Six Sharp Questions
1. Congratulations, you have a new book. What is it about and what does it mean to you?
CRIMINAL is about the struggles women faced in the 1970s on the Atlanta police force. It’s also about a present-day crime that has roots in the past.
(BBGuru: publisher’s blurb – Someone you want to forget is waiting for you.
40 years later, a young woman is found brutally murdered in a sordid high-rise apartment. The specifics of her death are detailed and macabre, but for Special Agent Will Trent they are startingly familiar, and can only mean one thing.
Desperate to deny this might be happening to him, he is forced to return to the home he grew up in, to the grimy crime-ridden streets, to a childhood he has spent the best part of his adult life trying to avoid.
As the body count rises, and the tension on the inner-city streets starts to simmer, Will becomes convinced that the clue to the killings now, and in 1974, may lie in his own past; a past that he hates yet feels responsible for.
And that the killer is much, much closer to him than anyone thought possible. )
2. Time passes. Things change. What are the best and worst moments that you have experienced in the past year or so?
Best: the vacation I just had. Worst: getting stuck at the Denver airport.
3. Do you have a favourite quote or passage you would be happy to share with us? It doesn’t need to be deep but it would be great if it meant something to you.
Joy is the best gratitude.
I think when I’m working, I can be a bit distant, but I’ve found writers (at least crime writers) tend to be fairly normal. Just feed and water us and we’re fine.
5. Some writers claim not to be influenced by the needs of the marketplace, while others seem obsessed by it. Would you please describe how the marketplace affects your writing (come on, tell the truth!).
I wish I could say I’m very conscious of those things, but honestly, I never think about my readers when I’m writing. It’s all about me and what kind of book I’d like to read. I think if you chase the market, you’ll end up locking yourself up.
6. Unlikely Scenario: You’ve been charged with civilising twenty ill-educated adolescents but you may take only five books with you. What do you take and why?
The Bible. A dictionary. Gone With the Wind. Really, anything that’s extremely heavy so I can hit them with it.
Karin, thank you for playing.
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.