Press Clips / Contact Info / Bio

Press and Contact Info

To contact Janice MacDonald regarding media interviews, radio and TV availabilities, or appearances at conferences and book events, please send an e-mail to

For other queries, and to ask Janice questions about her novels, please visit our interactive social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, where Janice enjoys chatting with her readers to discuss books — her own and those by other authors. Just choose a social media platform and click one of the the icons at the top left of this page.

An extensive list of media stories about Janice and her work, with links, appears after the biography below.

Janice’s Biography

Author Janice MacDonald with her banjoSee also: Janice MacDonald at Wikipedia

Born on the side of a mountain in Banff National Park, the daughter of a cowboy from southern Alberta and a schoolteacher who herself had been born in a pioneer log cabin in the Peace River Country, Janice considers herself to be an example of the quintessential Albertan, at least till an election rolls around. Brought up by her mother, she attended a French private school with uniforms (and without boys) for her early years, which is likely why her kids have French names and her mom had so few grey hairs. She then hit a public high school and made up for lost time.

Writing was always a passion, though she sang in choirs and high school musicals and dragged her guitar to coffee houses and open stages in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Although she long ago realized that being an opening act was as far as she was ever going to get, she remains a strong member of the audience at concerts and festivals. Instead, radio writing, playwriting and eventually prose took the foreground. With a BA and two books under her belt, and married to a peripatetic postgraduate scientist, Janice returned to school to obtain an MA (on Parody and Detective Fiction), thinking that teaching in the college system would be a nice portable career. Two daughters and a divorce later, she put it to use, teaching English literature, play analysis, creative writing and business communications to over a decade of freshmen at the University of Alberta and Grant MacEwan College. She also wrote a college textbook, a children’s Hallowe’en story and began the first mystery series set in Edmonton.

While pursuing her own writing career, Janice also served in a variety of leadership and mentorship roles for other writers from Alberta and across Canada. She was a member of the board of directors for the Writers’ Guild of Alberta (WGA) from 1989-1990 and President of the WordWorks Society of Alberta from 1996-1997. Janice’s longtime service with the Canadian Authors Association (CAA) at the provincial and national levels included a stint as President of the Alberta Branch from 1993-1996, during which time she co-chaired two national conferences and created/developed the Exporting Alberta Award, which is still awarded annually. At the national level, Janice served as the CAA’s National Vice President for Awards from 1995-1997 and as the CAA Fiction Award Manager from 1995-2005. Janice continues to mentor writers by teaching at workshops, conferences, Blue Pencil events with the WGA, and writing camps such as YouthWrite and JustWrite.

Always a precocious child, Janice became known in her thirties as an “early adopter” and was delighted to explore the explosion of social media: bulletin boards, alt.nets, chat rooms and international Internet communities. This was how she met her husband, Randy Williams, who is originally from Alabama, but arrived in Alberta via Cape Canaveral, Micronesia, and Massachusetts.

Janice eventually resigned herself to the reality that she was never going to get a full-time position in a university and quit the gypsy life of sessional teaching for a steady position with the Alberta Public Service. She now plies her organizational expertise and writing skills for the government from Monday to Friday and continues to write the Randy Craig mystery series (currently published by Turnstone Press) on weekend mornings.

A dyed-in-the-wool Edmontonian, Janice makes no apologies for setting her novels in a recognizable Edmonton and celebrating the things that make this northern metropolis so vibrant and unique. Randy Craig finds work in various aspects of academe and walks the not-quite-so-mean streets of Alberta’s capital, finding herself enmeshed in puzzling murders and drinking far too much coffee.

Selected Media Coverage

Eye of the Beholder by Janice MacDonald CBC RADIO: Angie Abdou reviews The Eye of the Beholder  and discusses the full Randy Craig Mystery series with Daybreak Alberta  host Russell Bowers

 VIDEO INTERVIEW: Half-hour chat about The Eye of the Beholder  and the Randy Craig series for the “Crime Fiction News Break” at Margot Kinberg’s Confessions of a Mystery Novelist

 One for the Books: St. Albert Gazette  celebrates The Eye of the Beholder  and the Randy Craig series

 Rave review of The Eye of the Beholder  by Bill Selnes on his Mysteries and More  blog

 E-mail interview with Bill Selnes to discuss the use of visual arts as an integral part of the mystery in The Eye of the Beholder

 Bill Selnes on Puerto Vallarta as a mystery locale in The Eye of the Beholder

 The Eye of the Beholder  listed by Kerry Clare as one of Fall 2018’s “most anticipated” titles on The 49th Shelf

 PODCAST: Janice discusses genre fiction and its misunderstood place in contemporary literature on Jo-Ann Carson’s “Blood, Sweat & Words” podcast

 Janice MacDonald and Confederation Drive featured in the St. Albert Gazette

 Author Spotlight and review of Confederation Drive from Where Edmonton magazine

 A Family Drive with Janice MacDonald: Author Angie Abdou and Host Russell Bowers discuss Confederation Drive on CBC Radio’s Daybreak Alberta Program

 CBC News: Alberta author explores Canada and motherhood with memoir Confederation Drive

 Article/interview about Confederation Drive in Gig City Edmonton

 Sticks + Stones named to the Chronicle of Higher Education‘s 2016 list of “Academic Novels for Real People”

 Another Margaret reviewed by Lelia Taylor at Buried Under Books

 Another Margaret reviewed by Bill Selnes at Mysteries and More

 March 2015 interview with Linda Wiken of Mystery Maven Canada

 July 2014 interview with CBC Radio’s Nola Keeler about The Roar of the Crowd from the Daybreak Alberta program

 Press Release: Condemned to Repeat shortlisted for the Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher (Manitoba Book Awards)

 Janice and her series — as well as fellow hometown writers Minister Faust and Todd Babiak — are featured in “Books on the Block” by Wayne Arthurson in the December 2013 edition of Avenue Edmonton magazine

 Audio review of Condemned to Repeat by Laurie Greenwood on CBC Radio Active (running time 3:18)

Confederation Drive by Janice MacDonald Review of Condemned to Repeat by Ian Goodwillie in The Winnipeg Review

 Review of Condemned to Repeat by crime writer Lou Allin

 Review of Condemned to Repeat at Linda Wiken’s Mystery Maven Canada

 Cover story in Edmonton Woman Magazine

 Profile in the Morinville News

 Review of Hang Down Your Head at the Journal of the Canadian Society for Traditional Music

 Interview with Janice (pages 4-6) in the August 2012 Crime Scene, a publication of the Sisters in Crime (Toronto Chapter)

 Review of Hang Down Your Head at Reviewing the Evidence mystery site

 Review of Hang Down Your Head at Linda Wiken’s Mystery Maven Canada

 Review of Hang Down Your Head in The Hamilton Spectator

 Review of The Ghouls’ Night Out in Quill & Quire

 Review of The Ghouls’ Night Out in Canadian Literature Quarterly