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Getting your novel reviewed

Posted by Janice on July 1, 2016 at 2:10 AM Comments comments ()

So far my book has secured only two reviews, both online. One of these is on the Fair Dinkum Crime site and the other at  Aust Crime Fiction

Not through lack of trying as the publishers have sent review copies to various dailies but as yet, no bites.

So it was lovely to have this feedback passed on by a friend.

"I finished reading Murder in Mt Martha r...

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How I came to write 'Murder in Mt Martha'

Posted by Janice on May 17, 2016 at 1:20 AM Comments comments ()

Needing a subject to write about when I enrolled in Novel 1 as part of a Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing, I decided to pick up on a story that had flitted round the edges of my imagination for some years.

The murder of 14 year-old Shirley Collins on 12 September 1953 hit local and interstate headlines when her body was discovered, bashed and partially naked, in the driveway of a holiday home at Mt Martha. Despite interviewing more than 4000 people, the police...

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A (re)surgence of interest in true crime

Posted by Janice on April 25, 2016 at 7:05 PM Comments comments ()

I was browsing my true crime shelves the other day - a few titles there, as well as those that are considered 'almost true crime', such as Truman Capote's 'In Cold Blood'. The issue with Capote's work is that it contains all sorts of writerly devices such as dialogue which Capote neither participated in nor witnessed. John Berendt's 'Murder in the Garden of Good and Evil' earned much the same criticism - not really real, but based on and creatively imagined. Anyway, what's not to like about t...

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A flurry of activity

Posted by Janice on April 1, 2016 at 9:05 PM Comments comments ()


I have spent the last few months working with my editor to spit and polish the manuscript for 'Murder in Mt Martha'. A few significant changes were made, including the title.

At the time, I wasn't sure that what was being suggested would work, but wisely - in hindsight - I decided to accept the advice.

And that has lead me to where I am now - as pleased as a pampered puppy with the final result. I love the size - it will fit snugly in h...

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What comes into my inbox

Posted by Janice on October 19, 2015 at 6:40 PM Comments comments ()


Apart from all the please pay-up type emails I receive from Doctor Whosimewatzit and the endless catalogues for products that I have never wanted let alone signed up for, as well as the Viagra ads and the sexy lady announcements, there is a goodly number of what I might term 'vanity' publishers offering to publish my manuscript. Some do this as a straight offer; others put their offers out as a 'competition'.

I fell for the competition-type years ago, when I pa...

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Rules for Writing Detective Fiction

Posted by Janice on September 23, 2015 at 9:50 PM Comments comments ()

I don’t know if you get annoyed too, when you get to the end of a book only to throw it on the growing pile of those whose next journey is to the op shop, regretting the time spent reading more so than the money spent purchasing it. For me this happens when the murderer is someone who was never really featured in the story until charged with the dastardly deed; or the one where the detective has an ‘ah ha’ moment just before solving the crime, usually about two c...

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Short short stories

Posted by Janice on June 20, 2015 at 11:05 PM Comments comments ()

One of the shortest stories (and some argue the most powerful) ever written was achieved in just six words. Here's how it goes: 

'For sale: baby shoes, never worn.' 

It has been attributed to Hemingway but good old Wikipedia states that '...the link to him is unsubstantiated, and in fact the 'story' predates Hemingway's writing career.'

Regardless of who penned it, the story remains brilliant in its conjuring of a veritable cornucopia of imaginative possibilities.

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