Upcoming Kindle book deals for Melissa Pouliot crime writer

Write About Me

With Ursula on my mind, Write About Me is going to be 99c (US) on Amazon Kindle worlwide, starting November 26 for 5 days. This link is to the US store, but just navigate to your country’s page and you will be able to access the deal from there.

Rhiannon Crime Series

During the Christmas season, there will be a series of deals on my Detective Rhiannon McVee series, including Kindle Free and 99c deals. If you follow me on my Melissa Pouliot author Facebook and Instagram, I’ll post reminders of when each deal goes live!

Music and podcast recommendations from mp

Music and podcasts – Melissa Pouliot’s recommendations!


When I was a young newspaper journalist in the 1990s I was the video and CD reviewer (showing my age!). I pretty much gave everything five stars because I couldn’t bear to criticise anyone for all the hard work they’d put into their creative project. The Dixie Chicks Wide Open Spaces got a solid five stars! I still have that CD but until recently, I’ve never had the opportunity to see them live. I went with my Mum and one of my best friends to a Sydney concert and they were brilliant! As was Elle King.

If you go onto Spotify, search for The Chicks World Tour Setlist 2023, I highly recommend it! And have a listen to Elle King while you’re at it.


As far as podcasts go, I have been binge listening to series podcasts lately so here they are in the order I listened:
  • The Frankston Murders – Vikki Petraitis is absolutely brilliant and one of my favourites who I have followed for a long time, she has an impressive backlist so once you recover from this, go back through as she is one of the world’s best true crime podcasters in my view.
  • Scamanda – this gave me so many mixed emotions, I was in complete turmoil over what she did!
  • Believe in Magic – this broke my heart, and I listened in the same way I’d stay up all night reading a page turning book that I couldn’t put down.
  • The Missing Cryptoqueen – this is the same host as Believe in Magic and he did such an amazing job trying to unpick this complicated story!
  • Bad Blood: The Final Chapter – similar feelings to Scamanda, oh my goodness!
  • Murder in Apartment 12 – this was similar to Believe in Magic and I couldn’t stop listening until I’d binged the whole series.

A break from Rhiannon McVee

I have been off the air for a while, and a lot of you have been wondering about the long break between updates. I have been avoiding putting words down after a family tragedy which is taking me a long time to process.

From the day I published Write About Me in 2013 and embarked on a very public search for Ursula, I used writing as a coping mechanism for all the trauma happening behind the scenes. Escaping into the worlds of my fictional characters in the Rhiannon McVee crime series kept my real emotions on the surface and I could easily pretend that what was going on in the real world wasn’t real! But after losing my precious Dad, who was my biggest fan of my books and everything else I did, I have done everything I can to avoid dealing with my emotions. Initially when I was caught up in the love bubble of his beautiful memorial celebration I had a mad weekend of writing as I felt like I couldn’t waste another minute of my life, but then nothing. Every time I’ve sat down to write the Rhiannon McVee crime series or the new crime novel I’ve started, the words won’t come.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the remote outback, also reading, listening to podcasts, doing Sudoko puzzles, listening to music, walking, catching up with friends and being with my family. I’ve also taken a gazilliion photos of big skies. I can’t take the credit for this one though, my husband took it and it’s gone into the book cover contenders folder!

This week I seemed to turn a corner and some of the fog has lifted. Rhiannon McVee and Mac have returned into my head to hang out with me, and my new character who started off as Bunny, then changed to Bridie, has also returned. She has returned as Bunny so I’m going to go with it for now and who knows! I have two partly written books and after I finish this update, I’m going to open one and see what is in store for me, and ultimately for all of you!!

Forever Young: Finding Ursula

We would never have found my cousin Ursula if it wasn’t for the amazing team at the AFP including Marina Simoncini and our much loved Rebecca Kotz, who lives on in our hearts.
Marina, Beck and I in Sydney in 2015, searching for Ursula.

