Tag Archives: Please Don’t Leave Me Here

A second life for ‘Please Don’t Leave Me Here’

Zwei Leben’ (‘Two Lives’) is published in Germany today by Suhrkamp.

Geh kleines buch!

zwei leben

This is the farewell and good luck note I wrote to my book (originally titled
Please Don’t Leave Me Here) the first time around:

I don’t know where you came from, why you chose me, or if you existed inside me for some time before I gave you life.

You were never easy to live with, but every day I nurtured you.

As you grew, I grew. I learnt so much about myself from writing you.

Some mornings I couldn’t wait to see you at 5.00am and some times I felt like deleting you, but I never gave up on you.

Leonardo da Vinci said: ‘Art is never finished, only abandoned’.

I will miss you and I’m scared of what could happen to you out there in the world, but it’s time to ‘abandon’ you, to let you go.

And here’s the playlist of music that inspired the book:

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Art-inspired writing

I was recently invited to speak to a primary school class about writing and Storybird. Storybird is an educational platform, where students can create art-inspired stories, with the options of publishing their work and connecting with a community of readers, writers and artists. In
Storybird, writers start by choosing illustrations, which lead them into the writing process. A great way to prevent writer’s block.

I decided to make my talk a little about structure and process, and a lot about the artwork that inspired my books (leaving out the gory bits, of course!). The kids loved discussing art and stories, and their teacher is trying to organise an excursion to an art gallery before the end of the year.

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Lovers | Charles Blackman | NGV

Lovers
One of my writing lecturers at RMIT taught a class about ekphrasis [Greek ekphrazein to speak out, to call an inanimate object by name — Macquarie Dictionary], a concept that goes back to Plato. Put very basically, ekphrasis is the use of one art form to provide a commentary on another art form. Our class had an excursion to the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in Fed Square where we chose an artwork to write about. This was a very powerful exercise for me and it’s where I first became enamoured with Charles Blackman’s Lovers. I spent a lot of time admiring this painting. I occasionally visit it now, and it still always brings a tear to my eye. Lovers informed my first novel Please Don’t Leave Me Here so much that it appears as a print on Brigitte’s apartment wall, and is referred to several times — in real time, memory and dreams.

‘She looks across at the print hanging on the wall behind the sofa: two lovers embrace against a background that looks finger- painted — frosty white smears tinged with aqua. If you could taste it, it would be spearmint. The female figure rests her head against the man’s neck. She is veiled in black, her face hidden by a hood. He is shadow-like, grey, his face visible but chiselled, without detail like a sculpture. Against the small of her back he holds a bouquet of flowers: white, perhaps daisies, with centres the colour of fresh blood. Is this their last time together? Is she in his dream? A memory? Or a ghost? Why can’t they just be together?’
— Please Don’t Leave Me Here

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Four Darks in Red | Mark Rothko | Whitney Museum of American Art

Four Darks in Red
This was Aidan’s artwork in Dead in The Water. Brigitte disliked it and described it as: ‘… four lozenge shapes in different shades of red, from crimson at the bottom to liver-brown at the top … She’d never told him that she didn’t like it. It reminded her of bloodstains.

Four Darks in Red became a metaphor for blood.

‘There were stains on his clothing the sombre colours of his Rothko Four Darks in Red — he’d been to the accident scene.’

‘It wasn’t raindrops: it was crimson. Four darks in red.’
— Dead in the Water

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Feet Beneath the Table | Charles Blackman | NGV

Alice in Wonderland series
Strangely enough, I’m drawn to the artwork of Charles Blackman again — in particular his Alice in Wonderland series — while writing my third book, You Used To Love Me. The story (at this stage) is about memory, time and the line between sanity and insanity. For me, it seems to have many parallels with Alice in Wonderland.

‘Alice: How long is forever?
White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second.’
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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Collins St, 5p.m. | John Brack | NGV

Collins St, 5p.m.
Again, I’ve placed artwork within my story. In You Used to Love Me, Sidney studies this painting in Year 10 art, and twenty years later finds herself in the setting of the painting.

