When You Find Me on audio books soon

When You Find Me (Book 2 in the Rhiannon Series) has been edited for audio release and I’m about to dive in and have a listen before it hits Audible. “Hearing” my books is such an exciting yet surreal experience – I wrote this book in 2015 and can’t wait to spend 10 hours with an old and faithful friend to reacquaint myself with the words I put on the page back then.

  • FIND ME is also on Audible – you can download it HERE.

Sisters in Crime Return to Cobargo

Some of Australia’s most popular female crime writers will converge on the Bega Valley in August for the Sisters in Crime writers festival.

Candice Fox, who co-writes with James Patterson, is one of eight writers coming for a full-day program in Cobargo on Saturday 27 August, 2022. Candice’s bestselling novel Crimson Lake has been adapted for the screen in Australia and the US as the eight-part television series Troppo.

Several of the writers will also present workshops the following day on 28 August in partnership with Bega Valley Shire Library.

The line-up includes award-winning true crime podcaster and writer Vikki Petraitis, who has written 18 books including The Frankston Murders and The Phillip Island Murder and recently won the inaugural Allen & Unwin Award for crime fiction. Her first novel, Unbelieved, is out on 2 August. Also speaking is Sulari Gentill, who writes the bestselling Rowland Sinclair Mysteries and has just released The Woman in the Library which has been featured in The New York Times.

Other authors are Fleur Ferris, international bestselling young adult and children’s book author; Ilsa Evans, bestselling author of 15 novels; Kay Schubach, Community Hero Award finalist and domestic violence advocate; Professor Caroline de Costa, prominent obstetrician and gynaecologist who writes detective novels in her spare time; and Dorothy Johnston, who has had two of her novels shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.

After the success of the inaugural Sisters in Crime in Cobargo event in 2016, Merimbula crime author Melissa Pouliot invited the sisters to return.

“I’m so excited we can ‘return to the scene of the crime’ and catch up on the careers of these incredible writers who are putting Australian crime writing on the world stage,” Melissa said.

“It’s a rare opportunity to have such a diverse and talented group of writers in the one room, and you can expect some lively and inspiring conversations.”

South East Arts is presenting the event as part of the Headland Writers Festival, with Well Thumbed Books and Bega Valley Shire Library also supporting the weekend.

Louise Brown from Well Thumbed Books said the bookshop was honoured that Cobargo held such a special place in the authors’ hearts that they wanted to return.

“We are humbled by their support. When Melissa first told us they wanted to come back, we couldn’t believe it,” she said.

For South East Arts, the event is part of its focus on building cultural tourism opportunities.

“The region is fast becoming a major arts hub and we are thrilled to attract so many of Australia’s most exciting and dynamic female crime writers. This event will attract people from outside the region and it’s a perfect lead-up to the Headland Writers Festival in Tathra on 28-30 October,” said Andrew Gray, Executive Director of South East Arts.

“Bega Valley Shire Library coming on board to be part of a series of writing and podcasting masterclasses will also build up the skills and knowledge in our writing community which has broader benefits long-term. Look out for local authors releasing new crime novels or maybe even a new podcast in the near future!”

Sisters in Crime was founded in Melbourne 31 years ago and celebrates women’s crime writing on the page and screen. It also brings a collective critical eye to the field. Launched at the Feminist Book Festival in Melbourne in September 1991, Sisters in Crime in Australia was inspired by the American organisation of the same name.

The Saturday 27 August program at the Cobargo School of Arts Hall includes in-conversation sessions and a range of panel discussions. A full day ticket, from 10am to 4.30pm is $60 and a half-day ticket, starting from 1pm is $40.

For details on the program, workshops and tickets, go to www.headlandfestival.com.au

 

Melissa Pouliot book wall at Collins Booksellers

My very own book wall!

I dropped into my local bookstore Collins Merimbula to buy some new books and was over the moon to discover they have created a ‘book wall’ for me. A whole wall, face out, just for my Missing Series (Write About Me & FOUND) plus my Detective Rhiannon McVee Series (Find Me, When You Find Me, You’ll Never Find Me & Search for Sky).

When first starting out as a self-published author I put a lot of time, energy and effort into getting my books onto shelves in bookstores, and had so many terrible experiences with booksellers who weren’t interested in my books one bit! I left several bookstores in tears and felt like I was a complete failure as an author.

Instead of giving up, I just directed all my energy into the booksellers that believed in me from day one, including Collins Booksellers Merimbula. They have always had my books on their shelves, come along to book launches to sell my books and recommend me to people who come into their store looking for a new book.

