*This Contest is Now Closed*
Guest Blog with Lindy Cameron
On Australia, Melbourne, Genre Fiction and Launching a Publishing House!
Lindy Cameron writes both crime fact and fiction. She is author of Redback, the first in a new adventure thriller series featuring Commander Bryn Gideon and a crack team of Australian retrieval agents. She has also published four crime novels: Golden Relic (now an eBook); and the Kit O’Malley PI series Blood Guilt, Bleeding Hearts and Thicker than Water (Bywater Books, USA).Lindy is co-author, with her sister Fin J. Ross, of the true crime book, Killer in the Family; and co-author, with her friend Ruth Wykes, of Women Who Kill. She is contributing editor of the true crime anthologies Meaner than Fiction, and Outside the Law 2; and editor of Outside the Law 3. (all The five Mile Press.)A national co-convenor of Sisters in Crime Australia, Lindy is also editor of the mystery fiction anthology Scarlet Stiletto the First Cut.Her new publishing house Clan Destine Press specializes in genre fiction and its first titles will be: Out of the Black Land by Kerry Greenwood; Redback by Lindy Cameron; and Dougal’s Diary by David Greagg.
Greetings from wintery Australia. Yes that’s AustrALia – the huge island-continent south of the Equator between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. (Not Austria, the tiny little country in Europe surround by other tiny little countries in Europe.)
And yep – we do indeed have winter; though snow only falls on our high places; and nowhere near where I live south of Melbourne, on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula. This means I live on the southern coast of the south-eastern mainland state of Victoria.
The big news Down Under at the moment is that we recently acquired our first-ever female Prime Minister. We ‘acquired’ her because she ‘took over’ from our previous PM. Many of my friends and I hope that we get to keep Ms Gillard after our next federal election on August 21.
For those out there who have no clue: our PM is like the UK’s PM, or the USA’s President. We have two ‘major’ political parties in Australia: Labor and Liberal. Our Labor = UK Labor; = USA’s Democratic Party. Our Liberals = the UK Conservative Party; or the US Republicans. So, we finally have a female Labor PM; you may make any assumptions you wish about why I’d like to keep her.
Now a bit of scene setting. Although I now live an hour’s drive from Melbourne, Melbourne is MY city. I love it. I lived for many years in the inner-city suburbs of Richmond, North Fitzroy and Yarraville; place names which will mean little to you, but say oodles about ‘inner-suburban life’ here.
The heart of Melbourne – along the funny little Yarra River, and around the awesome Port Phillip Bay – is always growing and changing; but it’s still not too big. It’s full of parks, lovely bayside beaches, and great architecture – both new and historical. [I know, our white ‘history’ is so young compared to just about everywhere else, except New Zealand. (BTW New Zealand is not part of Australia.)]
Melbourne also has the BEST restaurants in the country; and THE best coffee anywhere – anywhere. That’s anywhere in the world!
We are a wonderfully multicultural city – which is why we have the BEST restaurants. If anyone asks me what ‘Australian’ food, is I tell them what Melbourne food is all about. It’s Italian, Greek, Turkish, Chinese, Malaysian, Thai, Indonesian, Indian, French, Mexican, Moroccan, Tibetan, Hungarian… Oh, we also have a thing for meat pies and tomato sauce (ketchup); and a spread called Vegemite.
One of the things most readers look for in their crime fiction – which happens to be what I write (when not writing True crime or YA urban fantasy) – is a strong sense of place. So when writing my first novel, Blood Guilt, (now part of the three-book Kit O’Malley mysteries) I intended to present Melbourne AS a character; to put it on the crime-fiction map of the world.
At the time (back in the mid-90s) the only crime fiction set in Melbourne was the splendid (now 18 books and counting) Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood. As her novels are set in our city in the 1920s, I wanted to bring contemporary Melbourne to life.
Melbourne also features strongly in my other two novels Golden Relic and Redback – but those books also take the adventure off around the world – to Egypt, Peru, the US and Pakistan.