‘… Glass towers had replaced the sandstone buildings of Brack’s 1950s background. Not all the faces were white, and mobile phones were stuck to ears, but the blank expressions were the same. Strange now that here I was — that girl grown-up — in the street, in the picture I remembered. My past self in the future. Or my future self in the past? Or the present? Thoughts like that — time plains, continuums, illusion — could do my head in …’
— You Used to Love Me (work in progress)

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Of Mice and Me | Meghan Boody

Of Mice and Me
I didn’t show this image to the Grade 2s! The germ of the idea for You Used to Love Me came to me while viewing this sculpture a year or so ago at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania. A lot of the museum-visitors were walking away shaking their heads, but I was utterly mesmerised. When I listened to an interview with the artist, Meghan Boody, I understood why this piece had captivated me. Boody describes it as ‘an ode to staying forever young’. And says, ‘I often feel a strange tug or presence when I walk by the apartment where I grew up. I look up into the window of my bedroom — and wouldn’t it be wild if I saw myself as a child looking back down?’ Boom! That, in a nutshell, was the essence of my vision for You Used to Love Me.

Back to my Year 2 talk … In case I’d traumatised them (which, of course, I hadn’t — eight-year-olds are very switched-on little people and they love scary stories), I finished with these images of On Days Like This There Are Always Rainbows, an installation by Pip and Pop, which I saw recently at NGV. The rainbow-candy-coloured miniature wonderland — mountains, valleys, pathways, crystal forests, and fluorescent flowers and animals constructed from glitter, clay, foam, sequins and pom-poms, topped with coloured sugar and cake decorations — was inspirational enough to me as an adult, but it would have been absolutely magical as a child.

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On days like this there are always rainbows | Pip & Pop (Tanya Shultz)

I would love to hear about artwork that has inspired you.

In case you were wondering exactly what happened to Eric Tucker …

It’s been exactly a year since PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME HERE was published in Australia. I thought I’d celebrate its birthday (and the shortlisting for best debut novel for both the Davitt and Ned Kelly awards 🙂 ) by posting the ‘deleted scene’: my beloved Coroner’s inquest report. I wrote the Coroner’s report as a sort-of prologue, and it almost made it into the book (‘this close’) — it was cut during the final proofreading stage when it was decided that such a dry, bureaucratic piece of writing might not be the best opening for a novel.

STATE
CORONER
VICTORIA

CORONERS REGULATIONS 1996
Form 1

4th April 1997
Case No: 2418/94

RECORD OF INVESTIGATION INTO DEATH

I, BRONWYN WRIGHT, Coroner,

having investigated the death of ERIC ALAN TUCKER with Inquest held at Coronial Services Centre, South Melbourne on 27 June 1996

find that the identity of the deceased was ERIC ALAN TUCKER and that death occurred on 23 December 1994 at 1/49 Rathdowne Street, Carlton from

1 (a) HEAD INJURY
in the following circumstances:

Summary overview

On 23 December 1994, at approximately 10.40am the body of Eric Alan Tucker was discovered at 1/49 Rathdowne Street, Carlton by the apartment complex caretaker, Sean McMahon. The apartment door was open and the deceased had been covered with a blanket. There was wine and a small amount of broken glass on the carpet.

See Sean McMahon statement, Exhibit 2, dated 23/12/1994.

Detective Sergeant Sam Campbell was the first on the scene, having received a call from D24 while driving past the Rathdowne Street address. Uniformed officers and paramedics arrived half an hour later.

A neighbour claimed to have seen a young woman leaving the apartment at approximately 7.00am that morning.

While some neighbours reported seeing a woman, known to them as Brigitte Weaver, coming and going to and from the apartment; others, including Sean, could not verify seeing any other person aside from Eric at the apartment.

See Detective Sergeant Sam Campbell statement, Exhibit 10, dated 23/12/1994.

In the wake of the discovery of Eric’s body, Police Investigators, led by Detective Sergeant Sam Campbell, commenced trying to locate Brigitte in order to pursue their investigation into the circumstances in which Eric’s death occurred.

While initially a person of interest, Brigitte was excluded of involvement in the death. At the time of Eric’s death, Brigitte had been critically injured in a hit-and-run car accident in East Melbourne. Doctors at St Vincent’s Hospital operated, placed her on life-support and induced coma. On waking, she had no memory of Eric Tucker when questioned by Detective Sergeant Sam Campbell. This may have been due to amnesia caused by head trauma during the accident, or simply to the fact that she did not know Eric. Brigitte lived with her grandparents in North Fitzroy and there was no conclusive evidence of her having been at the Rathdowne Street apartment.

