Deadly debut for Aoife Clifford

A big crowd jammed into Readings Carlton on 2 March for the launch of Aoife Clifford’s debut novel, All These Perfect Strangers, which is being published in March in Australia and in August in the United Kingdom in by Simon & Schuster and in July in the United States by Penguin Random House.

Aoife credited Sisters in Crime with sending her down the criminal path. Back in 2007 when she was a stay-at-home mum at home with two children, she decided to enter the Scarlet Stiletto short story competition with “Kill-dead-garden”, a murder story set in a kindergarten, the extent of her world at the time.

Entering a story in the Scarlet Stiletto Awards was Aoife’s New Year Resolution that year. She realised that she hadn’t done any writing (outside of the odd email) since she left work to start a family and was forgetting how to spell.

“Kill-dead-garden”, which featured a cleaner killed by a compass through the head and teacher sleuths, won first prize. It was Aoife’s first foray into fiction and, as she never expected it to see the light of day, she gave one of her characters the same family name as Martin Pakula, one of her colleagues from her days at the National Union of Workers.

Martin, now the Victorian Attorney-General, was rather amused by the tribute and launched the book!

Over the past nine years, Aoife went onto win second prize and numerous other awards in the Scarlet Stiletto competition though her second shoe has proved elusive. She won the S D Harvey Ned Kelly Award in 2012 and been shortlisted for the UK Crime Association’s Debut Dagger. That’s all bye-the-bye now that she has a book out and it’s immediately gone international.

Hear Aoife speak about her amazing literary journey at 8pm, Friday 29 April at the Rising Sun Hotel in South Melbourne:

Catch Aoife’s author video here: