Publisher and author, Lindy Cameron is a crime and specfic writer. She is author of the action thriller, Redback; the Kit O’Malley PI trilogy; and the mystery Golden Relic; and co-author of the true crime collections – Killer in the Family &Women Who Kill. Lindy is a founding member and National Co-Convenor of Sisters in Crime Australia, and publisher of Clan Destine Press. www.clandestinepress.com.au
First I want to ask you about Lindy Cameron the writer. What got you into writing, what do you love to write about and where should someone start with reading your work?
I’ve always been a writer (for pleasure and as a journalist) but didn’t decide to write fiction professionally until I turned 30-something.
I began with crime fiction because, along with sf, it’s a lifelong passion. I also wanted to add myself to the then-small body of Australian crime writers. And, as a founding member of Sisters in Crime Australia, I particularly wanted to create some interesting, modern and believable female protagonists.
My first series of books – Blood Guilt, Bleeding Hearts & Thicker Than Water – feature Melbourne lesbian PI Kit O’Malley; Golden Relic is an archaeological adventure; and my latest, Redback, is an action-adventure thriller featuring the kickarse heroine Bryn Gideon, and her crack team of retrieval agents.
I’d say Redback is a good place to start – but they all have something different to offer.
What drew you to start a publishing house and what is the house’s focus and direction? Can you briefly tell us about some of your forthcoming titles?
Many things prompted me to start my own publishing house, but the first was the realisation that, with over 25 years experience in the publishing industry, I actually had all the skills necessary to attempt something so crazy-brave.
The other reason was a growing disillusion with the big-time publishers and they way they have always, or were beginning to treat their authors. This was particularly true of some of the large publishers here in Australia, who’d not only stopped taking many chances on new writer, but were also dropping their mid-list authors in favour of publishing imports from, mostly, the US. They were playing it safe and blaming it on the world financial crisis.
My dream therefore was to create a publishing house for authors; and, one that specialised in genre fiction.
Our prime objective is to uncover, foster and promote new Australian genre writers; and to provide a home where already-published authors can play in new worlds.
Another aim has been to re-publish Aussie genre fiction that shouldn’t be ‘out of print’; and help authors save their backlists from oblivion by inviting them to join the CDP eBookery.
While Clan Destine Press specialises in genre fiction it also dabbles in non-fiction, of the true crime and heroic real-life story variety.
We launched Clan Destine Press in late 2010, and have already published 12 paperbacks and 19 eBooks. We have another seven paperbacks, and their eBooks, for the 2012 list; plus a new series of True Crime eBooks.
Forthcoming titles include: Walking Shadows by Narrelle M Harris (sequel to her vampire crime novel, The Opposite of Life, and launching at Continuum on June 8); The Price of Fame – a paranormal crime novel by RC Daniells (Rowena is already well known for herKing Rolen’s Kin series & The Outcast Chronicles); A New Kind of Death, sf crime by Alison Goodman; Legends of the Three Moons, a kids’ fantasy adventure by Patricia Bernard; and Arrabella Candellarbra & The Questy Thing To End All Questy Things 2, the sequel to the hilarious adult fairytale by A.K. Wrox.
You’re also a founding member of Sisters in Crime Australia. Can you tell us what the impetus was behind starting this organisation, a little bit about the work it does and some of its achievements in its 20 year history?
The Australian group of Sisters in Crime followed the formation of the American group back in the 1990s. The US organisation was founded by authors for authors in an attempt to get better representation (in terms of reviews and other publicity) for women crime writers.
SinC-Oz was formed by readers; by fans of women’s crime fiction for the same reason – to raise the profile of all women crime writers but particularly Australian ones.
When we started, back in 1991, we really only needed one hand to count the number of working Aussie women crime writers. Ten years later we held the first SheKilda Women’s Crime Fiction convention and could invite 20 Australian authors to take part. Last year – when we celebrated out 20th anniversary 60 Australian crime writers – all women – filled a weekend of panels and workshops.
SinC-Oz HQ is in Melbourne where for two decades we’ve held regular public events with crime writers from around the country, with visiting international authors and with professionals from the real world of crime fighting. These events have included panels, debates, ‘in-conversations’ and book launches. Our members now include readers, fans, views, writers and published author; as well as lawyers, judges, cops, forensic professionals.
What Australian works are have you loved recently?
Well, apart from my own authors – who are naturally totally awesome – I love Marianne de Pierres’ Burn Bright; and Adrian Bedford’s Orbital Burn.
Two years on from Aussiecon 4, what do you think are some of the biggest changes to the Australian Spec Fic scene?
In terms of books getting published, by me and other (mostly) Indie publishing houses, I’ve noticed a great surge in cross-genre writing. Paranormal crime, sf crime, sf horror – you name the blend, it seems to be out there; and this pleases this particular Publisher of genre fiction very very much.