A bit more geography (all approximates).
Australia is twice the size of India; could fit the UK, western Europe, Spain and Scandinavia; or all the lands east from Istanbul to Islamabad, and south from the Black Sea to the Arabian Sea. It’s about the same size as the USA (without Alaska and Hawaii); about two-thirds of China; and maybe half of Canada.
And yet our population is just under a puny 22.5 million; or .33% of the world’s population. (That’s 0.33%) Most of us hug the eastern and south-eastern coastlines. Even Perth – our way-way ‘out west’ city – is at latitude 32°S; a single degree further north than Sydney (on the opposite side of the continent). Perth is also a 3423 km drive from Melbourne across the mostly-deserted desert of the Nullabor Plain. The name null-abor comes from the Latin for ‘not a bloody tree in sight’.
So, why am I telling you all this? To give you an insight into two things: one – about the sheer size and relative emptiness of Australia; and two – about how completely insane I am at the moment.
I’m about to launch my own publishing company here in this huge empty country; a small independent publishing house in a humungous island-nation-continent with a tiny population.
My fellow authors and I here happily share our small reading public with each other. But we’ve also always had to compete with the imported books of just about EVERYBODY ELSE in the known world. Man! These days we even have to dance around those Scandinavians, now they’re all being translated as the flavour of the Millennium.
When it comes to genre fiction, the shelves of our book shops have always been stuffed with American and British crime and thriller writers; and lately there’s a tsunami of overseas YA urban fantasy novels. Don’t get me wrong – we love them; but they already crowd out the Aussie authors, even those published by our local big houses like PanMac and Hachette and HarperC.
So what am I doing? As I said, I am launching Clan Destine Press – ‘specialists in genre fiction’.
Mad, mad, mad. But I am having SO much fun. Clan Destine Press is ‘a publishing house for authors’. I am building it from the ground-up as an opportunity for new, and established, Aussie genre writers (and those who have a thing for cats) to make a first – or a new – mark.
Clan Destine Press is not a ‘vanity’ or ‘self-publishing’ gig; or a POD. It’s a real live, real life paperback publishing deal. I’m daunted. And excited. My first three books come out next month.
I am deeply honoured to be publishing, as my first book off the press, Out of the Black Land – the new historical novel by the incomparable Kerry Greenwood. As I mentioned before she’s written 18 mystery novels. In one series. She’s also published five in the Corinna Chapman sleuth series; plus a host of other historicals and some YA fiction. This new book is set in ancient Egypt. And next year I will be re-publishing her Delphic Women trilogy: Medea, Cassandra and Electra.
The other two books for September will be the adventure thriller Redback by Lindy Cameron (ok, yes that is me); and the delightful Dougal’s Diary: one year in the life of a cat by David Greagg.
All Clan Destine Press books will be available to everyone in the whole world from the new CDP website.
In the meantime I’m going back to write about Melbourne – well, a slightly alternate-universe, or two, version of Melbourne – in my current WIP. It’s a YA urban fantasy time-travelling adventure… of course.
Lindy and her books can be found at:
Clan Destine Press and its authors at:
The Dolls would like to send a massive thank you to Lindy for taking part in our Australia Passport, and wish her the best of luck with the just-launched Clan Destine Press!
To celebrate the launch of Clan Destine Press, and the end of Australia Passport week- Lindy is offering one (each) of the first three books off the presses to three lucky winners! First winner will get first choice, and so on. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. This contest is international.
As usual, there are more ways to get your name in the hat:
+1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your comment.
+1 subscribe to Paperback Dolls – either via a reader or email (see the RSS button at the top of the right sidebar or the entry form to the left sidebar.)
We ask the winners to post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
The contest will stay open until September 3rd, at which time, we’ll determine the winners with help from Random.org and announce them on September 4th.
Also, we will try to contact the winners, but we ask that you check back to see if you’ve won.