Award-winning Australian crime writer, Emma Viskic dropped into the Rusty Bore Takeaway today. Emma’s debut crime novel Resurrection Bay has just been released and she was kind enough to call by and tell us about it.
Welcome to the Rusty Bore Takeaway, Emma. Cass is out on an investigation today and has left me in charge… here’s hoping I’ll manage without any grill-top emergencies. So, what can I get you? What’s your order?
A veggie burger, minimum chips and a pickled onion.
We care a lot about cooking around here, especially, ahem, comfort food. Tell us about something you like to cook.
If we’re talking comfort food, it’s my chocolate almond cake. It’s made with melted chocolate and brandy, and is deliciously dark, moist and… Excuse me, I’ll be back in 55 minutes.
OK, now I’m drooling… moving swiftly on, what would you have trouble leaving behind if you moved somewhere like Rusty Bore (population 147)?
I was once told by a man at a writing festival that I shouldn’t write crime novels because “it’s just not good for you, my dear.” Have you ever had any strange (or preferably, useful) advice about your writing?
A man at a party said that I should write his life story because it was “more interesting” than crime fiction. I was up for it, but he backed out when I told him that I’d have to kill him first.
What’s the best part of writing for you? What’s the hardest?
The best part is falling into the story when the writing is going well. It’s my happy place, which is somewhat troubling when you consider what I put my characters through.
The worst part is ploughing on when the writing is going badly. I write most days, even if I have to delete every putrid, bloated sentence the following day. It’s the classical musician in me – you practise your scales whether you want to or not.
Practising your scales – that sounds like good writing advice. Now, swallow that mouthful of veggie burger quickly, and please tell us about your novel, Resurrection Bay…
Rmmm bmmm *gulp* Resurrection Bay features Caleb Zelic, a profoundly deaf investigator who has always lived on the outside. When a close friend is murdered, a sense of guilt and a determination to prove his own innocence sends Caleb on a hunt for the killer. The investigation takes him places he’s rather not go, including his hometown and estranged family. As he delves deeper into the investigation Caleb uncovers unwelcome truths about his murdered friend – and himself.
What does your protagonist, Caleb, think of you? Would he hang out with you?
We’ve got similar senses of humour, but he thinks that I panic too easily. I’m a fast talker, which would make lip-reading tricky for him, but my Auslan is slowly improving, so we could bond over our common love of swearing.
What are you working on right now? Do you have a new book in progress now that Resurrection Bay has hit the shelves?
I’m working on book two of the Caleb Zelic series. I’m really enjoying writing it, but I’m afraid that it’s pretty rough on Caleb.
Thanks for calling in, Emma! All the best with Resurrection Bay – I’m looking forward to reading it.
You can catch up with Emma in person on Friday 23 October at 8pm. Emma and fellow crime authors Tania Chandler and JM Green will be in conversation with Sisters in Crime co-convenor Janice Simpson for “First Time Offenders”. For details click here.
And for more info on Emma…
Emma Viskic has won two of Australia’s premier crime fiction short story awards: the Ned Kelly S.D. Harvey Award (Web Design, 2014), and the New England Thunderbolt Prize (The Hero, 2013). She has been published in Award Winning Australian Writing 2014 and 2015.
A classical clarinettist by training, she lives in Melbourne’s inner north with her family and divides her time between writing, performing and teaching.
You can contact Emma here.