Sean, diagnosed with depression, committed suicide on 25 January 1995.

Police investigations found no further suspects in the Eric Tucker homicide case.

Background

Eric was born in Tasmania on 15 July 1949. He was an only child. His parents separated when he was 15 and the whereabouts of his father is unknown. Eric left home at the age of 16 and found employment at a musicians’ booking agency in Melbourne. He married his first wife, Margaret, at 20 and they had two children. He married his second wife, Michelle, at 27. They moved to Sydney and had another child.

Eric was a successful concert promoter with his own business, Tucker Touring. His work colleagues described him as entrepreneurial; a respected business and family man.

At the time of his death, Eric was 45 years old. His place of residence was Sydney, where he lived with Michelle Tucker. He also rented the Rathdowne Street apartment where he stayed when in Melbourne. Neighbours said he kept to himself, was rarely at the apartment and had few visitors. There was confusion as to whether or not a woman was also living at the Rathdowne Street address. However, there was no evidence to support any persons aside from Eric residing at the apartment.

History of violence

The relationship between Eric and Margaret Tucker featured a clearly documented history of family violence. This included physical and verbal abuse and controlling behaviour perpetrated by Eric against Margaret.

On 11 December 1975, Margaret Tucker obtained an interim- intervention order against Eric. The application stated that on 30 November 1975, after she requested a divorce, Eric had physically assaulted her, leaving her with a fractured nose and bruising to the face, head and body. The application also set out other instances of physical violence to Margaret and her young children that Margaret stated had occurred in the months preceding this event. The order was revoked on the return date for the hearing on 15 January 1976.

On 28 May 1976, Eric and Margaret were divorced. On 18 August 1976, Eric remarried.

Further, friends and family members of Eric’s second wife, Michelle, claimed Eric was abusive and threatening to her. However, no incidents were ever reported to the police.

Both Margaret and Michelle were excluded as persons of interest in the investigation.

Events preceding Eric’s death

On 16 December 1994, Eric was managing the concert tour of rock band Death Rowe. The tour was about to commence when the lead singer, Calvin Rowe, was detected by security staff at Melbourne Airport to be carrying cocaine. Police arrested Calvin for drug possession, and Eric made arrangements to immediately cancel the tour.

After being questioned and cleared of any involvement in the incident, Eric returned to 1/49 Rathdowne Street, Carlton at around midnight.

Eric made one phone call to his wife and several calls to work colleagues including, friend, Ian Willcox. Ian said Eric sounded optimistic and was planning the next concert tour. Several calls were made to Eric’s mobile phone and to the landline, but there is no evidence of any person having seen Eric leave the apartment between 17 December and the time of his death. No phone calls were answered after 7.30pm on 22 December 1994.

Cause of death

Dr Simon Marks, Forensic Pathologist at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, attended the scene of the incident. Due to the blood stain and bone fragments on the carpet, and the absence of blood spatter elsewhere, Dr Marks provided his opinion that Eric had been covered with a blanket at the time of death and the cause of death was head injury from multiple blows inflicted by a person or persons with a heavy, blunt object. Dr Marks estimated the duration of the post mortem interval as approximately one hour prior to being discovered.

On 24 December 1994 at 1.00am, Dr Marks performed an autopsy. He attributed the cause of death to intracerebral haemorrhage secondary to skull fracture. Dr Marks also noted significant bruising in the groin area.

Toxicology analysis of body fluids disclosed the presence of benzoylmethylecgonine, tetrahydrocannabinol and alcohol. No evidence of any significant natural disease process was present.

Due to the severity of injury, Eric was not considered suitable for visual identification. Eric’s identity was established by way of dental records examination.

See Exhibit 50, statement dated 24/12/1994 adopted at transcript.

Investigation

Victoria Police Homicide Squad attended the scene and conducted the investigation into Eric’s death. Detective Sergeant Sam Campbell of the Homicide Squad was in charge of the investigation.

An extensive search of Eric’s Rathdowne Street premises and the vicinity on 23 December 1994 did not locate a murder weapon.

During the investigation, Detective Sergeant Sam Campbell was accused by Senior Constable Colin Moore, who also attended the scene, of evidence tampering and falsifying reports. An independent police investigation cleared Detective Sergeant Sam Campbell of all allegations.

