Working as an interpreter in the criminal justice system is fascinating and high-stake. Brooke spent years researching how the presence of an interpreter impacts criminal trials and police interviews. It’s not just what the interpreter says. Where the interpreter is physically positioned in the room – beside the person who is being questioned, or across from them etc – is also crucial.
A childhood spent reading Trixie Belden novels inspired Nicole Morris to devote herself to the cause of missing persons. When she gets a new missing persons case, she feels like Trixie. She thinks how can I help find this person? What will I write that might reach the person who knows what happened? Find out more here and learn about Nicole’s book, Vanished: True Stories from families of Australian missing persons.
Over her years working as a humanitarian aid worker, Chris Stuart would return home between assignments, but couldn’t really talk about what she had seen or done and some her stories made for uncomfortable listening. She learned it was easier to remain silent, but the stories, the inequity, the tragedies were ingrained in her head and cemented in her heart.
Nilima Rao’s debut novel, a historical crime fiction novel titled A Disappearance in Fiji is set in Fiji in 1914, which is a fairly unusual time and place to set a novel. She is often asked – why Fiji, why 1914? The setting is of particular significance to her family. In researching and writing this novel she learned of the sacrifices made by her great-grandparents, that led to the privileged life that she now enjoys
Being a child Holocaust survivor from Poland where 63 of her relatives were murdered, Diane Armstrong is fascinated by the behaviour of ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances where their courage and resilience are tested to the limit. War brings out the worst but also the best in human nature. What qualities ensure that some people survive?
What’s the difference between a mystery book and a crime book? Is it that, unlike crime novels, mystery novels concern themselves less with a struggle between good and evil and more with the question of who committed a particular crime? Do crime writers often reveal their villain early in the story while mystery writers devote most of their real estate to cracking unsolved cases?
Taking on the crime genre is intimidating. Not only do you get tangled in details, but how do you lay out the clues, red herrings and plot twists to make a satisfying story? I started plotting a whodunnit but lost interest halfway through. I’m not a plotter by nature. I decided to approach this the way I tackle any manuscript – by letting the tale unfold one page at a time.
When people ask me now about process, I say find one that works for you: for me, it includes walking, considering and feeling out landscape, writing and discarding, putting one paragraph down after another, and seeing if it works, if it flows. Once I realised that, writing became a joy again. I found out who the killer in Stone Town was, at 68,000 words. I really hope it’s less than that for the book I’m working on now.
If you’re any kind of creative person sitting at your desk in your metaphorical attic, then your days are tinted by whatever colour you give to failure. . . like all creative people daring and failing to spin gold from straw I strive to find ways to tame that wolf of failure, and to go forward, as Richard Flanagan says – in terror, smiling!
Sally Piper’s focus is directed more toward the consequences of crime on survivors (both the victim and their families); how exposure to violence and trauma can leave a dark tattoo on the soul of those caught up in the ripples of these events. And how these ripples can extend out across subsequent generations, affecting lives well into the future. This is what she explores in her new novel, Bone Memories.