The author of a book about the 2014 murders of Wedderburn residents Greg Holmes, Mary Lockhart and Peter Lockhart has withdrawn from the Bendigo Writers Festival after opposition from the victims' family.
Maryrose Cuskelly, the author of Wedderburn, was due to speak on three panels next month.
Ms Cuskelly told the Bendigo Advertiser festival manager David Lloyd called her on Wednesday and asked her to withdraw from the festival.
Some family members of the Wedderburn victims were opposed to her participation in the festival.
Ms Cuskelly said she made the decision because of potential disruption to the event and the impact on her fellow panellists and attendees.
City of Greater Bendigo councillor and chair of the festival, Rod Fyffe, said he and mayor Margaret O'Rourke were contacted by some family members who were concerned about the author's inclusion.
"We then met with these family members, who shared that they continue to experience significant pain and heartache," Cr Fyffe said.
"They were quite distressed and their concerns were passed on to the author, who, following a discussion with City of Greater Bendigo staff, agreed to withdraw from the festival."
Approaches were also made to Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards.
In a newsletter email sent on Thursday, Ms Sorensen said there was opposition to a speaker.
"That has been difficult to deal with, replacing the joy of creating something so valuable for a community with sadness and resignation" she wrote.
Ms Cuskelly said the issue came to her attention some weeks ago when Ms Sorensen told her there had been complaints.
Ms Sorensen was extremely supportive, she said, and disappointed she had pulled out.
Ms Cuskelly said the family members who were most strong in their objection were not those interviewed for her book.
She said she had spoken at events around Victoria, including Castlemaine, without incident.
She was scheduled to speak at next month's festival on panels about regret and failure, violence, and the crime genre.
Ms Cuskelly said she had wanted to be part of discussions with fellow authors writing on important, prescient topics, such as domestic violence and online abuse.
"I'm really disappointed, I was really looking forward to the festival," she said.
Ms Cuskelly said she could not imagine the distress the family of Mr Holmes, Mrs Lockhart and Mr Lockhart had experienced.
But she said she tried to be as compassionate and honest as possible in her book.
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