All posts by Darlene

November 14th Meeting – 7pm Library and Archives

In the Line of Fire:  PTSD and Law Enforcement Officers

Syd Gravel is a retired Staff Sergeant from the Ottawa Police Service and is one of the founding fathers of “Robin’s Blue Circle”, a post-shooting trauma team that assists officers in working their way through the trauma of death or near-death work-related incidents. The Circle was first established in 1988. Syd has personally assisted over 40 officers survive near-death incidents over a period of 12 years.

 Syd is a 31-year veteran of the Ottawa Police Service. In his book, 56 Seconds, he tells the story of how his life took a dramatic turn when he was involved in a shooting. He shares information on how he survived post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD – as a two-time shootist, during his years of work as a front-line police officer. The book describes how his healthy survival was based on a solid foundation of peer support, friends, family and medical practitioners.

Syd Gravel was a keynote speaker at the First Canadian Forum on Traumatic Stress Conference, Surviving Post-Shooting Trauma, in Toronto, Ontario. He was a guest lecturer for Correctional Services Canada, on Wellness and Traumatic Stress, in Kingston, Ontario. He was the keynote speaker at the International Conference of Conservation Officers, Stress Management and its Realities, in Ottawa, Ontario.

 In 2007, Syd was inducted as a Member of the Order Of Merit (M.O.M.) in Policing.

 In 1987, Syd was involved in a very traumatic incident in which a robbery suspect lost his life. The event deeply affected Syd. To his credit he developed a comprehensive Police Peer Support Network on dealing with PTSD. It is Syd’s legacy to the Ottawa Police.

 – Brian Ford, Chief of the Ottawa Police Service, 1993-2000.

2012 Shortlist finalists for Audrey Jessup Short Story Contest

The shortlist finalists for the Audrey Jessup short story contest were announced on Thursday April 19, 2012. They are:

“Til Death” by John Haas

“One Last Job” by Elizabeth Hosang

“The Neighbours” by Jennifer Jorgensen

“Rebecca Sorts Things Out” by Adrienne Stevenson

“At Rest with the Lord” by Jane Watson

The winners will be announced at the CCW Meeting on Wednesday June 13 at Collected Works, between 7:00-9:00. The winners are invited to read a five-minute excerpt from their work.

This final meeting of the year will offer free food and drinks… See you there!

May 9th meeting: Elections!

CCW Needs your input!

It is that time of year again when Capital Crime Writers is holding their annual election.

ELECTION OF EXECUTIVE FOR PERIOD JULY 1, 2012- June 30, 2013. The election of the CCW executive takes place at the May meeting (May 9).  The executive is composed of:
Vice President
Past President
Program Director
Communications Director
Secretary/Membership Director
Treasurer & FinancesPresently the following members of the Executive have agreed to put their names forward for the following positions (ie. to stand for reelection):

President:  Michael Murphy
Program Director: Wynn Quon
Treasurer & Finances: Janet Claridge

The following positions will become vacant:
Vice President – the Vice President is the backup for the President and organizes the annual Audrey Jessup Short Story Contest.
Communications Director –
writes and publishes the Purloined, CCW’s newsletter email bulletin
Secretary/Membership Director
– looks after member recruitment and the collection of membership dues, takes minutes at executive meetings.

Anyone who wishes to put their name forward for ANY executive position should do so in writing (include the names of at least two full members of CCW who endorse the candidature) and send the email to:

The deadline is 9:00 a.m., Wednesday May 9, 2012

Many of the current members have served on the executive for a number of years.  We welcome new blood.  Please consider putting your name forward.

May 9th meeting: Writing Between The Laundry and The Luggage

Writing a novel requires stamina, determination, and a never-quit attitude. That’s at the best of times.

So how can you start, keep at and finish a writing project when your “real life” is filled with work, childcare, laundry, and a million other distractions? Join author C.B. Forrest as he opens the door into his crazy life filled with 60+ hour work weeks, a travel schedule that makes the George Clooney character in ‘Up In The Air’ look like an amateur, all while making time for family AND creative writing. The meeting will include personal lessons learned along with real strategies and tips to help carve time for this pursuit we all love so dearly.  BIO: C. B. Forrest’s first literary crime novel, The Weight of Stones, was shortlisted for Best First Novel in the Arthur Ellis Awards. His second novel, Slow Recoil, was shortlisted for Best Novel in the Arthur Ellis Awards. His third novel, The Devil’s Dust, will be released by Dundurn Publishers in June 2012.

