Thrillers, historical non-fiction, police procedurals, amateur sleuth, noir, suspense – crime fiction is filled with subgenres, and every reader has their list of favourite authors.
On May 4, readers, aspiring authors and the public at large will have an opportunity to meet four members of Crime Writers of Canada – Judy Penz Sheluk, Ken Ogilvie, Lorna Poplak and John Worsley Simpson – and hear them discuss their craft at a panel discussion in Bradford West Gwillimbury.
The event takes place at the BWG Public Library’s Zima room, from 10 a.m. to noon. Sheluk will pose questions to the panel, to be followed by a question and answer session with the audience, and a book-signing by the authors.
It’s a relatively new concept for the Crime Writers of Canada, introduced in 2017. Up until then, said Sheluk, “everyone was kind of doing their own thing” – arranging individual meet-the-author events and book signings at libraries and books stores.
Taking a “multi-author approach” made it easier to attract a bigger audience, she said. “We got a much more positive reception. It also allowed the authors to network.”
Every panel tries to present a mix of subgenres to make it more interesting for the audience.
Ken Ogilvie, author of the Rebecca Bradley Detective series, sets his thriller/suspense mysteries in a fictional town north of Midland, in the eastern Georgian Bay area.
Lorna Poplak, based in Toronto, is the author of the historical non-fiction novel, Drop Dead: A Horrible History of Hanging in Canada, and is now at work on her second non-fiction book, dealing with historical crime.
John Worsley Simpson, journalist and author of half a dozen mysteries and police procedurals, saw his first novel, Undercut, become a strong contender in the Best First Novel category of the Arthur Ellis Awards.
“We’ll try to cover each author’s area,” Sheluk said – although her experience has been that the panel discussions quickly become more casual, with the authors sharing stories, experiences, and plenty of laughter.
“It tends to be more conversational. Everyone’s just riffing off each other,” she said.
For Sheluk, the Bradford venue is pretty much home turf. She now lives in Alliston, but for years she lived in the Holland Landing area.
“Bradford is sort of my patch,” she said.
Her first book, The Hanged Man’s Noose, was set in Holland Landing – renamed, in the novel, Lount’s Landing. She has now written five mysteries, three in her new Marketville Series, a setting that bears an uncanny resemblance to Newmarket.
All of the authors will bring copies of their books to sell – “Usually at a discount,” said Sheluk – and to sign, after the panel discussion.
The event is free at the library, 425 Holland St. W. in Bradford. Pre-registration is encouraged but not required. See www.bradford.library.on.ca for more information.