I know it’s only genre fiction but I like it
April 25, 2015 — 2:51

Author: Dorothy Johnston  Category: crime fiction crime series ebooks  Comments: 6

I do admire the versatility of authors who straddle different modes of writing which, taken at face value, might seem to clash with one another. And I admire particularly, since this is my own weakness – strength? – those who produce both literary and crime fiction. Some, like George Johnston, did it to make money. Who remembers Johnston these days for the five detective novels he wrote under the pseudonym Shane Martin? Others write crime fiction as a collaborative effort, for example John Clanchy and Mark Henshaw. Still others split their writing selves into disparate parts, John Banville writing crime as Benjamin Black, for instance.

I wonder how they feel about it, whether it’s easy for them to put on a different hat. It’s not just easy for me; it’s delightful. I wonder whether choosing a playful pseudonym helps. (Shane was George Johnston’s sister and Martin his son.) I’ve never felt the need for a pen name, just as I’ve never felt the need to invent place names for my settings.



Which brings me to my latest – the start of a sea-change mystery series set mainly in Queenscliff on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula. The first book is called Through A Camel’s Eye and I’ve had such fun with it! It’s to be published by For Pity Sake in April 2016. You can read a full synopsis on the sea change mystery page, under Fiction. Suffice to say here that it starts with the theft of a camel, and moves on to a missing tourist ….

Thanks to the incomparable Scarlett Rugers for the cover design.


  • Oh good for you, Dorothy!

    April 25, 2015 — 3:11
  • Will this be making it to N. America?

    April 25, 2015 — 4:01
  • Looking forward to this one, Dorothy, and here’s to the rest in the series! Did you read the Jane Sullivan piece in “The Age” yesterday about getting away from putting books into genres?

    April 25, 2015 — 21:55
  • Thank you Joan, Guy and WG for those encouraging comments. Barbarian Books is based in America, so no problems with availability, Guy. And I didn’t see the Age piece, but will look it up.

    April 26, 2015 — 3:42
  • I resent (too strong a word, but it’s appropriate) but understand the tendency to pigeonhole writers. It’s absurd to suppose that a writer of thrillers or romance or whatever is incapable of crafting sentences in another genre. But it seems to be a strong element of readers’ perceptions. Some seem to need their writers to be as predictable as tomato ketchup. What’s worse is when you get reviews such as this, which found ‘gratuitous violence’ in one of my crime novels and added: ‘The fact that this author also writes children’s books, “creeps me out.”
    Looking forward to reading the new one, Dorothy. Good luck with it.

    April 26, 2015 — 9:59
  • Thanks for your comment, Bill. They’re vicious remarks that you’ve had to put up with from reviewers. I’ve had some very nasty things said about me in public too. And in Australia, at least, authors have no right of reply to verbal abuse and/or outright errors in reviews. I once asked for the right to respond to a newspaper reviewer who’d made a number of factual errors, and was told to write a ‘Letter to the editor’!

    April 27, 2015 — 5:32
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