Who knew being on a panel could be so much fun?
I spent Friday night in Melbourne, sharing the stage with Felicity Young, as a guest of the Sisters In Crime, and I had an wonderful evening. Felicity’s latest novel in her Stevie Hooper series has just been released and that is going to be my reward on my days off this week. Can’t wait to read it!
The function was held at Bell’s Hotel in South Melbourne and when the taxi dropped me off outside I had to thread my way through a line of Harley Davidson motorcycles. My next book looks at organised crime and the changing face of Outlawed Motorcycle Gangs so I figured this was a good sign!
Writer and interviewer, Lindy Cameron, did a fantastic job of asking insightful questions and keeping the room laughing. With five books under her belt, and one of the very first members of Sisters In Crime Australia, she understands the genre well. Members of the audience were given the opportunity to ask questions at the end. The most memorable for me was being asked if I was in way writing a ‘how to’ manual on illegal entry into the top end of Australia. Hopefully the ability of Cobham Special Mission (the real Border Watch) will ensure any loop holes I allude to are very firmly shut!
It took some serious manoeuvring to get to Melbourne for the evening, which meant I had limited time to enjoy Melbourne and the fabulous Hotel Tolarno at St Kilda. Fitzroy Street was humming when I arrived at the hotel after the meeting. The distinctive rattle of trams overlayed the sounds of people eating, drinking and enjoying a Friday night out.
The delicious smell of Italian cooking made my stomach grumble despite having been very well fed at the Bell’s. My corner room, with vibrant artwork adorning every wall, overlooked the street and I felt like a child watching a grown ups party. Very reluctantly I went to bed…
My alarm woke me way too soon, but Carmel Shute had told me not to miss a walk down to the beach if I had time in the morning. The taxi was booked for 7.30 am so I dug myself out of bed a 6 am and went to watch the sunrise. I’m glad I did. Packs of cyclists swished passed me in a blur of wheels and teasing drafts of wind.
The reflection in the water was perfect, the surface of the water calm and still. A friendly golden labrador bustled over to say g’day despite his owner’s very stern attempts to reign him back under control – labs are just too sociable!
The temperature felt freezing for a north Qlder, but it was probably around a very pleasant 15 degrees. Standing there I wondered for a moment how I came to be there. It all seemed so removed from my normal life filled with aircraft, checklists, numbers and drills. And it struck me how much I’d enjoyed my 15 hours of feeling like a writer! It was fabulous. A very big thanks to Sisters In Crime for inviting me!
A huge thank you also to the lovely ladies from the Melbourne Romance Writers Guild. Serena, Cheryl, Margaret and Charlie came along for the evening and it was lovely to see them. The support from romance writers is something to be treasured! (Sorry about the quality of the photo ladies – I did my best to recover it but clearly I’m no expert with photoshop.)