April 11, 2012 – Diplomatic Thrillers: A crime genre

Adrian de Hoog has written three novels in this genre and in broad strokes will trace the development of the genre from the first modern diplomatic-spy thriller, The Riddle of the Sands (1903) by Erskine Childers, to the present.
He will also talk about his three works:  The Berlin Assignment (2006), Borderless Deceit (2007) and Natalia’s Peace (2011).
The first two were published by Breakwater Books, Newfoundland.  The last one he published himself.  If there is an interest in this he will be pleased to discuss that also.
For more go to:
Biographical note:
Adrian de Hoog was educated in the universities of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Oxford. He joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1974.  During his thirty year career, he had postings in countries as varied as Kenya and Germany and at various stages of his career contributed to Canada’s international interest by working on numerous international issues and participating in a variety of international negotiations.  He draws on the many experiences as background for his novels.  He lives in Ottawa.         Join us at our usual meeting time 7:00 pm at the Library and Archives building on Wellington St.  Guests welcome!

Mar 14th – Cozy Up with Linda Wiken

On March 14th, 7:00 pm, Ottawa’s own mystery maven, Linda Wiken, will answer any and all questions on writing and publishing ‘cozy’ mysteries. After running Prime Crime Books for 14 years, this April Linda’s first cozy mystery will on the shelves. Writing under the pseudonym Erika Chase, A Killer Read is the first in her Ashton Corners Book Club mystery series. Over the course of the evening, Linda will take us on her publishing journey from mystery seller to published author with US publisher Berkley Prime Crime, and tell us what it takes to write and publish this kind of crime fiction. 
Linda Wiken Bio
For 14 years, Linda Wiken owned the mystery specialty store, Prime Crime Books in the Glebe. Now, she’s embarked on a life of crime between the pages. Writing as her alter ego, Erika Chase, her first novel in the Ashton Corners Book Club mysteries, A Killer Read, will be published April, 2012 by Berkley Prime Crime.
 Her short stories have appeared in the seven Ladies’ Killing Circle anthologies (three of which she co-edited), and in the magazines Mysterious Intent and Over My Dead Body. She has been short-listed for an Arthur Ellis Award, Best Short Story, from Crime Writers of Canada.

Before life in the world of mystery, she worked as an advertising copywriter, radio producer, journalist, and community education worker. As a volunteer with the Ottawa Police Service for over 15 years, she developed a strong, sometimes scary interest in police procedures. She wrote weekly crime stats articles for the local community newspapers for them, along with stories for the OPS internal newsletter. She also sang with the Ottawa Police Chorus for several years and now indulges her passion for choral singing with two (other) choirs.

Dave Whellams – “Walking into the Ocean” Book Launch, April 4th 2012

Dave Whellams – “Walking into the Ocean” Book Launch April 4, 2012, at Collected Works, Wellington at Holland, 7 p.m.

CCW member Dave Whellams will be launching his first novel Walking into the Ocean on Wednesday, April 4.

The first in a trilogy featuring semi-retired Scotland Yard veteran, Chief Inspector Peter Cammon, this murder mystery sends our investigator down to the Jurassic Cliffs of Devon and Dorset to investigate the killing of a local woman by her mechanic husband, who has thrown her off a cliff and then disappeared into the English Channel. The crime seems an ordinary one for the brilliant Cammon to bother with, but he soon learns that the region is plagued by a serial killer who has been abducting young women on these same cliffs. Cammon’s unflappable and manipulative boss, Deputy Commissioner Bartleben, realizes that Cammon indeed is the man for the job, for only the inspector is capable of perceiving the connection between the deaths of the wife and the young women. In figuring out the murders, Cammon ends up relying, unexpectedly, on a number of women, who include not only the beautiful local girl, Guinevere, but also Peter’s own wife and daughter. Ranging from the south of England to the island of Malta, and back again, Walking into the Ocean reaches its climactic confrontation on the rugged cliffs overlooking the Channel.

Dave is also the author of the short story collection Stories from the Criminal Code. In February, he published his novella Craxer Must Steal on the Smashwords e-pub site, the first of a series of humorous mysteries starring John Craxer, insurance investigator and thief.

All CCW members are welcome to attend the book launch on April 4. Walking into the Ocean is published by ECW Press in cloth and paper formats, as well as on Kindle and Kobo.

