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‘Ice-pick-sharp, packed with intrigue, action and spine-chilling suspense. Devour will keep you gripped from the very first page’ Kathryn Fox

Larkin's Latest

Welcome to my blog, Larkin’s Latest. News on thriller authors and great books to read, the writing process and festivals, incredible people I interview and exciting story locations, courses I run, and things that make me laugh!

Have fun with The Dead Good Reader Awards

May 14, 2015

Ever thought that your favourite crime fiction character or author doesn’t get the recognition they deserve? Well now you can change that by voting in the fun Dead Good Reader Awards. The winner will be announced at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in July. Here is my vote. I suspect my choices may surprise some of my readers!

The Lee Child award for Best Loner: Bernie Little, Dog On It, by Spencer Quinn

The Vale McDermid Awrd for Fiendish Forensics: Flesh And Blood, by Patricia Cornwell

The Reichenbach Falls award for most epic ending: Shatter, by Michael Robotham

The Patricia Highsmith award for most Exotic Location: Nairobi, Kenya, The Constant Gardener, John Le Carre

The Dr Lecter award for Scariest Villain: Hannibel Lecter, Red Dragon, Thomas Harris

The award for Most Recommended Book 2014: Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch.

Have fun choosing your favourites.

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Off scale happiness

April 28, 2015

Kurt Vonnegut’s The Shapes Of Stories is nothing new, but it always makes me chuckle to watch a four minute clip from his humorous lecture on eight fundamental story arcs that can be mapped by computer. If you haven’t seen the video clip or looked at the the “graphs” of the eight stories then follow this link and enjoy. The Man In Hole represents the classic arc of a thriller: hero is first seen leading a normal life, but very quickly he/she is thrust from their comfort zone and plunged into danger. It gets progressively worse as the hero battles a powerful and often mysterious adversary. All seems lost. Failure is imminent. Then, the hero makes one final attempt to avert catastrophe and usually their own death. In many thrillers the hero is victorious. But often they pay a heavy price. Some heroes gain fame and fortune as a result of their heroism. But many authors, such as John Le Carre, refuse to allow the hero out of their hole. They may have a small victory, but often the hero ends up dead and buried, swallowed up by their hole. Others like to leave the end ambiguous / bitter sweet.

Authors for centuries have explored classic story arcs, such as the Cinderella story, which ends, as Vonnegut puts it, with ‘off-scale happiness.’ But it’s how the story is told, the intriguing characters and the variations from the norm or a challenging ending, that makes each individual story feel fresh and exciting.

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Pay the writer

April 20, 2015

If you don’t like a bit of Hollywood swearing, then don’t listen to this YouTube clip of Harlan Ellison’s rant about paying writers. Or rather, about how often writers are asked to do work for free. There are few who can rant as well as Ellison, and even though this clip made me smile, he is absolutely right. Why is it okay to ask an author to write something and not pay them for it? As Harlan says so eloquently, would you go to a petrol station and fill up your car, expecting not to pay, or ask a surgeon to operate for free? Naturally we are all happy to donate our time and skills for a good cause. That’s a given. But why would the managers of indie band, Garbage, ask a photographer to let them use a photograph he took of them for free when they have sold 17 million albums. Read the story in The Guardian about the photographer making a stand, here. Creative works, be they paintings or novels or photographs or music, bring such joy and inspiration, firing up our imaginations and taking us to another world. Surely that’s worth a bob or two?





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Always wanted to write crime fiction?

If you live in or around Sydney and have always wanted to write your own crime fiction novel, then join me on Thursday 11 June when my five week evening course kicks off on Crime and Thriller Writing at the Australian Writers Centre.

Here is what some of my students have to say:
 “I really enjoyed getting a personal perspective of crime and thriller writing from a presenter that has “been there and done that.”  The course was logically put together and covered a lot of very useful information. L.A. Larkin is a fantastic presenter.  She has great subject knowledge and was able to get everybody involved in the various discussion points. It was a fantastic course that was well worth undertaking.” Liam Saville
 “No matter how well progressed you think you are with your writing, there is always something valuable to learn, and the thriller course really lays it all out for you in both a practical and inspiring way.  My ideas really developed on this course.” Kerry Rogerson
> Read More

Always wanted to write crime fiction?

If you live in or around Sydney and have always wanted to write your own crime fiction novel, then join me on Thursday 11 June when my five week evening course kicks off on Crime and Thriller Writing at the Australian Writers Centre.

Here is what some of my students have to say:

“I really enjoyed getting a personal perspective of crime and thriller writing from a presenter that has “been there and done that.”  The course was logically put together and covered a lot of very useful information. L.A. Larkin is a fantastic presenter.  She has great subject knowledge and was able to get everybody involved in the various discussion points. It was a fantastic course that was well worth undertaking.” Liam Saville

“No matter how well progressed you think you are with your writing, there is always something valuable to learn, and the thriller course really lays it all out for you in both a practical and inspiring way. My ideas really developed on this course.” Kerry Rogerson

> Read More

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