Author Blogs

​You are warmly invited…

Blog post from one mildly-crazed ‘Murder She Wrote’ Festival Director in Tasmania’s Huon Valley    aka Dr L.J.M. Owen   It’s 4.33 am. I’m working. Not on another crime fiction novel, but on a crime fiction-​themed​ literary festival. “Why?’ I hear you ask. The answer is, ‘Cause I a little crazy! On reflection, in 2014

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The Creative Leap – Sarah Thornton

Looking back, the leap seems inconceivable. But when the notion first arrived I could not ignore it. I’d taken up law as a second career in my thirties. It was challenging, stimulating, sometimes thrilling, ultimately lucrative and I thrived on it. But twenty years on it had lost its lustre. I wasn’t even sure what I

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Truth is scarier than fiction … stories ripped from the headlines – Poppy Gee

In 2013 I was at an unusual one-off writers’ festival in the beautiful Adelaide Botanic Garden. The Body in the Garden Festival combined crime and garden writers – the premise being that they both required the digging up or burying of things. Between panels, I was fortunate to sit down for a coffee and a

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Place in crime – Sandi Wallace

When we pick up a crime novel, we have expectations. Perhaps we anticipate that it will have a serious crime, or a memorable, possibly larger-than-life central character … or two or three. We may want high stakes, something surprising yet credible, or a story packed with rising conflict, making it powerful and urgent. But what

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Crime Scenes: B.M. Allsopp

Fictional detectives find bodies in weird places: in trains, on cliffs, at bus stops, on altars, in kitchens, libraries, washed up on beaches, even in the guts of predators. The murder’s wider setting often surprises readers too. When detectives hunt criminals in exotic locations, the landscape can even become the star of the story. Just

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Writing a first crime novel at 75 – Judith Lees

“So why do you think that you can write a novel at your age?” my friends asked me. The simple answer is, I didn’t. I would like to say that I’ve been passionately writing since I could hold a pen but that simply is not true. Admittedly I’ve scribbled way through life with poems for

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Never too late: Rose Carlyle

A few years ago I met Chris Cleave at a writers’ forum in Auckland. He had just published Everyone Brave is Forgiven and had opened the forum with a beautiful speech about the power of fiction in the age of hate. Sitting in the auditorium beside novelists Catherine Robertson and Vanda Symon, I felt like

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Writing the Unreliable Narrator: Trust in a time of misinformation – Petronella McGovern

“Trust me. Listen up and let me tell you a story.” It’s the enticing entreaty from story-makers everywhere, from authors to social media influencers to politicians. Who should we trust? And why? As authors, we want our readers to trust us. “Open the page,” we say, “come on in. We’ve created a fiction just for

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Deep-diving into murder and the FBI: Ellie Marney

I first contacted the FBI in September 2018, when research for my new book, None Shall Sleep, was in full swing. None Shall Sleep is about two teenagers – serial killer survivor Emma Lewis and US Marshal candidate Travis Bell. Recruited by the FBI to interview juvenile killers, Emma and Travis are drawn into an

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A Criminologist’s Role in Miscarriages of Justice: Xanthé Mallett

My background is forensic science – specifically forensic anthropology, think Dr Temperance Brennan from the TV series Bones.  I still work with the police, often focusing on image analysis these days, comparing suspect images to a person of interest, this could be a suspect or another person the police wish to identify for operational reasons.

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Loretta Smith: The Allure of Photographs

The photographer Diane Arbus once said, “A photograph is a secret about a secret”. I think that’s what has always drawn me to photographs of all kinds, in particular portraits of people and especially the old black and whites. I have languished in op shops, staring into the faces of relatives whose relatives have consigned

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