Senior Constable Colin Moore died on 15 March 1996 from a gunshot wound while cleaning his service revolver. His death was ruled as accidental.

Detective Sergeant Sam Campbell prepared the Inquest brief and gave evidence at the Inquest of the investigations undertaken in an endeavour to get as much information as possible about how Eric died, and of the search for the person or persons who may have been involved.

See Exhibit 56 Inquest brief.

Findings

Having considered all of the evidence and the inferences that can properly be drawn therefrom, and having directed myself in regard to the standard of proof, I make the following findings:

Eric Tucker was killed unlawfully by person or persons unknown.

There is insufficient evidence to establish which person or persons were responsible for the unlawful killing of Eric Tucker. There are no witnesses to the killing known at this time.

This then concludes my findings.

Finally I would like to thank Police Investigators and others so involved, as well as counsel and instructing solicitors, for their assistance. I would encourage the State of Victoria to continue with its efforts to bring justice to those responsible for the death of Eric Tucker.

Dated at Melbourne on this 4th day of April 1997.

BRONWYN WRIGHT,
Coroner.

Dark and spindly like an old Tasmanian apple orchard in winter

I don’t often post reviews — anymore 🙂 — but this one (of Please Don’t Leave Me Here) by Janice Simpson is too good not to share:

This novel took me on a dark and winding road of connection, coincidence and secrets. Chandler’s writing is assured, her characters are people you think you know, or at least have met once or twice. Flaws are close to the surface, which is the real strength of her characterisation, as authors often fall into the hole of creating an unpleasant character when writing a character with faults. Not in this novel, however.

In Part I, the protagonist, Brigitte, jolts through that which comes her way, the core and the peripheral indistinguishable in her world: her mother’s voice scratching in her ear; the one-too-many glasses of wine; her run-over cat. She is trying to keep many things humming along including being wife, mother and sister; a writer of monthly articles for ‘Parenting Today’; landlady to Aiden, one of her husband’s colleagues; and a past. (Incidentally, what happens on the night of the twins’ birthday will make you view cake quite differently.) And Kurt Cobain.

Part II is heartbreaking. Who doesn’t know a young woman who falls in love, falls for money over substance, falls into a hole. The positivists say holes such as these are made by the people who fall into them. They’ve had their chances, they never wanted for a roof over their heads and a meal on the table, so it must be their fault. But Chandler is able to weave a different version of how people come to fall in holes, a story that is altogether more satisfying, even while you lay in bed clutching the book, hoping that the bad thing you think is bearing down will be diverted. And Kurt Cobain shoots himself. The biggest hole of all.

I loved this book. It is dark and spindly like an old Tasmanian apple orchard in winter.

Janice’s novel Murder in Mount Martha is a terrific read. Well-drawn characters — some to hate, and some to adore. Inspired by a real case, the story will lull you with its nostalgia and shock you with its violence. So much more than just a crime story.

The State Library Victoria Summer Read 2015-16

http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/live-learn/summer-read-2015-16

Celebrate great Victorian books and sunny days by taking part in the annual Summer Read. Head to a participating public library to borrow one of the 10 recommended books, and go into the draw to win fabulous prizes.

SummerRead-2015-16

2015–16 Summer Read books

The unbroken line by Alex Hammond
Between us: Women of letters curated by Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire
Certain admissions by Gideon Haigh
Hello, beautiful! Scenes from a life by Hannie Rayson
Please don’t leave me here by Tania Chandler
Dangerous games by Larry Writer
Leap by Myfanwy Jones
Bad behaviour by Rebecca Starford
The secret son by Jenny Ackland
Tumbledown Manor by Helen Brown

My author interview on Crime Book Club

Originally posted on Crime Book Club

PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME HERE BY TANIA CHANDLER INTERVIEW

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy blog tour to answer some questions for Crime Book Club.
1. Can I just start by saying how much I enjoyed reading ‘Please Don’t Leave Me Here’. You had me from the first page until the last, I was left open mouthed at the end of part 1. Can you tell us about it, and where your inspiration came from?

