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.
Love it or hate it, there comes a point in every writer’s life when we can’t ignore it – we as writers will probably need to engage in marketing at some point in our careers. We need to let people know about our book, or just to reach out to readers and other writers to say we’re out there looking for great stories to read (if you’re out there and you have a psychological thriller with a twist I haven’t read, let me know where I can find it). . .
At the age of 17, Lily Arthur was forcibly taken away from the man she loved and planned to marry – for the ‘crime’ of being pregnant. She was incarcerated by the state to work indefinitely in a notorious Magdalene laundry in Brisbane, and her child was given away to strangers. She spent decades seeking justice for the 150,000+ women who had their children taken away. She recounts her struggles in Dirty Laundry.
S. D. Hinton didn’t know she was dyslexic until she was an adult. She went through school in an era where dyslexia was rarely recognised, and poorly understood, if it was. Sufferers were usually labelled as inattentive or not very bright. That constrictive label, reinforced from prep, became part of who she was. Find out how she put her disability to good use – and how it adds to her creativity.
Stripped down to its most basic form, crime fiction is about concealing information from the reader, and then gradually revealing it. This is one of the reasons why the genre tends to favour telling its stories through a single point of view character, often the detective, in first person or close third person.
Writing is a craft, and like any other craft, it needs to be learnt. You would never pick up a paint brush for the first time and expect to be the next Picasso, and yet for some reason, we feel a sense of failure when we first start writing and it doesn’t read like Hemmingway (or, rather, Harper, Moriarty or McTiernan).