As in every aspect of life, you need to believe in yourself. After that first round of rejections I continued to self-publish my books and Search for Sky, released in February 2022, is my sixth. I regularly sit in the Collins Merimbula Top 10 books and am so proud to be a self-published author. I am now working on my 7th novel and I have people like everyone who works in Collins Merimbula to thank for keeping me motivated and inspired. I am blessed they are so passionate and supportive of my writing, THANKYOU!!

How long is forever?

Time.

Alice: “How long is forever?”

White Rabbit: “Sometimes, just one second.”

Time is something I have always wished I could stop, even just for a moment, to help me catch my breath. Time is something I always try and use wisely, however, lately I feel like I’ve been running up a hill chasing time. Running has never been my strong point. My obsession with time is fuelled by some sadness over the past few months, and losing special people in my life who ran out of time way too young. It’s a double edged sword; you want to make the most of every moment, appreciate that you are fit, healthy and have a happy, fortunate life…but then again, losing someone you love alters your perspective and time slips away, days, weeks, months, and you wonder where it has gone and what you have done with it.

“Now here, we mostly have days and nights two or three at a time, and sometimes in the winter we take as many as five nights together — for warmth, you know.” The Red Queen

Sitting down to give you a book update after so much time has passed (was it really Easter since I have been in touch?!) I actually have used some of my time wisely and have passed the 20,000 word mark in my new novel which is the fifth instalment of the Detective Rhiannon McVee crime fiction series. This is a milestone to celebrate, it’s one third of a book! My goal is to publish in September, and you should all hold me to that!

Review for Search for Sky by Melissa Pouliot

“Absolutely loved your new book. I haven’t been able to put it down. I read from start to finish this afternoon. I loved the recipes and the feel of the paper quality. I just loved everything about it…..you clever girl! Five stars.” Michelle Clark, Minyip Australia

 

Book review for Find Me by Melissa Pouliot

THANKYOU to everyone who makes the effort to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Not only does it make my day, it also helps my books get noticed in the biggest bookstore in the world! Here’s a new one from Goodreads, and I LOVE how Christine has picked up on my deliberate ‘stop-start’ writing style. I had a LOT of conversations with detectives while they were investigating Ursula’s case and I know that missing persons cases do not seamlessly flow in a neat timeline – her timeline was 30 years, with a lot of stop-start.

“FIND ME, is the first in a series featuring Detective Rhiannon McVee. It is mix of crime interspersed with outback romance inspired by the authors own personal missing persons tragedy. This was a mix of three cold cases which continue to gnaw at the Detective as she pursues her long distance relationship whilst juggling her police work. The result to the reader appears to be a start stop series of chapters that seem unconnected. However I think that is deliberate and Is intended to convey what the Detective experiences when various facts unfold on each case. The pace is a gentle mix of slow and fast moving events. I found it was hard to put down once started. As the book is the first in a series the end leaves some unanswered questions, which hopefully will be answered in the following books. I enjoyed reading this, once I understood the reasoning behind the stops and starts, and recommend it. Looking forward to the rest of the series.”

Find Me and other crime fiction books by Melissa Pouliot are available at:

When you have your career mapped out, then life has other plans

I started my own media business when I was 27 years old, the first of its type in western Victoria. I was by accident, fate, good luck – I am not sure how to describe it really. I was at the top of my game in my journalism career, working in a newspaper newsroom I loved. I thrived on the high pressure in a regional tri-weekly paper with a shrinking workforce and punched out my goal of ten stories a day, often more.

I got married, pregnant, and had my future all mapped out.

I wasn’t going to take the 12 months maternity leave, I was only taking six weeks off. The year was 1999. Our newsroom had one computer with an email address and invested in a laptop – it was cutting edge technology of its time. The plan was for me to keep working from home and send in my 10 stories a day, given that I would have all this spare time.

When I started to find it too hard to sit at my desk in the newsroom all day with my puffed up feet, aching back and oversized belly, and the 50-minute drive each way to work found me almost falling asleep at the wheel on the way home, I tested the working from home scenario.

The flexibility of being able to write at 4am when I couldn’t sleep, or have a rest in the early afternoon when my body protested the most, then work through until 9pm was perfect. Without the travel at the start and end of each day, I could keep up with the washing, the house was clean and tidy. Work-life balance was in perfect harmony.

Along came a baby. I’d read about the effects of sleep deprivation but I don’t think you fully understand until you’re amongst it. My sharp brain that loved a deadline became sluggish and when I sat down at the computer to write, the words wouldn’t come.

It was in the days when the funeral director would give us the contact details of family members of people who had died and we would write their obituaries. I would dissolve into tears and be a blubbering mess during these interviews, now that I had brought a new life into the world and feared death in a way I’d never feared it before.