The Art of Arson Investigation – Feb 8

At February’s meeting, we have the pleasure of hosting a talk about arson given by Sgt David Christie of the Ottawa Police Service. His talk will cover:

1. Arson as defined in the Criminal Code
2. Arson solvency and why it is low
3. Arson motives with real case examples
4. Brief history of Arson investigations
5. Arson Investigations
6 Arson terminology/definitions

Come join us at 7:00 pm at the Library Archives Canada Room 156, 395 Wellington Street @ Bay.

Sgt David Christie has been a Police Officer for 22 years. After graduating from Simon Fraser University with a degree in Criminology, David joined the Vancouver Police Dept in 1990. He moved to Ottawa in 1998 and joined the Ottawa Police Service working in patrol for 2 years and as a Detective in the Sexual Assault Child Abuse unit. After being promoted to the rank of Sgt, he worked in the cellblock and supervised patrol squads before being selected to become the Sgt of the Arson unit.

Since joining the Arson unit, Sgt Christie has received training at the International Association of Arson Investigators’ annual conferences as well as at the New York State Academy of Fire Science in Montour Falls NY. He is presently a Level 2 Certified Fire Investigator in the State of NY, a Nationally Certified Fire investigator with the International Association of Fire Chiefs and a Certified Fire Investigator Technician as per the International Association of Arson Investigators.

January 11th – A Writers’ Panel

Finding Your Writing Groove

Come to the January 11, 2012 meeting which will feature CCW authors C.B. Forrest, Nadine Doolitle and Brenda Chapman on a  panel exploring such issues as:  finding the time to write, getting started on a book idea and keeping the plot and series going.

Where did these authors come up with their ideas? How do they keep a manuscript on track? Is outlining the way to go or is it better to let the muse guide the writing?  All of these issues and more will be probed by moderator Wynn Quon as he attempts to get to the bottom of their writing processes, their experiences in  the world of publishing and their advice for up and coming writers.

Please note that we will be meeting at 7:00 pm at the Ottawa Public Library, Main Branch, Laurier & Metcalfe in the Auditorium.  

Panel bios:

Brenda Chapman is the author of the Jennifer Bannon mystery series for young adults. Hiding in Hawk’s Creek, the second novel in the series, was shortlisted by the Canadian Association of Children’s Librarians for the 2006 Book of the Year for Children Award, and was selected as an ‘Our Choice’ by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Brenda has also written several short stories that were published in an anthology (When Boomers Go Bad, RendezVous Crime 2004) and various magazines, including Canadian Living. Brenda’s first adult murder mysteryIn Winter’s Grip was released in 2010, and was followed in 2011 by The Second Wife, a Rapid Reads mystery, recently nominated for the 2012 Ontario Library Association  Golden Oak award.  Her YA novel, Second Chances will be released September 2012. Brenda is Past President of Capital Crime Writers and was Publicity Chairperson for Bloody Words 2009. She works as a senior communications advisor in the federal government.

Nadine Doolittle is a Theatre Arts graduate from Vancouver Community College Studio 58 Program. Her debut novel, ICED UNDER (Bayeux Arts Press, 2008) shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel in 2009. Her second novel, THE GREY LADY is scheduled for release February 2012 from McArthur and Company (Toronto). Nadine lives in Alcove, Quebec and is at work on her third novel, THE RIVER BRIDE. She is represented by Diane Banks Literary Associates (UK).

Wynn Quon has recently embarked on  mystery writing.  He has two Audrey Jessup short story Awards to his credit.  He is a finance and technology analyst/investor.  He has had articles published in the online edition of the Globe and Mail, the National Post and Readers’ Digest. He is the Program Director for Capital Crime Writers.

Capital Crime Writer’s December Dinner

The Capital Crime Writers December dinner was held at KS on the Keys with special guest author Howard Shrier from Toronto.

He gave several readings and spoke about how he completed his first novel.  Based upon advice from well-known story guru, Robert McKee, he said he focussed on getting the story straight before writing any scenes. He filled three notebooks with raw material for the novel. He set himself a daily writing schedule and in a year he had 400 pages of what he thought was a final draft.  He managed to find an agent who took a look.  She liked it enough to ask for a rewrite. This took over a year but the effort was worth it.  Buffalo Jump won the Arthur Ellis for best first novel.

The evening was well-attended with over forty mystery buffs enjoying delicious food, pleasant company and an insightful guest presentation.  Thanks to all who attended and a special nod of appreciation to Howard!