Australian JL (Judy) Crozier has been writing for much of her life – from the dramatic thirty-page epic written at the age of 12 (reversing her friends’ names so as to give a suitable foreign feel to her characters) to now. In between, she has been a journalist and an award-winning short story writer. She has also been a community worker, local government representative, a creative writing teacher, a singing teacher and a blues singer, an editor of journals and a proof-reader for seven years of the Victoria Government Gazette, in the State of Victoria, Australia. ‘I believe you can get less for murder,’ she laughs.
Judy had a lot of time to read as a child, living an isolated life in Vietnam in the 60s, where her father was attached to the Australian Embassy in Saigon. She attended a French convent there. By the time her family left, she had read her way through the entire children’s section of the British Council Library and halfway through the adult section, beginning with Thackeray and Dickens.
She was born in Malaya and also lived in Burma as a small child, where her father was a mining engineer.
Her short stories have won awards in competitions in Australia, in Ireland (online) and in the US (also online). For the past few years she has concentrated on novel-writing, having completed a Master of Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne. This involved intensive research as well as the first chapters of her novel based in Victorian London.
‘It was a time of enormous change and contradiction, exciting and terrifying for a woman – such as my main character – whose future looks pretty uncertain,’ says Judy. ‘Life in burgeoning London was urgent, exciting… and cheap.’
Judy now lives in France, where she took herself in 2015 to be closer to the world and for new experiences. She found her perfect village in the south and can now practice the French she first learned as a child in Vietnam.
Judy’s first novel, What Empty Things Are These, a literary historical set in London of 1860, was published recently by Regal House Publishing.
What Empty Things Are These
In 1860s Britain there is nothing unusual in a man beating his wife. When George Hadley’s aggression triggers his own stroke and coma, his wife discovers all she thinks of as hers is to pass to her young son Toby. Adelaide seems as powerless as her ladies’ maid, Sobriety.
Beyond the strictures of domestic and social expectation, these two women of different class remake the rules to discover what lies beneath the drapes and tassels of Victorian Britain. Life, they find, is urgent, exciting… but cheap. Even as they adventure into alleyways, a tunnel and a séance, their innocence is gone.
What Empty Things Are These is about what happens to women who look into the face of this newly industrialized and still patriarchal age. Change is everywhere, exhilarating, corrupt, terrifying. Fraud and farce abound. Spiritualists prey on the confused; women are encased in clothing that imply both modesty and sexuality; the powerful prey upon the weak. Adelaide and Sobriety, in their way, show us that every era has secrets that must be uncovered for real social progress.
But the truth of the age is encapsulated for them, in the underlying tale of the vulnerable urchin girl, the nameless victim of this pitiless society.
Buy What Empty Things Are These from Regent House Publishing
Awards & Prizes
2013 Varuna Publisher Fellowship
2010 Runner-up in Sean O’Faolain Short Story Competition (Ireland)
2005 Runner-up in Fish Publishing (Ireland) Historical Short Fiction Competition
2005 Best Non-North American entrant in Raymond Carver Short Story Competition
2004 Winner Angelo B Natoli Short Story Award, Fellowship of Australian Writers competition
2003 Winner Eastern Regional Libraries National Short Story Competition
2002 Winner of The Great Australian Novel competition, held by the Melbourne Writers’ Festival
2002 Shortlisted for Glen Eira Literary Competition
1997 Short story published in The Overland Literary Magazine
1994 Winner Caulfield City Council Short Story Competition
Pitch to Publishers & Festival Organisers
Having just completed a successful book tour in Australia wowing audiences with the many fascinations of Victorians and their darker aspects, and having a background in speaking, campaigning and even singing… how could I not be an attractive prospect for festivals?
Contact email: Jcro54@h[otm]ail.com (remove square brackets before emailing
Contact telephone : +33 7 77 67 02 51