Write About Me

I took a copy of my newly published book Write About Me to give to  Beck in Canberra in 2013 to ask if she could go into the back end of their website and update the details they had wrong about her disappearance including eye and hair colour and date she went missing (so naive!!).
Beck had a box of tissues and used as many as I did when I told her how long we’d lived not knowing where Ursula was (at that time it was 26 years). From that day on she never gave up on getting NSW police to put fresh eyes on the case, then we were so blessed they put the eyes of Kurt & Amy from Kings Cross Detectives onto it a year later.
After Ursula was Found, Australian Story weren’t able to fit everyone who played a crucial role in finding Ursula into their 30-minute episode, but they all feature prominently in the book I’ve written which I might publish one of these days.

Join the conversation – book club for Write About Me

When I was in my late twenties a friend and I started a book club in the tiny rural Victoria town of Minyip, home of the television series The Flying Doctors. Nikki and I wanted to discover books that were not on bestseller lists, to challenge ourselves by reading books we would never consider purchasing in a bookshop, and to find books that didn’t follow a formula. Okay, we also wanted an excuse to get together and drink wine!

I have since moved away and our book club is no longer running, but many of us still keep in touch and remember the wonderful books we read and the robust discussions each book inspired. Although I had always wanted to be an author, I never imagined that one day book clubs just like mine would be reading and discussing my books.

I have prepared questions and answered a few as well for Book Clubs to get you started. And make sure you have a glass of wine for me! I’d also be happy to join your book club discussion – get in touch and we can arrange a live stream from anywhere in the world.

  • If you would like to join a book club discussion with the University of Southern Queensland, they are hosting a webinar with me on Thursday, 24 August 2023 – between 7pm – 8pm Brisbane, Australia Time Zone to coincide with National Missing Persons Week. Anyone is welcome to join and you’ll find details HERE.


Reader review for Write About Me

When someone takes the time to leave a review on one of my books, my heart sings! Reviews on sites such as Amazon and Goodreads also help my books get noticed among the millions of other books that are all vying for attention. Here is one which made my day/week/year for Write About Me:

“I am amazed at how deftly Melissa Pouliot wove her stories around what could (and no doubt does) happen when someone goes missing. Centering around the intricate webs of daily life, a simple decision like whether to turn left or to turn right, a decision any one of us could make on any given day, makes all the difference in someone’s survival.

I am also grateful that this story has opened my eyes to the plight of Missing Persons and that if I ever notice something ‘not quite right’ I know to reach out to a person and/or turn to the various resources in our community without hesitation. My heart goes out to all family and friends of Missing Persons ~ may your loved ones be found!”

  • To find my books and leave a review please visit my Amazon Author Page.

Senses on fire: what Helen Garner helped me understand about my writing

One thing the outback does is clears my mind of all the clutter. I have time to think, I am not scrolling through social media or getting caught up in the craziness of everyday life. I listen to birds, watch the sun come up, watch the sun go down and notice tiny details. Most importantly, I am inspired to write…

In the air-conditioned tractor cab while my husband sweats through another forty-five degree day on the post driver, highly lauded Australian author Helen Garner reflects on decades of searching for perfect sentences in her 80th birthday podcast episode.

Oops! I forget to lift the driver before I move forward another seven metres and I lose track of Garner for a few seconds, distracted by the exuberant hand gestures in my rear vision mirror. Back on the line, I slide my finger back a minute or two so I don’t miss one single word of Helen’s.

She lights a flame and my senses are on fire. I can’t wait to swap the GPS and tractor wheel for my keyboard. I’ve always been an observer of small things but Garner makes me appreciate the power observation gives me as a writer.  It is left to me to capture moments, landscapes and places very few people are privileged enough to see.

Dragonflies dance millimetres from the surface, while life-sucking carp feast greedily to create bubbles that spread from beneath and muddy the waters.

A yellow belly vies for position, determined to survive amongst the river-invading carp who breed like rabbits in the flush of flood waters that have spent months snaking their way across what is usually a parched landscape.

Bright white spoonbill ibis circle overhead, cussing in a deep throaty tune at human intrusion on their sacred place.

Birdsong from hundreds of tiny robins and rare bush birds fill ancient eucalypts that line the banks. The closer we get to the long concrete weir that stretches from one side of the remote river to the other, they’re barely audible above the hypnotising roar of water.

It is easy to picture Aboriginals gathering in this sacred place, feasting from the rich food and water source that nourished them for thousands of years.

Yabbies the size of crayfish.

