Monday, May 9, 2022

2022 CWC Awards: Unpublished Interview with Delee Fromm

Congratulate Delee Fromm for her finalist manuscript

 The Strength To Rise


Tell us something about yourself. What is your life like when you’re not writing?

DF: I would love to say I spend my spare time skydiving but my real life is more mundane. As a lawyer and former psychologist, I consult with law firms and corporations on the topics of in women’s advancement and implicit bias. I also guest lecture at various universities on the topic of negotiation, something I have taught since the late 1980’s when dinosaurs roamed the land.

 What previous writing experience do you have? What got you started writing crime?

DF: I have always written. As a psychologist I published research, while as a commercial real estate lawyer I wrote articles on land title and tax issues. More recently, as a consultant, I authored two books on career skills – one for lawyers and one for women: Advance Your Legal Career: Essential Skills for Success (LexisNexis Canada) and Understanding Gender at Work.

Taking a course in 2020 propelled me into the world of crime writing. During Melodie Campbell’s excellent novel writing course my first short story, “The Neighbourhood Watch” was published in Grave Diagnosis (Carrick Publishing, 2020). A second one, “Not in Canada” is being published in the Crime Writers of Canada 40th Anniversary Anthology, Cold Canadian Crime, coming out June 2022.

Tell us a little bit about your shortlisted manuscript. Is it cozy, traditional, gritty, amateur or professional investigator, serial killer?

DF: It’s a traditional mystery with a sprinkle of domestic suspense. It features a female amateur sleuth, Avery Winton, who is a psychology professor. One of her colleagues is a controversial right-wing social media darling while another is a nonbinary, social justice advocate. It is loosely based on a true story about human trafficking in Halton. The aims of this book, aside from keeping the identity of the killer hidden and entertaining the reader, are highlighting gender bias and inequities.

 Do you like your hero(es) or your villain(s) better?

DF: Oh, that’s easy. I like my hero, Avery, much better but my villains are fascinating. The book serves up several successful psychopaths, those individuals who live and work among us and wreak havoc on families, societies and countries. Bob Hare, the Canadian guru on psychopaths, said he wished he had studied them rather than the incarcerated ones.

What is one thing you wish you’d known when you started writing this novel, that you would warn other beginning crime novelists about?

DF: How hard it is write fiction. Good storytellers make it look effortless and so it is very easy to conclude anyone can do it. Learning the craft takes serious time and effort as well as knowledge and perseverance. Hemingway was right; the first draft of anything is sh*t, a thought that prevents me from being discouraged with first efforts. That’s why it’s helpful to be patient with yourself and to surround yourself with supportive people. People like you Jayne. Thanks for highlighting me in this blog. 

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Congratulations, Delee, on attaining the shortlist. Best of luck in the final round of judging.

#CWC #AwardOfExcellence #Awards #Delee Fromm #MelodieCampbell #CrimeWritersCanada #Crime Fiction #HumanTrafficking #AmateurSleuth

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