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Friday, March 07, 2008

Australian Crime Fiction Snapshot - Lindy Cameron

1. You've done the private investigator thing with Kit O'Malley to great success and a couple of Davitt Awards and a Ned Kelly Award, basing the stories largely around the Melboune locale, now you've tackled the action thriller set on a global scale with your latest book REDBACK. What prompted the switch? And how difficult was it to research the diverse locations?

I was getting so annoyed with the way things were going in the War for Terror that I felt it was time to turn my own attention to the wider world, and channel some of my frustration into fiction.

Also Kit’s world is very Melbourne, very Australian and, being a PI crime, also very personal. I wanted to take on the world.

I also wanted to write the kind of book that would enable me to kidnap, assassinate, or at least comment on, our own politicians. The Americans are always making movies and writing thrillers about ‘the President’ – about him being a good guy hero, or a bad guy, or a hostage, or a clone or lying upstairs in a coma while someone impersonates him.

But we Aussies don’t seem to do that with, or to, our PM. So I thought I would; and, while I was at it, have a go at some other world leaders too; not to mention the shit they’ve all got us into lately.

I also love a good spy/adventure/ action story and wanted to write one with an international feel and flavour, but where most of the main characters are Australian.

2. Bryn Gideon strikes me as a character who will feature in a good many more action thrillers to come? Was that the intention when REDBACK was conceived and is that how things are panning out now?

Gideon was born as a series character: as a gutsy, commanding, resourceful modern Australian warrior chick. She’s the lynchpin of Redback and, along with the rest of her crack retrieval team, will be the focus of the sequel, and its sequel, etc.

3. Do you read much Australian crime fiction? Can you give us a few standouts that you've read recently? What do you think of the current state of the Australian crime fiction scene?

I read heaps of Aussie crime and thriller fiction; and not just because – as a National Co-Convenor of Sisters in Crime Australia – I should.

Crime fiction in Australia just keeps getting better. We can’t go wrong with writers like PD Martin, Leigh Redhead, Allison Goodman, Kerry Greenwood, Kathryn Fox, Sydney Bauer and Angela Savage, to name a few – and that’s just the girls.

4. What do you think could be done to better promote Australian authors either at home or abroad (or both)?

Anything – something – would be a start! Australian publishers give each new title about two weeks worth of attention on a book’s release. Then they’re onto the next author and book.

Most ‘promotion’ is done by the authors themselves; and by fans who help spread the word. The Internet and sites like yours have been a PR bonus for authors wanting to become known or better known.

Using the internet is really the only way for an author to spread the word outside Australia if they’re only published IN Australia.

5. If your fictional character could meet any fictional character who would you like it to be and why?

Bryn Gideon would love to meet Ripley, Sarah Connor, Xena and Buffy. I doubt I really have to explain that answer.

Lindy Cameron is the author of 3 books featuring Melbourne-based private detective Kit O'Malley - Blood Guilt, Bleeding Hearts and Thicker Than Water. Her first novel, Golden Relic is an epic action adventure while her latest novel, Redback, a first-rate global thriller, is the first of a new series featuring Bryn Gideon. As Lindy mentions above, she is also the National Co-Convenor of Sisters In Crime in Australia. You can read much more about Lindy Cameron by visiting her website.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lindy's not the only one who took pleasure from the political assassination fantasies she played out in Redback! A great read. Enjoyed the interview, too.