Sisters in Crime is pleased to announce the winner of the Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award for 2015 — Vera H-C Chan.

Winner Vera H-C Chan has worked in the world of newspapers, magazines and the Web, including nearly nine years as a senior editor and Web trends analyst at Yahoo! and currently as chief journalist/content strategist for Bing News. While her byline has appeared in hundreds of news, features and entertainment stories in print and online, Vera has labored on side literary projects. A lifelong lover of mysteries, she’s a fan of old-school authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, G.K. Chesterton and Dashiell Hammett, Her entry for the Eleanor Taylor Bland Award features an unlikely and somewhat surly, female, Chinese-American “private investigator” who is tasked — thanks to her restaurateur father — to look into cases of seemingly wayward Asian-American children.

In addition to the Brenna Hom series, Vera — a black belt in a Korean martial art — is currently shopping a full-length humor novel based on a quiet and hapless tech writer who enters the world of martial arts, full of mischief, mayhem and machismo. She lives in the SF Bay Area with her husband and his long-lived parrot Hemingway, who tolerates her presence. You can find on twitter @fasttalkingd and the web


About Eleanor Taylor Bland

Eleanor Taylor Bland was a pioneer in crime fiction. Dead Time, published In 1992 and first in a 13-book series, introduced African American police detective Marti MacAlister, a widowed mother who lived and worked in a Chicago suburb that closely resembled Bland’s adopted hometown of Waukegan. Each title in the series highlighted social problems of the time. Bland also published several works of short crime fiction and edited a collection titled Shades of Black: Crime and Mystery Stories by African-American Authors (2004). When she passed away in 2010, she was one of the most prolific African American authors in the genre. With Marti MacAlister, Bland created an enduring and much beloved heroine who went against the grain of perpetuated stereotypes related to African American women in much of U.S. popular culture.
Although Bland focused primarily in her work on stories about African American characters and their lives, bringing both complexities and comforts of familiarity to her readership, she also included in-depth interactions with other kinds of characters that reflect the broad spectrum of identities that is U.S. society. Bland saw crime fiction as an especially accessible literary vehicle for bringing into the genre characters that before her work had been peripheral to or simply missing from the genre. She understood that crime fiction could continue over time broadening its appeal to new reading audiences by opening its doors to the kinds of characters, societal situations and perspectives, and potential for creativity that authors of color would bring.


Additional details about the rules and selection process are described on the Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color award announcement.

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