Emma Viskic: multi-award-winning author and clarinetist

Emma Viskic, a serial offender in the Sisters in Crime Davitt Awards, spoke to Sisters in Crime national co-convenor, Karina Kilmore, for this week’s Murder Mondays interview.

(Click on the image below to go to the YouTube recording.)

Emma was joint winner (with Dervla McTiernan) of the 2020 Davitt Award (Readers’ Choice) for Darkness for Light. The award is judged by the 500+ members of Sisters in Crime. This recent win means that Emma has now won an unprecedented five Davitt Awards for her Caleb Zelic series.

The first in the series, Resurrection Bay, won the 2016 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction and three Davitt Awards: Best Adult Fiction, Best Debut and Readers’ Choice. It was iBooks Australia’s Crime Novel of the Year and shortlisted for the UK’s prestigious Gold Dagger and New Blood Dagger Awards, and the US Barry Award. And Fire Came Down won the 2018 Davitt Award for Best Novel and was longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award.

Formerly a classical musician, Emma studied clarinet at the Victorian College of the Arts and the Rotterdam Conservatorium in The Netherlands. Her musical career ranged from performing with José Carreras, to playing at an engagement party that ended in a brawl. She learned Australian sign language (Auslan) in order to write the character of Caleb, who is profoundly deaf. She lives in Melbourne Australia and is currently working on the fourth Caleb Zelic novel, Those Who Perish.

Emma said at the award ceremony that the support of Sisters in Crime and the Davitt Awards had been instrumental in building her career. “You’ve inspired me to pay it forward, by mentoring women and underrepresented writers.”

Murders Mondays are available on Sisters in Crime YouTube channel at 6pm on Mondays. Previous guests include Meg Mundell, J. P. Powell, Kerry Greenwood, Lili Wilkinson, Petronella McGovern, Heather Rose, Malla Nunn, Sara Paretsky, Judith Rossell, Sulari Gentill, Sarah Epstein, Mirandi Riwoe, Kerry McGinnis, Kathy Reichs, Ellie Marney, Katherine Kovacic, Candice Fox, Anne Buist, Dervla McTiernan and Val McDermid.