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
“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
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
“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
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
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.
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
Whenever I’m engrossed in a ripping yarn of murder, mystery and mayhem, I love spotting the devices the writer has used to keep me turning the pages. My all-time favourite device is a spine-tingling heterotopia, where the characters are trapped in one place. I’ve long loved heterotopias, but only recently discovered that there’s a word
Setting is vital to crime stories. As a child, I read Agatha Christie’s murders on the Nile and the Orient Express and in Mesopotamia, joining millions of readers who first experienced the world in crime novels. They didn’t just whet my appetite for travel, they also showed what life was like for Agatha Christie’s privileged
I’m half way through writing my second novel and, despite the devastation around the world to our lives and our economies (and the cancellation of my debut book tour), I’m staying hopeful. I’m hopeful that there will be a medical cure for this terrible coronavirus, with the latest tactics focusing on testing existing drugs while
I was determined that I would never fall in love again. In 2013, Igal, the man I was in love with, ended his life. I’d lost several other people in my life within a few years. Two and a half years later, I was still reminding myself every day of the pain of losing him.