Rock skimming amusing us for hours.

Now all I need to do is insert a body floating over this isolated weir and I’m well on my way to my next plot twist. Watch this space!

Australian crime writer finds stories in the outback

If you follow me on Instagram stories, you’ll get a mix of outback sunsets, coastal sunrises and whole mish mash of quotes I find inspiring and quirky reels that make me smile. I was thinking this morning as I put a selection of outback stories together that people might wonder why I have so many outback photos, where my outback crime stories are based.

My love of the outback started when I was 18, and I spent a year on a remote sheep station in southwest Queensland as a governess to two adorable children. It is also where I met my husband, and our love of this landscape keeps us circling back out here.

I have a media background and my husband has a fencing business, and for the past several decades we have had many adventures in remote locations putting up hundreds of kilometres of long, straight fences. We have done this with our kids who learnt at a very young age how to clip on and hook up barbed wire, and as they got older they have also learnt what it’s like to be in remote locations without any internet!

When we first started fencing in the 90s I was working in a newspaper newsroom and I would go out to the fenceline in my lunch breaks in my business suit and high heels to help sight in the line. These days, we use much more sophisticated GPS technology to get the fencelines straight, and although I still work in the media through my own media company, I no longer wear a suit or heels when I’m fencing!

My husband and I have taken the outback photos on the covers of my Rhiannon Series books, with the outback landscapes we work in there is no need for photoshopping or purchasing a shutterstock image!


True crime podcast recommendations

books Write About Me Found

Continuing on the theme of fact or fiction, I’ve been travelling a lot and listening to true crime podcast series including Casefile, ‘The Detective’s Dilemma’. This took me back to 2014 when a retired UK Detective Inspector, Chris Gould, read Write About Me then asked me to endorse a safety app inspired by the case in this podcast.

I’ve dug into the archives for the story I wrote about meeting Chris, it was such a big moment for me. It also highlights is how far technology has come since 2014! Back then I couldn’t believe there was an app that could help track a missing person’s last movements, never imagining that 9 years later we would have an app to track just about every little thing. Read How an author and 2 knights make a SafeKnight.

The Detectives Dilemma true crime podcast also highlights is how people can get away with murder on a technicality and really honours the trauma their families endure. Another true crime podcast series that further emphasises this point is ‘Matty’ on Casefile which I also highly recommend. Matty’s father has a great quote – “It is not a justice system, it’s just a system.”

And the number #1 podcast on Spotify right now is ‘The Frankston Murders’. I am yet to listen but I am so looking forward to it. This is narrated by Australian true crime podcaster and author Vikki Petraitis (who came to my Sisters in Crime event in my hometown last year) and is part of a really big push to prevent a serial killer from being released from jail.



Fact Or Fiction, Or That Dangerous Space Inbetween?

“I don’t think that would happen in real life, it’s not believable.”

I was indignant at the comments of a former editor of my books who felt one of the storylines about a missing teenager was taking the crime and trauma she went through to unrealistic levels. I fought hard against her editing advice and didn’t change a thing. As a writer you need to have confidence in your words and stick by the work you have created. As a self-published author it is a lot easier for me to do this, and I wonder what it would be like for traditionally published authors who hand their manuscript over to a publishing house and potentially lose some of that decision making.

I’ve always strived to stay true to writing from somewhere real. My self-published stories come from a deep dark place inside myself and are inspired by my early media career in outback Queensland and rural Victoria reporting on stories you couldn’t even dream up. Add into the mix that I lived for 30 years without knowing what happened to my cousin Ursula. Our family agonised over her whereabouts, wondering if she was a victim of serial killer Ivan Milat. The last confirmed sighting of Ursula in 1987 was in Kings Cross Sydney; we also wondered whether she’d gotten caught up in police corruption, or if she had become part of the Underbelly scene of this time.

Writing and self-publishing crime fiction has become an escape from reality for me, and as an avid reader of crime fiction, I want to write books that other readers can escape into as well. I also want to leave you wondering – is this fact or fiction or that dangerous space inbetween?

  • Write About Me sparked a new investigation into the cold case mystery of Ursula Dianne Barwick. Australian Story’s episode Forever Young tries to untangle the tangled story which led us to the truth.