a book of poetry.

JO As a writer, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

RA Don’t sell yourself short.

JO What do you like about being one of the Mesdames ?

RA The intelligent, enthusiastic professional camaraderie.

JO Is there anything you’d like to add ?

RA Yes. My thanks to the Mesdames for including me.

imageRosemary Aubert’s latest book, Terminal Grill, is available at:
Quattro Books
Amazon.ca
and at Chapters-Indigo

Visit Rosemary at her Website for more information.

Joan O’Callaghan is the author of educational books and short stories, including Sugar ‘N’ Spice in the anthology THIRTEEN (Carrick Publishing, 2013). Her short story George is available for e-readers everywhere, including Amazon Kindle.

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