Thank you so much!
PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME HERE is a tale of murder, love and despair. It starts with my protagonist, Brigitte, married with three-year-old twins, but her marriage and her very sanity, is being undermined by the pull of the past. Fourteen years ago Brigitte was left for dead by a hit-and-run driver. She claims to have no memory of events before her accident, including the body found in her apartment.
Whether or not Brigitte really is a killer is the anchor to the story, but the whodunnit element matters less than how Brigitte ends up, how she faces her inner demons and wins or loses.
The inspiration for this story came one day when I was flicking through my old journals and I came across an entry from the day that Kurt Cobain was found dead. I was surprised by how different my memory of the time was compared to what I had written in my journal. It made me think about the memories we hold and how they become skewed over time. I wanted to explore the idea of whether or not people ever really change – with age, circumstances, relationships. What remains constant and what shifts?
I was also inspired by music, art, books, objects, smells, dreams, memories, snippets of conversations overheard on the tram.

2. Did you know you wanted to write in the crime genre or did your characters bring you here?
Initially, I had delusions of writing literary fiction. I was doing a Professional Writing and Editing diploma at the time and was surprised that my classmates thought I was writing a thriller. But my teacher said it lacked tension. I was stuck for a while. Then one day I got frustrated with the feedback, and I thought, ‘What would be the one thing I could do to really increase the tension?’ Answer: I wrote a homicide detective. And that was the key!
I went back to the drawing board, thought a lot about plot and structure, rewrote in third person (it was originally written in first), read a lot of crime fiction and did some research. From there on, the writing got easier, and it became the story it was meant to be.

3. Did you write from an early age?
Yes. I started writing stories when I was about five, and I’ve always kept journals.

4. I was so conflicted about different characters throughout, I found myself loving and hating them for their actions or lack of, was that your intention?
Yes, that was my intention. All my characters are flawed, and none are completely good or completely bad. I hope this makes them more human.
The character I felt most conflicted about was Matt. I don’t think he loved or helped Brigitte enough. Under the charm, he was self-righteous and condescending, and he wanted to change her. Aidan was the only one who knew everything about her and accepted her anyway.

5. When you include a famous person in a fictional book you can open yourself up to the readers. Did you feel any pressure to research Kurt Cobain’s death in depth?
I wasn’t a big Nirvana/Kurt Cobain fan before I started writing PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME HERE, but I was by the end. Researching Kurt’s death, I found myself captivated by his story and his music. So sad. It was more his essence rather than true events surrounding his death that I wanted to capture. Kurt helped set the mood of the book as well as the time, and he symbolised despair and tragedy.

6. What was the last book you read that you would consider a must read?
‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North’ by Australian author Richard Flanagan.
I also recently reread ‘The Great Gatsby’ and was blown away by the great story, the portrait of the 1920s, and the elegant prose. Like most people I was made to read this book when I was too young to understand it, but it’s definitely a must read (the second time around).

7. I like that we see Brigitte in many different lights and found myself shouting at her many times through the book, did you enjoy writing her?
Writing Brigitte was up and down, as you can imagine – sometimes it was fun, and sometimes it was distressing. It sounds cruel, but when writing scenes, I would think: What’s the worst thing that could happen here? OK, now rewrite it and make it worse for her.

8. Do you have any rituals for when you are writing? Such as a desk in the basement, with poor lighting and a loud dripping sound……
No rituals really, although it sounds like you’re describing my house! I wrote most of PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME HERE between the hours of 5 and 7a.m. My kids were small, I was studying, and running a small business from home, so the early mornings were the only times I had for writing. I still stick to that routine because it seems to be my most productive time.

9. Your novel includes so much loss and addiction that as a reader I felt Brigitte’s pain and the spiral into her drastic actions. Did you have to research what could take her to that point of not wanting to live and the drugs involved?
I sought advice from psychologists, and GPs about which prescription drugs, or drug combinations, would plausibly cause reactions like nightmares and hallucinations.
Brigitte’s drastic actions were mostly accidental. It’s not hard to imagine how something like this could happen – a patient in pain (physical as well as emotional) being prescribed medications and then abusing them.

10. Can you tell us what is next for Tania Chandler?
I’m putting the finishing touches on my second novel, the sequel to PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME HERE. It’s more crime fiction than psychological thriller, although, like in PDLMH, the characters are more important than the crime. It’s set five years later, on an island in the middle of an inland lakes system where there is no way off after the last ferry leaves for the night. Brigitte and several of the original characters return.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and for such a good read.
Thank you!

