In between days

In the spirt of months of denial/re-balancing that seem to have worked their way into the calendar, I’ve declared June to be my month off reading and writing crime fiction. As ‘Crime Fiction Free June’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as FebfastDry July, Sober October and even Offline October, I decided against trying to turn it into a team fundraising event, simply taking the opportunity to read, write and create something other than crime fiction.

Truth is a month ago I submitted my latest manuscript to my publisher and while I wait to see if they think it has wings, it helps not to think about crime fiction.

So what am I doing with my time, denied access to the genre I love to read and write?

I’m working on an exciting non-fiction project, but if I tell you about that I’ll have to kill you. So I won’t. Yet.

I’ve given a couple of author talks to great audiences, with a gig at the Chelsea Library marking the first time absolutely no one I know from a past life was in attendance. Awesome.

I’ve read Paddy O’Reilly‘s wonderful new novel The Fine Colour of Rust. Also the 1995 memoir Holding the Man by Timothy Conigrave, inspired in close proximity by the documentary We Were Here and a piece by Benjamin Law on the Wheeler Centre website. I read Gitana: My Gypsy Life by Gueña Berguer, only to discover it includes a photo of myself aged 17 modelling the 1984 Gown of the Year, designed by Gueña’s late husband Tomás Gasco. A shot from my extremely short-lived stint as a fashion model in the midst of Gueña’s extraordinary life story.

In the past week I’ve lined up the ducks for what I believe will be a highly entertaining panel, bringing the Melbourne Museum together with the Sisters in Crime. All will be revealed on that front soon, too.

I attended a terrific fundraiser to support Graphic Novels! Melbourne! a documentary about local comic book culture produced and directed by Daniel Hayward and my old friend Bernard Caleo, featuring Mandy Ord, Pat Grant, Bruce Mutard and Nicki Greenberg among others. This promises to be an amazing film and I am hanging out for the premier in Not-So-Sober-October.

In my day job, I’ve been travelling around Victoria, from Briagolong to Swan Hill, West Sunshine to Stawell, stopping off at op shops along the way in search of pulp novels for my beloved partner. If you can tell a lot about a place from the kind of novels that end up on the secondhand bookshelves, then I urge lovers of romance to head for Ararat.

In my spare time I’ve been crocheting embellishments for a couple of yarnbombing projects organised through my kid’s school — vicarious wish fulfilment on my part as I’ve fantasised for ages about yarnbombing something.

In between days, but by no means unproductive.

Now if I can just resist the tempting crime fiction in my reading pile for eight more days…

About Angela Savage

Angela Savage is a Melbourne writer, who has lived and travelled extensively in Asia. She won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript, and the Scarlet Stiletto Award short story award. Her latest novel is, Mother of Pearl, published by Transit Lounge. Angela holds a PhD in Creative Writing, is former CEO of Writers Victoria, and currently works as CEO of Public Libraries Victoria.
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8 Responses to In between days

  1. It must have been fun coming across a photo of yourself in a book! I know you are trying to go off crime fiction but who are your fave writers in the genre? I tend to be attracted by literary fiction (not that crime fiction isn’t) and would love some recommendations…


    • angelasavage says:

      For crime on the literary side, I recommend anything by Honey Brown, Wendy James and Chris Womersley, The Broken Shore by Peter Temple, Garry Disher’s Wyatt novels, The Digger’s Rest Hotel by Geoffrey McGeachin, The Old School by PM Newton, A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn, Ghostlines by Nick Gadd, and of course my own Jayne Keeney novels.
      Outside of local authors, I recommend Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie novels, starting with Case Histories, and anything by Megan Abbott, especially The Song Is You.
      In making these recommendations, I’m assuming you’ve read the classics. But if not, read whatever you can find by Raymond Chandler, James M Cain and Dashiell Hammett.
      And seeing as how you’re now living in Castlemaine, The Castlemaine Murders by Kerry Greenwood should make you feel right at home. And if that puts you in the mood for more historical crime fiction, check out Sulari Gentill’s snazzy Rowland Sinclair series.


  2. Lea says:

    Loved Paddy’s Fine Colour of Rust – thanks Angela!!


  3. kathy d. says:

    I love Malla Nunn’s books, Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie series and Corinna Chapman’s character in Kerry Greenwood’s books.
    I am writing because I am so thrilled to have just heard your program about Y.A. Erskine’s new book The Betrayal and Annie Hauxwell’s In Her Blood, which is now pulling me into its grip.
    However, I appreciate your insights into The Brotherhood, which I admit stymied me. I took it at face value; the racism, anti-poor slanders and sexism got to me. I couldn’t figure out Erskine’s point of view, but your explanation of The Betrayal, with its depictions of police racism, sexism and homophobia unpeeled the layers to both of Erskine’s books. And I get now more what she is saying. So thank you for that.
    Are there any other programs which we can access on crime fiction?


  4. Pingback: In praise of the slow burn | Angela Savage

  5. Pingback: Favourite reads of 2012 | Angela Savage

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