Wednesday, August 14, 2013

If I Tell You I'll Have To Kill You

If I Tell You I'll Have to Kill You.

Australian's leading crime writers reveal their secrets

Edited by Michael Robotham

This book gives open access to the writing lives of 21 of Australia's leading crime writers. They share a look into their writing world, from beginnings, to what drove them to crime, to their day to day writing lives. Each writer tackles their brief in a different way, so you get many different viewpoints and such a range of backgrounds, tips, stories and inspirations. Each writer also gives their rules of writing and five books they would recommend.

I love books like this. As a writer I love peeking into other writer's worlds, satisfying my nosiness at how others approach their writing, and discovering they have just the same fears and worries as everyone else. There are stories of triumphs, trials, hard slog and laughter.

We get to see how far some writers go in the name of research, for example Tara Moss, who wanted to know what it felt like to be choked unconscious, so she could describe what Mak was feeling, so arranged for a professional fighter to oblige.

I love the quirky things you find out, such as Kerry Greenwood, writer of the Phryne Fisher series, now televised, having a tricorne writing hat, so everyone knows she is writing and do not disturb.

One of my favourite bits was Lenny Bartulin talking about not taking yourself too seriously, and relating how his four year-old was asked what does daddy do, and he said 'typing.'

This is a great book that will appeal to lovers of crime fiction and to those who want to write. It has great tips and stories and is uplifting and funny. A must read.

I reviewed this on National Radio on 13 August. The link is here.