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 …

Read more

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 …

Read more

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 …

Read more

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 …

Read more

Rose Carlyle headshot

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 …

Read more

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 …

Read more