Breakfast Speaker November 17, 2018

Can we talk? Meet The Mesdames of Mayhem, a collective of 16 local mystery writers who love to talk about mysteries – theirs and other people’s. We have three anthologies out – Thirteen, 13 O’Clock and 13 Claws.  Many of the Mesdames are well-known authors in their own right who deliver cracking good workshops and talks. One, some or all of us is/are available for just about any speaking (and book sale) opportunity. Here’s what we can deliver:

1) Mesdames Group Talks:

Beyond the top drawer: getting that manuscript published

Crazy thought? So you might want to be an author

You bet women rule the crime-writing world

Why we just love mysteries

Canadian mystery writers you should know about (and a couple of Brits and Yanks as well)

A little help from our friends: why we believe in writing groups and collectives like ours

Branding, posting and other promotional tricks and tools

Where we get our ideas. Hint: They’re not just ripped from the headlines

So you want to do an anthology. Learn the pitfalls, perils and payoffs from the Mesdames who have done it

The art – and blood, sweat and tears – of writing a short story

2) Mesdames Group Workshops/Events:

Ad lib: Learn how to harness your imagination by joining the Mesdames in an improv plotting session

Do you know your stuff?  We read the opening of famous (or maybe not) mystery novels. The audience name the books.

Idea Fest:  The Mesdames get ideas – everywhere from the dime store to the doctor’s office.  How can the audience get ‘em? They are about to find out in this high-octane, audience-participation idea improvisation session.

Edit Fest: Bring forth those novels, short stories, and yet-to-be published bestsellers. The Mesdames are ready for them with their poised blue pens and pencils. Make it a social evening and everyone gets to be a critic!


3) Talks and Workshops by Individual Mesdames:

Madame Rosemary McCracken has written three mysteries featuring financial planner Pat Tierney. The first one – Safe Harbor – was shortlisted for Britain’s prestigious Debut Dagger award. She teaches novel writing at George Brown Community College.  One of her workshops covers the four-act plot structure of any good novel. In another workshop, Rosemary assesses and edits the first page of participants’ novels in progress.  

Madame Melodie Campbell has been hailed as Canada’s queen of comedy. The Bootlegger’s Goddaughter is shortlisted for the 2018 Ontario Library Association Golden Oak award. The Goddaughter’s Revenge won the Derringer Award and the Arthur Ellis Award for Crime Writing.  She has taught fiction writing at Sheridan College since 1992. Melodie’s workshop on crime-fiction writing has been given at many libraries.  Please note: This workshop involves an honorarium.

In her workshops, Madame Lisa de Nikolits explores 16 – count ‘em – shades of crime noir. Want to know what they are? Revenge noir, short story noir, literary noir, young adult noir, noir love, noir soundtracks, noir@twitter, Toronto noir, Dystopian noir, graphic noir.   She can also talk about self-editing and how to become a better writer.  And how to write the traditional narrative arc.

Versatile Madame Caro Soles writes mysteries, erotica, gay lit, the occasional bit of dark fantasy, and science fiction. She won the Derrick Murdoch Award from the Crime Writers of Canada. Her latest novel, A Friend of Mr. Nijinsky, is the inspiration for this workshop: Historical mysteries; more than just dressing up your characters in muslin and ribbons!

  1. H. Callway’s debut novel, Windigo Fire, was short-listed for the Debut Dagger and the Unhanged Arthur awards, but getting traditionally published still proved to be a challenge. Madeleine shares her journey and eventual success in her workshop How To Get Published. Windigo Fire was a runner-up for the Arthur Ellis Best First Novel award.

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