When one of my work colleagues, who was in the front office and answered the phone and grilled me for baby news as she approached her wedding date, died in a car accident on her way to work, I decided I couldn’t go back. I hated the way the newsroom reported her accident. They offered no counselling to our photographer who turned up on scene after hearing about it on the police scanner, not realising who it was until he recognised her car.

Although it was exactly the same way we all wrote, and exactly the same way we all dealt our daily trauma in the 1990s, I couldn’t be part of that news cycle any more.

So I accepted an opportunity I had initially refused, to become a media consultant for a government organisation. I got to write stories about planting trees, surveying and preserving habitat native animals like platypus and malleefowl, doing river and wetland restoration work and organising community events that brought people together to talk about nature and the environment we lived in.

Looking back I can’t believe I initially said no. I could work half the hours for the same money. I could work when I wanted, where I wanted. I had stepped into a whole new world and I loved it. When word got around what I was doing, I never had any shortage of work and I registered my business name mp|media solutions.

Twenty-two years later I’m still working for that same client. I have many other clients too, and two more children, and moved my business from inland Australia to my dream location on the coast.

I have created my own mini-newsroom where I get to write, tell and produce stories about the things I love. The environment, the circular economy, small business, farming, innovation and my favourite topic of all – people and the fascinating lives they live.

Have I found the perfect work-life balance? Some days yes, many days no. But that’s a story for another day!

*Image of the glamour of life as a career Mum, where as many hours are spent at the sink as on the computer.

Meet the author: Melissa Pouliot Search for Sky

Australian crime thriller fiction writer and bestselling author Melissa Pouliot is releasing her much awaited sixth crime thriller mystery novel, Search for Sky.
To kick this book baby into the world, I am going to be lurking in my favourite bookstore in the whole world on launch day.
Please feel free to come and hang out with me in Collins Merimbula next Tuesday 22-2-22 between 10 and 12. Extra points if you bring coffee! (PS I also like cake!)
Collins Merimbula have been super fans of my work since I published Write About Me in 2013.
They have had my crime thriller fiction books on their shelves ever since, and encouraged me to keep writing, and a whole lot more. And now they’ve taken on the distribution of my print books Write About Me & Found from The Missing Series, along with Find Me, When You Find Me, You’ll Never Find Me & Search for Sky from The Rhiannon Series. This is an absolute blessing for anyone who understands how much coordination goes into mailouts!
Over the next few months I will be involved in a range of book events around Merimbula, Tathra and the Bega Valley and if you would like me to come and speak at your book club, social gathering or bookish event, please don’t be afraid to ask.
  • Did you know I have created questions and answers for Book Clubs? I absolutely love Book Clubs, as I used to have one of my own. It expanded my depth and knowledge of books so much, plus it was a whole lot of fun! And discovering new authors was such a delight! Check out my book club Q&A page, and if you have any questions to add, get in touch!

Search for Sky coming soon

Missing people, the stark landscape of the Australian outback and the police system in the mid 90s combine for Melissa Pouliot’s next page-turning crime novel, Search for Sky. The fourth instalment in the Rhiannon Series picks up the story of detective Rhiannon McVee who has made a name for herself with her new approach to investigating missing persons cases. Her approach is simple – find them – but it’s not how the culture of the police system works. When someone starts leaving clues in the remote outback, leading Rhiannon closer and closer to a suspected serial killer, will the next body she discovers be the people she is searching for, or someone else?

Search for Sky is my much awaited sixth book after I took a break from writing when Kings Cross Detectives found my cousin Ursula in 2017 after a 30 year search.

Prior to that I released a book a year in an effort to keep public scrutiny on the disappearance of Ursula in 1987 when we were teenagers.

I’m thrilled to back into my fiction writing after taking a break. It has been a fairly intense few years for everyone that I know. For me, discovering what happened to Ursula and going through the coronial process, bushfires, COVID and moving house created the (im)perfect storm. Every time I tried to pick up this book which I started in 2017, the words wouldn’t come. It’s an age-old excuse for writers, but life definitely got in the way!

What is it about?

Hope can come from the most surprising of places.

In Australia Ayala Philips is still missing.
So is Keely Johnson.
So are thousands of others.
Their cases are getting colder and Rhiannon McVee’s hopes of solving them are fading.

When someone starts leaving clues in the remote Australian outback, leading Rhiannon closer and closer to a suspected serial killer, will the next body she discovers be Ayala, Keely or someone else?

Crime fiction inspired by real life, written by the cousin of one of Australia’s most compelling and heartbreaking missing persons cases.