The Prodigal Son

Book VIII in the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries has been scheduled for release in September 2017.  That's a while away.  I do love that readers care enough about my books to complain that it's too long a while.  

Of course publishing schedules are for the most part out of a writer's control so there is nothing I can do to bring Rowly VIII onto bookshelves any sooner, but the heartfelt lament of some of Rowland Sinclair's most ardent fans did make me want to write something to tide them over till the book proper came out.

My intention intially was to write a short story, a prequel to the series which looked at the time when Rowland first returned to Sydney and met his louche entourage.  It was to be not much more than a vignette, a glimpse of my characters in 1928 before the markets crashed.  Of course Rowland had different ideas, and my short story became a novella.  Writing it made me want to paint so it became an illustrated novella.  The result was a little too big to email out as I originally planned.

Fortunately, my publishers, Pantera Press, are lovely, generous people who are very indulgent of the mad whims of their authors. Despite the fact that this endeavour was what lawyer-me would have termed a "frolic of my own", they proofed, typset and lent their significant publisher know-how to  turn The Prodigal Son into an e-book which from the 4th of November 2016 may be downloaded FREE in every possible format from


So on the 4th (tomorrow) the site 'go live' and I will be able to give something back to all the readers who have supported the Rowland Sinclair series over the years... to let them know I appreciate their time and their attention.  And a story is the most valuable thing a writer has to give.

I'll be sending The Prodigal Son out into the world with cake and tea in my hometown.  To that end, my friend and partner in mad notions, Sarah Kynaston and I have made an appropriate cake.

If you're in Batlow on the afternoon of the 4th November (3pm) please feel free to drop into Coffee and More (the cafe) and have a slice of cake... I promise we will not run out!


Since last we talked...

So... since the last time I posted here, rather a lot has happened.  It is both my defence for not having posted, and the reason I really should have done so. I am sorry.  Anyway...

 I wrote a book.  The manuscript for the 8th Rowland Sinclair Mystery, tentatively titled Fellow Travellers, Bloody Oaths has been completed and duly submitted to my publishers.  It will be released in 2017.  I shall keep you posted.

I also re-edited a couple of novels for US release.  The Rowland Sinclair Mysteries will be launched in the New World on 7 June 2016 with A Few Right Thinking MenA Decline in Prophets will follow in December, with a new book released every 6 months till we're all caught up.  Poisoned Pen Press will publish my books in America. 

Before entering the hermit like writing months I spent November and December at launch events for Give the Devil His Due, launching at Readings in company of with the spectular Angela Savage, speaking at the Kings Cross Library with my talented colleague and dear friend P.M. Newton, launching with more cake at Writers Unleashed, speaking at the delightful Penrose Hall and the Tom Keneally Library at Sydney Mechanics Society, presenting with the sharp and brilliant Kaaron Warren at the Museum of Australian Democracy - Old Parliament House.  I also had the chance to spend a glorious curious day at the Australian National Maritime Museum researching a new series, with the help of  the wonderful , generous librarians in their research library. 



In April, once I'd finished Rowly 8, I taught a class on Crime Writing at the Queensland Writers' Centre, met some wonderful writers and hopefully imparted a little experience, if not wisdom, as well as the odd cupcake.


 I have the honour of being the patron of the Snowy Readers and Writers Festival and spent the Easter weekend in Jindabyne at the Childrens' Book Events where I taught a bunch of homicidal teens how to the write the perfect murder!


 I also managed to get to Sydney to observe recording of Give The Devil His Due for Audiobook.  Rupert Degas (the narrator) is a genius!  The Audiobooks will be out beginning June and I can't wait to hear them myself!

 May brought the the Sydney Writers' Festival and the news that Give the Devil His Due had been shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Association Award.  One of four titles in the Best Book by a Small Publisher category it had the distinction of being the only fiction title to make the list.  The category was won by one of my husband's favourite writers, Matthew Condon, for All Fall Down.  The Awards dinner was fabulous, a gathering of the greatest names in Australian writing... I managed to reverse photo bomb Tim Winton, Tom Kenneally and David Malouf.  The wonderful Scott Whitmont (Lindfield Bookshop), Craig Kirchner (Abbey's) and my dear publishers posed knowingly.


At the Festival I gave a masterclass to some very talented people on the art of genre-blending and appeared on a panel entitled Animating History with Jami Attenberg (Saint Maizie) and David Dyer (The Night Watch), at the most spectular venue on the end of a wharf.  I also had the previlege of experience the extraordinary Kate Tempest live at the festival opening, in the company of my friend and fellow writer Malla Nunn.  We both came away wishing we could have shared the experience of Kate with everybody we loved.


 Once again I was away from home for my birthday, though I did catch up with Michael as he went through Sydney on and unrelated trip.  The day was made perfect with a long, indulgent, conversation High Tea at the Queen Victoria Building with my beautiful agent Jo.



That's about it, I think.  You're up to speed.  I hope your lives have been full and happy in the last 6 months too.  xx




The Devil and his due....

Launched!...with cake.....




I have just returned from GenreCon in Brisbane.  A gathering of writers of genre, it provided the opportunity to talk to other wordsmiths and to share this addiction we all have to story, to compare technique and partake of inspiration.  For many of us it was a chance to spend time with  dear friends in an atmosphere that was collegiate and supportive.   The wisdom of GenreCon is too extensive to include in a post so allow me to refer you to #GCoz by which our individual and collective knowledge was tagged.

  Brilliant sketch of final panel by the talented David Witteveen.  


The Body in the Library

I did duck out of my residency in September for a weekend to be a part of the Body in the Library Murder Game put on by Gold Coast Libraries. I played myself, invited to present the Agatha Awards at which a fellow judge was brutally slain.  Words cannot convey what an awesome event this was so I'm just going to post pictures.