Almost a year ago, Christian White walked into the Booktopia office as a nervous wreck of a debut author, one who had no idea what was about to unfold for him. His book, The Nowhere Child, had generated quite a bit of buzz, but it was yet to become the bestseller it would be and was up against some fierce competition from the likes of fellow debut crime writers Dervla McTiernan and Chris Hammer.
Now, Christian will be delivering his second book into the eager hands of readers across the country.
That book is The Wife and the Widow, a standalone mystery thriller set in an eerie coastal town in the dead of winter that’s told through two different perspectives: the wife of a man who goes missing and the wife of a man accused of murder. Like The Nowhere Child, The Wife and the Widow delves deep into the idea that we can never really know the people we love.
But Christian still can’t quite believe the breakaway success of his first book. When asked how he feels about the publication process the second time around, he admits to still being tremendously nervous but seems a lot more relaxed.
“I’ve learnt that everyone in this industry are book nerds like me, so it’s pretty easy,” he laughs.
Christian grew up in a quiet little seaside town on the Mornington Peninsula. A voracious reader since early childhood, Christian became obsessed with storytelling and soon began to write stories of his own. He jokes that you could always tell which writers he’d been reading, because traces of them would show up in his work.
“A lot of that time I spent escaping into books, and I think that sort of explains my life,” he says.
The humour of Kurt Vonnegut, the horror of Stephen King, and the surrealism of Haruki Murakami all became fodder for Christian’s hungry writer’s brain. It’s no wonder then that crime became his genre, but it took him a little while to get there.
“Somewhere along the way, I discovered that I was good at writing mystery and thriller,” says Christian. “I don’t know why it took me so long because if pressed I’d say that’s my favourite genre.”
The thing that stopped him was perhaps a lack of faith in his own ability – he admits to not believing himself to be smart enough to come up with the clever twists required of a great thriller. The irony of this isn’t lost on Christian, given that he didn’t see success in his writing until he worked up the courage to just start writing thrillers.
“It seems very obvious now to write what you enjoy reading, but it took me a long time to figure that out,” says Christian.
Thousands of Aussie crime and thriller readers are very grateful that he did.
Christian White came to Booktopia to sign some copies of The Wife and the Widow before sitting down to chat all about the book with Ben Hunter and Shanulisa Prasad – listen below and grab yourself a signed copy while stocks last!
The Wife and the Widow
From the bestselling author of The Nowhere Child.
Set against the backdrop of an eerie island town in the dead of winter, The Wife and the Widow is a mystery/thriller told from two perspectives: Kate, a widow whose grief is compounded by what she learns about her dead husband’s secret life; and Abby, an island local whose world is turned upside down when she’s forced to confront the evidence that her husband is a murderer...
About the Contributor
Olivia Fricot is the Editor of the Booktopian Blog. After finishing a soul-crushing law degree, she decided that life was much better with one's nose in a book and quickly defected to the world of Austen and Woolf. You can usually find her reading (obviously), baking, writing questionable tweets, and completing a Master's degree in English literature. Just don't ask about her thesis. Olivia is on Twitter and Instagram @livfricot - follow at your own risk.
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