CWC Finalist! And an Interview!

I was delighted and surprised that my short story, “Wisteria Cottage” , published in Malice Domestic’s anthology, Mystery Most Traditional, was nominated for CWC’s Best Short Story Award. It’s up against some stiff competition from award-winning author, Marcelle Dube, but I’ll take it!

Another wonderful thing: I was just interviewed by CWC’s Erik de Souza. It’s always a pleasure to chat with Erik and here are my 15 minutes of fame:

And the links:

Podcast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/2232876/15110559

Facebook: https://fb.watch/scK7zRJjvZ/

YouTube: https://youtu.be/BEy7KsqnnVw

LEFT COAST CRIME 2024: Seattle Shakedown

So excited to be attending another Left Coast Crime from April 10 to 14th. I’m on a super panel, Mix it Up: Authors who Bend Genres moderated by one of my fav authors, Rob Osler. (Friday April 12th at 4 pm) Rob is the author of two wonderful comedy mysteries: The Devil’s Chew Toy and Cirque du Slay.

I’m excited to meet the other members of the panel, Stephanie Clemens who writes steam punk adventure; Kat Richardson whose work encompasses fantasy and romance; and Rob Hart, who writes both crime and speculative fiction. I think I may be the horror rep with my dark snake-based novella, Snake Oil, though I do stray into SF and sometimes even try my hand at comedy.

I can’t wait to connect with my American and Canadian crime writers friends! On Thursday, April 11th, friends A.J. Devlin and Winona Kent are hosting a Canuck get-together, featuring that most Canadian invention: the Caesar. And on Saturday at 7:15 am, if I can haul my butt out of bed that early, there’s the Short Mystery Fiction Society breakfast.

Last year, my friend, author and magician, Stephen Buehler and I attended the Author Speed Dating event as readers rather than writers: a terrific learning experience and a most enjoyable way to discover new favorite authors. I aim for a repeat this year.

Will tell all my adventures in Seattle in my next post!

THE MESDAMES AND MESSIEURS OF MAYHEM’S 6th ANTHOLOGY!

Great news: the Mesdames and Messieurs of Mayhem are bringing out The 13th Letter, their 6th anthology. The 13th letter for the alphabet is the letter “M” where M stands for Mesdames, Messieurs, mischief, malfeasance, mystery and of course, murder!

Edited by Donna Carrick, The 13th Letter, is slated to be released by Carrick Publishing in September / October, 2024 with a launch in late October / early November at our favorite bookstore, Sleuth of Baker Street.

Cover will be by our amazing artist, Sara Carrick.  Reveal to come, stay posted!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Dear Readers,

black and white abstract painting

Thank you so much for your support during 2023, a challenging year with many peaks and valleys, but we got through it!

Authors would not be here without you. Wishing you all good things in 2024 and hope to meet you in the Real World.

Big Holiday Hugs,

Madeleine

NEWS! NEWS! NEWS! Launch of Snake Oil and Other Tales, Nov 4th, 2 pm, Sleuth of Baker Street

Greetings Readers!

The launch of Snake Oil and Other Tales, my second collection of crime stories is this coming Saturday, November 4th at Sleuth of Baker Street Bookstore, 907 Millwood Road, Toronto.

The paperback edition of Snake Oil will be available for sale. Sleuth’s will always be happy to take your order, too.

I’d love to meet and chat with you in person. And do take the opportunity to browse Sleuth’s unrivaled collection of vintage mysteries and buy that book you’ve always been looking for.

With huge bears hug and thank you’s to my publisher and editor, Donna Carrick at Carrick Publishing; to Sara Carrick for her fabulous cover and to Marian Misters and J. D. Singh of Sleuth’s for hosting!

NEWS! NEWS! NEWS! Interview Friday!

Greetings Readers!

Today I’m both delighted and honored to be interviewed by two great supporters of their fellow authors.

Joanne Guidoccio

I’m visiting Joanne Guidoccio’s Friday page to share 10 tips on short crime fiction writing: the hills, valleys and rewards of pursuing this literary form. Here’s the link.

Do subscribe to Joanne’s blog. It’s a great way to discover new authors. And her interesting blogs range from humour to confidence-building to life observations.

 

Rosemary McCracken

And I’m also a guest on my dear friend and leading crime writer, Rosemary McCracken’s  blog, Moving Target,  talking about writing on the dark side. Here’s the link.

Subscribing to Moving Target is another excellent way to discover new crime fiction authors. Rosemary is the author of the popular Pat Tierney financial mystery series and a widely published short story writer.

NEWS! NEWS! NEWS! Snake Oil and Other Tales Now Available!

Greetings Readers!

My second collection of crime stories is now LIVE on Amazon. It’s available in Kindle ebook, paper back and hard cover format.

Here’s the link

With a huge bear hug and big thank you to my publisher and editor, Donna Carrick at Carrick Publishing and to Sara Carrick for her fabulous cover!!

