Authors on the menu: J.M. Green

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Crime writer, J.M. (Jenny) Green swung by the Rusty Bore Takeaway today to chat about her debut crime novel Good Money. We were pretty thrilled to have her call in. Good Money has been voted by Readings as one of 2015’s top ten crime books. Cass noticed they didn’t suggest where to read those books. A takeaway isn’t a bad reading spot, in her view. A good takeaway.

Welcome to the Rusty Bore Takeaway, Jenny. 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?

One potato cake and two slices of buttered white bread please. And some tomato sauce. 🙂

We care a lot about cooking around here, especially, ahem, comfort food. Tell us about something you like to cook.

Mainly pasta because to be honest I CBF cooking (we have takeaway a lot), but I’m making an effort today: for dinner tonight I’m doing a spicy udon noodle soup with chill lime tofu

Sounds tasty! And Cass will be happy to hear you’re not into cooking – a potential regular, she’ll be hoping… speaking of which, what would you have trouble leaving behind if you moved somewhere like Rusty Bore (population 147)?

I have fantasies of living in a town that small and looking out over the hills. Unlike my protagonist Stella Hardy, I was not raised in a small country town so they still have a novelty value for me. But I guess I’d miss all the usual things, like really good Melbourne cafe breakfasts. All the great local takeaway in Footscray like Indian dosas, African injeera bread, Vietnamese everything, Malaysian curry. I think you see why I have a lot of takeaway.

I certainly can. I think Cass needs to think seriously about relocating to Footscray. Or at least letting her author move there.

Now, 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?

What a ghastly and stupid thing to say! I suppose I have all the usual stuff, like you should write a story about my life from taxi drivers etc. But I can’t recall any gratuitous advice as such.

What, nothing gratuitous at all?  Maybe you have a certain expression you adopt that heads such people off?  I must pick your brains later. Anyway, if it’s not dealing with unwanted advice, what’s the best part of writing for you? What’s the hardest?

The best part is the solitude, I get into the zone and it’s so quiet and peaceful. The worst part is the solitude. After days of working and no socialising I start to feel a bit weird in the head.

OK. Now, swallow that mouthful quickly, and tell us about your novel, Good Money…

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Good Money is a crime novel with a dash of social commentary, a soupçon of pathos and a ladle of satire. Stella Hardy is a social worker at the end of her tether, a woman on the edge, and she has an overdeveloped sense of loyalty to her clients and her friends. That’s why she totally thinks it’s OK to stick her nose in other people’s business, including that of an unsavoury Melbourne gangland figure and a corrupt mining billionaire.

I love the sound of Stella. What does she think of you? Would she hang out with you?

Hard to say if she’d like me. Probably. She’s not overly fussy. As long as I bring the wine, she’d hang out with me, or pretty much anyone for that matter. Would I like her? Not sure, she can be prickly and she tells you what she thinks which is not always great in a friend. She’d be good fun in small doses.

What are you working on right now? Do you have a new book in progress now that Good Money has hit the shelves? 

Too Easy is the second Stella Hardy in the series and I’m just now finishing the first draft. I’ve also recently published an article for Overland about the false antagonisms between literary and genre fiction.

Those both sound really interesting! Thanks for calling in, Jenny. I’m looking forward to reading Good Money. All the best with your writing!

And for more info on Jenny…

JM Green studied professional writing at RMIT. Her first novel, GOOD MONEY (Scribe, Melbourne) is available now. The second Stella Hardy novel, TOO EASY, is in progress.

She lives in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

You can contact Jenny here or on Facebook or Twitter.

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