From all the
books you have written, do you have a favorite?
I have a feeling my first book, Blood
Junction, may always be a favorite. It was the first time I
sat down with India Kane and watching her prickly character grow and
develop was fascinating. At the start of the book she is a
deeply unhappy woman searching for her place in the world, and when
she finds it, it is deeply fulfilling but not quite what she had
what point in time did you realize that writing was the "thing for
I'd just completed a
car rally, London to Saigon, when Autocar magazine asked me to write
an article for them. Slightly unnerved but willing to give it
a go, I went ahead and not only did I thoroughly enjoy writing the
feature, but to my amazement I got PAID! Filled with
enthusiasm I decided to go for broke and write a
advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a
Don't give up, and
keep writing. I wrote three full-length novels before I
cracked it with Blood Junction and it's only now I realise I had to
learn my trade before publication, not unlike a doctor has to
undergo training before being let loose on patients. I also
think being professional is incredibly important, from presenting
perfectly printed manuscripts to enclosing an stamped addressed
envelope for a reply from an agent or publisher. Also growing
a very thick skin and keeping that determined optimism at full
What is the name of your favorite mystery
Suspects. Which had me guessing all the way through and wow,
what a finale.
What other authors do you enjoy
I read as widely
as I can, but have a huge weakness for action and
Matthew Reilly to Lee Child, Harlen Coben, James Lee Burke and
Lawrence Block. I also adore real-life survival stories, and
Adrift, seventy-six days lost at sea, has to be one of my
What other types of jobs have you had?
Hmm. Well, one of my first was working
as a clerk for a chicken company in London, but it didn't take long
until chickens lost their appeal and I headed for Australia, where I
worked as a book rep along the beaches of Sydney's north
coast. One of the best jobs I've ever had, I got to surf at
the end of my working day.
Is there anyone, in particular, who
brought up on Wilbur Smith, and on my first visit to Africa
tracking guide was amazed at my knowledge of the African
bush. When he asked me how come I knew so much about the
wildlife and animals' behaviour I answered, "Wilbur Smith."
Since my first three books are set in Australia, I try to make sure
my books are as accurate and well researched.
What led you to write
writing romances, but soon discovered I enjoyed writing car chases
and shootouts far more. Not that my books don't have an
element of romance in them, but I took an editors advice and
switched to crime, which is how Blood Junction came
read reviews of your books?
Yes. I've been very fortunate so far that I've been
very kindly reviewed, but should I receive a less positive one I
like to think it would be constructive critisism that I could learn
from and use in the future. My publisher sends them on to me,
but I have to admit to feeling a sense of terror when I opened the
How would you like to be remembered?
As a good friend. But since we're
talking about writing, as an entertainer where people can enjoy a
thumping good read to help that train, bus or plane journey fly
you believe is the highlight of your career so
Without doubt winning
the Crime Writers' Association debut dagger for Blood
you write on a fixed schedule?
I didn't plan out a writing schedule, but within a few
weeks I had settled on a routine which suited me and hasn't chanced
you come up with plots?
For me, plots grow from a single idea that fascinates and
stimulates me. With Blood Junction, for example, I saw an article on
the "stolen generation" where during the 1950's over 100,000
Aboriginal children were forcibly taken from their families and
adopted by whites. What would happen if a whole Aboriginal
family went missing today? Who would take up their cause if it
wasn't a relative? The police? Which authorities, if
any? The more I delved, the more possibilities appeared, and
that is how Blood Junction was born.
How do you spend your free
I am a complete
movie addict, and a walkaholic. Which means after hiking
to 10 miles with my dog around my home hills of Bath, I can sit
down with a
big tub of popcorn and not have to worry about the
you have a message you would like to give to all your readers
To everyone reading this, I just hope you enjoy my books,
they're for you. Best wishes, and hopefully we'll