The first and biggest lesson you need to learn about being an author is that it’s not just about writing. In fact, I do less fiction writing now than I did before I was published. Now, in addition to finding time to write, I have to promote my books, do my share of promoting my fellow authors and not seem as if I’m constantly promoting while I do it.  I have to make advertising decision, manage my income and track my expenses. Being an author also means being an entrepreneur.

Caught up in the business of writing, you can forget that it is also an art. Awards remind us.

The Arthur Ellis Awards for Excellence in Crime Writing, established in 1984 and named after the nom de travail of Canada's official hangman, are awarded annually by Crime Writers of Canada. They are juried awards. For each of the eight categories, three judges are chosen. The judges include booksellers, librarians, teachers and award-winning authors. All are avid and knowledgeable readers of crime fiction in its many genres and none of them has a stake in which books are shortlisted or eventually win.

If you get shortlisted for an Arthur, you know it’s on the basis of your writing, not your relative popularity or sales record. It’s about your art, not the business side of being an author.

This year I am one of the shortlisted. Deadly Season, a Carmedy and Garrett mini-mystery is a finalist in the novella category. It’s a great feeling.

Kate Garrett recently inherited half her father’s private investigation company and a partner who is as irritating as he is attractive. Kate has been avoiding Jake Carmedy for years, but now her life might depend on him.

Kate and Jake are on the hunt for a serial cat killer who has mysterious connections to her father’s last police case. Kate’s father had been forced to retire when he was shot investigating a domestic disturbance. Is the shooter back for revenge? And is Kate or Jake next?


Alison Bruce has had many careers and writing has always been one of them. Copywriter, editor and graphic designer since 1992, Alison has also been a comic store manager, small press publisher, webmaster and arithmetically challenged bookkeeper. She is the author of mystery, romantic suspense and historical western romance novels.