Sulari Gentill

Anne here, and today it's a privilege and a pleasure to have the wonderful Australian historical crime writer, Sulari Gentill, visit us for the second time. 82822803_448684149342553_7133688289197817856_n

Anne:   welcome back to the Word Wenches, Sulari. When you were last here, you were about to embark on a tour of the USA with three other Australian crime writers. (See photo on the right.)  That seemed to go really well, but then you were plunged into the horrors of the recent Australian bushfires, with your home, family and animals at risk, you and your younger son and the dogs evacuated, while your husband and eighteen year old son, both members of the RFS (Rural Fire Service — a Volunteer Firefighters Organization) stayed back to fight the fires. They were on the fire front in trucks that were melting, facing flames that were sixty metres (200 ft) high — in what seemed an endless, impossible battle. (Listen to Sulari describing in her own eloquent words what it was like to live through.)

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It must have been an appalling time for you. We Wenches were following your situation on Facebook and elsewhere and, like the rest of the world, felt helpless and horrified. (Read the NYT article about it.)

You've emerged with your family intact, your house smoke-damaged but (just) intact and the rest of the farm burned. And yet, you've gone on to help others with the post-fire clear up, start on the rebuilding and replanting of your own farm, and still somehow managed to keep writing.

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Meet Sulari Gentill

Anne here, and today I'm interviewing Sulari Gentill, an Australian writer who writes excellent historical crime novels, set in the 1930's, with absolutely gorgeous covers, similar to travel posters of the times. AFewRightThinkingMen

Some of you might remember that I recommended Sulari's books back in April. Now she and a small group of other Australian crime writers are about to tour the USA and I thought I'd ask Sulari a few questions about her series.

Anne: Sulari, where did the original inspiration for a crime series set in the 1930's come from?

Sulari:  Writing can be quite an isolating obsession.  I spend a great deal of time in my own head, and while that’s fine for me, it is awkward for those who live with me… or rather, live with my body while my mind is wandering.  For me, great part of the challenge in being a writer is making my imaginary world work with the real world in which I actually live.  And so I made a pragmatic decision to build a bridge towards the poor man who had married a lawyer and then found himself financially and otherwise tied to someone who refused to do much else but write.  

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I looked for a story to which my husband could relate, so that I could bring him into my head… and perhaps not have to come out so often, myself.  Michael’s particular area of expertise is in the extreme right-wing movements of the early 1930s in Australia and the world, and so, conveniently, it is this context in which the Rowland Sinclair Series is set.  

By basing my books in this period, I rather cleverly ensured Michael would keep editing my novels—he cares far too much about the genuine history of the time to let me play with it unsupervised!  I also procured for myself an invaluable source of information.  It is one thing to read about a time, and another to have the opportunity to discuss it with someone who is an expert in the era.  For me, a dialogue with an historian affords a richer understanding and fuels the kind of creative excitement that is fundamental to bringing history to life.

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What We’re Reading: April Edition

Pat  Jojo Mayesby Mary Jo

We Word Wenches love doing these posts because we always find new authors to try! 

Starting off with Pat Rice:

One Plus One by  JoJo Moyes  I love the way romance has expanded into women’s fiction, and One Plus One by JoJo Moyes is a masterful example of how it’s done. It’s clear from the very first that we have a conflicted hero and heroine. Ed is owner of a software company about to go mega-huge. Jess is his housekeeper—and he doesn’t even know she exists because she cleans his vacation home, and he never takes vacations.

But this is not the usual meet cute or billionaire-sweeps-heroine-off-her-feet. They both come with so much baggage that it takes most of the book to unload it, with bits exploding along the way—in suitably dramatic fashion. She comes with a math genius daughter and a goth teenager who isn’t even hers, plus a giant slobbery dog. He has a dying father, a screaming sister, a girlfriend he tried to get rid of by handing off insider stock info, and an ex-wife who helps herself to his bank account whenever she likes.

 

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