Author interview by Liz Loves Books

Originally posted on Liz Loves Books

Today I am pleased to welcome Tania Chandler to the blog answering a few questions about her terrific novel “Please Don’t Leave Me Here” as part of the official blog tour. My review will also follow. Thanks Tania!

Can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind the story?

It’s hard to pinpoint where the story idea came from. I kept journals when I was young and, for some reason, one day I was looking back through them and I came across an entry from the day Kurt Cobain was found dead. I was surprised by how different my memory of that time was compared to what I had written on the actual day in my journal. It made me think about the memories we hold and how they become skewed over time.

Initially, I was interested in exploring the way people change — or whether they ever really do — over time, with age, circumstances, relationships. What remains constant and what shifts?

Brigitte really does not have a happy time of it – how do you get into the mindset of a character with her deep seated issues?

Brigitte is a character full of contradictions — she’s deeply flawed, awkward and vulnerable, but also gritty and capable. She tries to do what she thinks is right, but invariably makes bad decisions. I think she’s very human.

I studied drama when I was young and I think writing is a bit like acting when it comes to getting into a character’s head. You have to put yourself into their shoes somehow, imagine how they would feel. We’ve all made wrong choices. And we’ve all experienced love, pain and fear to some degree. As a writer, you can take these feelings and manipulate or amplify them.

My writing buddy, Graeme Simsion, says characters are a third the author, a third somebody the author knows, and a third made up. I can relate to Brigitte’s awkwardness as a young woman, and to her later difficulties that come with being a mother. I’ve known people like Brigitte: somebody that others seem drawn too, and want to love and protect. But she is also one of those people who – through deep emotional need, or lack of love as a child – never believe they are good enough and settle for less than they deserve. The rest is invention.

The relationship between Brigitte and her brother is a fascinating one – they seem to feed off each other sometimes in a negative way – it has always fascinated me how writers develop the character interactions. Is it all planned, as in you know how you want them to come across?

The character of Ryan, and the relationship he has with Brigitte, was one of the easiest parts of the novel to write. I pulled out my hair planning some character interactions, but when I put Brigitte and Ryan together in a scene, the writing seemed to flow and I always knew what they would do without having to think too much about it. They were reckless enough on their own, but together: disaster. However, they were always there for one another when the chips were down. Their troubled childhood would account for much of their behaviour, and their closeness. They were fun to write, even though at times I felt like shaking them!

The mystery element is very well developed – unlike a lot of novels you’ve chosen to do blocks of time rather than alternating throughout which works well – was the ultimate resolution always the one you had in mind?

No! Please Don’t Leave Me Here was always structured in two blocks of time, but I wrote four different endings before I came up with the final one. A lot of writers say you should know the ending before you begin. I learnt this the hard way. I thought I was being clever because even I didn’t know how it was going to end! But apparently nobody likes a deus ex machina resolution. I had to go back and plant clues retrospectively. This was a painstaking process, with my editor encouraging me to add more foreshadowing, and me worrying about being too obvious and giving it away. I think, after all, there’s just enough foreshadowing for attentive readers.

When not writing, what type of novels do you enjoy – any recommendations?

I’ve just finished reading The Girl on the Train. I think I was the only person in the world who hadn’t read it, plus my book has the ‘If you liked The Girl on the Train, you’ll love this’ sticker, so I thought I should get onto it. I’m a sucker for a well-written thriller or crime story, but I also enjoy more literary books. I’m currently reading two excellent new releases by fellow Australian authors: Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic (crime) and Fever of Animals by Miles Allinson (literary fiction).

I also recently reread The Great Gatsby (I’m sure I read it at high school, but I think maybe I just read the blurb at the time because I couldn’t remember anything about it!) I was blown away by the compelling story, and the elegant descriptive prose. Hard to believe it was written almost a hundred years ago.

Can you tell us anything about your next project?

My second novel (provisionally titled: Dead in the Water) is the sequel to Please Don’t Leave Me Here. It’s about the darkness that lies beneath the surface: a corpse found in the lake; a loving wife and mother with a shady past and unfulfilled desires; and a brave, in-control detective who is scared and losing control.

It’s more crime fiction than psychological thriller, although, like in PDLMH, the characters are more important than the crime. It’s set five years later, on an island in the middle of an inland lakes system where there is no way off after the last ferry leaves for the night. Brigitte and several of the original characters return.

Thank you so much!

Thank you!

Happy Reading Folks!