MADUKKA THE RIVER SERPENT
Published by UWAP Nov 2022.
Genre: Aboriginal Crime Fiction.
A journey into crime on a NSW northern inland river, with an exploration of themes: destruction of a river, murder of an environmentalist, police brutality, family connections to Country, bikie gangs, young love, ghosts and revenge.
The Murri Aboriginal family live in the outback town of Wilga. Aunty June witnesses a homicide and is determined to find the killer of Johnno, a river activist.
June’s family: Barney, Merle, Uncle Jack and niece Arana show a passion to save the Darling River. Arana’s Aboriginal lawyer boyfriend, Steve, arrives in town for the debutante ball and stirs up investigation into the murder. The bikies Bam Bam and Cowboy are suspected of several crimes.
The crime cover up implicates the Wilga police who protect the interests of the water thieving cotton consortiums. A town meeting causes uproar as Aboriginal activists expose the water business that has dried up their sacred river.
Aboriginal youths riot outside the police station and tear up the town. Police reinforcements arrive to deal with the chaos and they arrest June.
June finds the truth about the death of Johnno and the police take away those responsible.
The drought breaks, the river floods and Arana walks down by the levy bank and finds Sergeant Blackett. They struggle on the riverbank....
An interview with published with Writing NSW about my novel Benevolence.
I spoke with membership intern, Geordie Timmins, about the novel’s inspiration, the importance of representing Aboriginal histories, and the challenges and opportunities of writing the past.
In October 2022, Julie is presenting at the Berry Writers Festival NSW and the Headland Writers Festival Tathra NSW.
2020 was a terrible year for everyone. However, I am still writing after a break while moving to the south coast of NSW. The aftermath of tragic fires has impacted on all people here. I have managed to write the early drafts of my new novel: The River of Bones. This novel follows protagonist Aunty June a Murri Aboriginal elder as she investigates a murder of an environmental activist along the Darling River. I enjoy portraying Aboriginal mature women and men as a characters and this new novel celebrates an Aboriginal Debutant Ball and the intertwined lives of Bikies, Murries and Gunjies (police).
2020 check out the NAIDOC Week talk Australian Indigenous Voice in Literature. youtube.com/watch?v=WrhQDmO9TEU
Evelyn Aruluen interviewed Tony Birch author of The White Girl and Julie Janson author of Benevolence. This lively interview is an hour long and discusses issues of Indigenous writing and activism.
Julie presented a workshop on crime writing at the First Nations Australian Writers Network Summit in Adelaide 2022.
The CONVERSATION ABC Radio National- Julie in conversation with Richard Vidler.
I attended as a guest writer at the Adelaide Writers Festival 2021. Great experience.
Also attended as speaker Bendigo Writers Festival; The Headland Writers Festival; Words on the Waves Festival.
2022 - New work in progress "COMPASSION", a historical novel set in Windsor NSW, Parramatta Female Factory and Newcastle. A sequel to "BENEVOLENCE".