Crime Writers of Color Mystery Podcast

Aug 29, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Lorie Lewis Ham, Mysteryrat's Maze, Podcasts

by Lorie Lewis Ham

As we continue to feature other mystery podcasts, we wanted to include a rather new podcast produced by Crime Writers of Color, so we chatted with Kellye Garrett and Gigi Pandian to learn more.

KRL: Before we get into the podcast can you tell me more about Crime Writers of Color? How and when did this group begin and what spurred it?

CWC: Crime Writers of Color is a group of more than 200 authors from marginalized communities who write mystery, thriller, suspense and any other type of crime books. We have people in all stages of their careers, from award-winning authors with multiple books to those starting their first ever book.

KRL: Who are some of the authors involved?

CWC: Our founders Walter Mosley, Gigi Pandian and Kellye Garrett. Other active members include Naomi Hirahara, Gary Phillips, Gar Anthony Haywood, Sujata Massey, Rachel Howzell Hall, Ausma Zehanat Khan, Alex Segura, Steph Cha, S.A. Cosby, Alexia Gordon, Cate Holahan, Sarah W. Chen, Nikki Dolson, and countless others.

KRL: What is your goal?

CWC (Kellye): Similar to an organization like Sisters in Crime, our goal is to advocate for crime writers of color in the industry, as well as provide a safe space for those writers to network and support each other.

KRL: Please share with us your connection to the world of mystery writing, and your role with Crime Writer’s of Color.

bookCWC: Kellye Garrett’s Hollywood Homicide, about a semi-famous, mega-broke black actress, won the Anthony, Agatha and Lefty for best first novel. It’s also one of BookBub’s Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time. The second, Hollywood Ending, was featured on The Today Show’s Best Summer Reads of 2019, and was nominated for both Anthony and Lefty awards. She serves on Sisters in Crime’s national board and is a co-founder of Crime Writers of Color. Learn more at

USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning mystery author Gigi Pandian is the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. She spent her childhood traveling around the world on research trips, and now lives outside San Francisco with her husband and a gargoyle who watches over the garden. Gigi writes the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mysteries, the Accidental Alchemist Mysteries, and locked-room mystery short stories. Her debut novel won the Malice Domestic Grant, and her mysteries have received awards including the Agatha, Lefty, and Derringer. She has served on the national board of Sisters in Crime, and is one of the co-founders of Crime Writers of Color. Learn more at

KRL: Why did you decide to make a podcast?

CWC (Kellye): The great thing about our group is how everyone has come together. We have several members who have stepped up, and volunteered to create social media accounts, books page, speaker director, newsletters and so much more.

One of our members, Robert Justice, emailed me and Gigi wanting to do both a website and a podcast. Of course, we said yes! He literally took it from there. The next time we heard from him, he had the website pretty much finished and an intro for the podcast. We’ve had six episodes so far and hope to do them on a monthly or bimonthly basis. Since we’re all volunteering our time, we work within everyone’s schedules.

KRL: When did the first episode go up?

CWC: April 21, 2020

KRL: Is the podcast mostly interviews or do you also do book reviews and news?

CWC: Right now it’s interviews. Robert does a deep dive into people’s latest books and their career journeys.

KRL: How do you decide who you will interview?

CWC: We started with the founders (Kellye, Gigi and Walter) and now we’re moving on to members. We try to tie it to people with books coming out or recently out. Our latest interview was with John Vercher.

KRL: How often do episodes go up?

CWC: Every month.

KRL: What do you like best about doing a podcast?

CWC (Kellye): Robert makes a point to read the book and really analyze it. He puts a lot of thought into the questions. As a result, the conversations are so amazing and insightful.

KRL: What has been the hardest?

CWC (Kellye): With so many amazing members and everyone being volunteers, we can’t get to everyone quick enough.

KRL: How did you decide what platform you would use as a host for your podcast?

CWC: Right now our podcast is available everywhere, including iHeartRadio, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

KRL: Future goals?

CWC (Gigi): We’re coming up with new ideas all the time, so it will be interesting to see what the future holds. In the meantime, the podcast will continue to showcase crime writers of color.

KRL: What makes your podcast different?

CWC (Gigi): As Robert Justice says in the podcast’s introduction, this is a journey into the worlds created by the words of today’s leading crime writers of color. He also has a perfect voice for radio!

KRL: Do you have a website for your podcast?


KRL: Do you have a newsletter? If so what goes in the newsletter and how often does it go out?

CWC: Yes it’s run by Cate Holahan and it comes out quarterly. You can sign up on site:

KRL: Has doing a podcast during the pandemic been a challenge?

CWC (Kellye): We have members of our group everywhere, including other countries, so we’re an online group anyway. So even before the pandemic, our interviews were always virtual.

KRL: Anything else you would like to add?

CWC (Gigi): Reiterating something mentioned above, volunteer members have given so much of their time to lift up members. Big thanks to Robert and everyone else who’s gotten involved.

Crime Writers of Color is going to have its own version of Coming Attractions coming to KRL soon!

Watch for more mystery podcast interviews over the next several months and be sure to check out the previous interviews in our Podcast section.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways.
If you enjoy podcasts, be sure listen to our mystery podcast Mysteryrat’s Maze, where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. A new episode went up last week!

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and a contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for highlighting this dynamic new podcast. Robert Justice has made the CWoC podcast a must-hear experience every month. I am so proud to be a member of Crime Writers of Color!


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