NEWS! NEWS! NEWS! My Interview with Melissa Yi!

Greetings Readers!

Delighted to be interviewed by my friend and fab author, Dr. Melissa Yi, about my upcoming book, Snake Oil and Other Tales.

I’m excited to be part of Melissa’s kick-starter for her new Dr. Hope Sze mystery, Sugar and Vice, Book 3 of the Seven Deadly Sins series. Hope attends a festival that celebrates dragon boat racing and food, an unusual pairing made sinister by a warning that someone is about to die.

Read our interview here and do check out Melissa’s kick- starter here.

 

NEWS! NEWS! NEWS! Snake Oil and Other Tales Available for Pre-Order!

Greetings Readers!

I’m delighted to tell you that my second collection of crime stories is now available for pre-order on Amazon. It’s in Kindle, paper back and hard cover.

Here’s the link

With a huge thank you, as always, to my publisher and editor, Donna Carrick at Carrick Publishing!

THE TITANIC and ME

On April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank on her maiden voyage 430 miles off the Newfoundland coast after colliding with an iceberg. Of the 2224 passengers and crew on board, more than 1500 died. To this day, it remains the deadliest sinking of an ocean liner or cruise ship. 

I grew up hearing a lot about the Titanic disaster from my father, who claimed that he’d been taught dinghy sailing by the surviving First Mate.  That might have been Charles Herbert Lightoller, who was actually the Titanic’s second officer

Now my dad notoriously got facts wrong, so I can’t guarantee that his claim wasn’t pure wish-fantasy. But if Dad was indeed shown the ropes (literally) by Lightoller, he had reason to be proud, because Lightoller was a hero. He made sure that women and children got in the lifeboats first and managed to save his life and the lives of fellow crewmen by climbing on top of a capsized life boat and getting everyone to balance it.  He went on to serve in the Royal Navy in WWI (twice decorated) and in WWII, while in his sixties, he sailed his personal yacht to rescue servicemen from Dunkirk!

The Titanic remained lost beneath the waves while I grew up. Excitingly, on September 1, 1985, a few days before my daughter was born, Admiral Robert Ballard and his team located the wreck, 12,000 feet down. They’d previously searched for two lost nuclear submarines and discovered that they had both imploded from the immense pressure of the water.  Ballard located the submarines by their debris fields and this is how the Titanic, too, was located. (See map below.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rediscovered, the Titanic looked incredibly creepy. It had broken in half, as reported by many eye witnesses – and it had hit the ocean floor with immense force. We can related to objects falling through air; it’s a stretch to imagine an object as large as the Titanic falling through water with the consequent damage. Mercifully all biological materials, including human remains, had vanished. The iron hull, too, was dissolving due to deep-sea micro-organisms, resulting in eerie, melting rusticles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think it’s prophetic that my daughter, Claire, was born so close to the Titanic’s discovery. We share the same fascination with its story. Watching the documentary, Titanica, together at the Ontario Place Cinesphere is one of my cherished memories.

Titanica was a joint Russian-American expedition. (Remember those sunny days when shared economic prosperity promised to save the world?) We learned more about the immense pressures at depth and the perils of submersibles, including the hyper-oxygen atmosphere. Even more importantly we learned about technology-induced hubris.  No one believed that the Titanic could sink: the number of lifeboats was reduced so as not to spoil its sleek look. The passenger list was crowded with names of the rich and famous. Sound familiar? 

So what destroyed the Titanic? The ice berg did not rip a huge, entrail-spilling gash in its side. Rather it bumped the side of the ship, popping out the rivets to create a modest looking bulge that let in water.  The design of the ship’s interior worked like an ice cube tray, allowing water to flow from one interior compartment to another, dragging it down.  

Which brings me to the most recent Titanic disaster. On June 18. 2023, Oceangate’s Titan submersible was bringing  billionaire, Shahzada Dawood and his son, Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet and adventurer, Hamish Harding, down to view the wreck. It imploded on descent, killing everyone on board in milliseconds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Titan was being piloted by OceanGate CEO, Stockton Rush, who had a history of flouting conventional designs and safety rules. The body of the submersible was carbon fibre, which, as any cyclist can tell you, is extremely light, strong…and brittle. One hairline crack would have been enough to cause the implosion. Also Rush did not equip the Titan with an emergency locator beacon and used an Atari (?) game controller to steer the vessel. (Really??) Criticisms of his design were dismissed as a “serious personal insult”.

When I studied industrial health and safety, I learned a concept called the Heinz Rule: how many close calls do you have before you get into a serious or fatal accident? The answer is surprising. Intuition says 3 or 4 times, but in fact, it’s more like 200 to 300 times. Small wonder Rush felt he was invulnerable and above mere mortals. 

We all know how that worked out…

 

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