Subscribe to newsletter
Subscribe to my Newsletter
Get my newsletter delivered to your email:
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Free First Chapter.

DOWNLOAD NOW

Free First Chapter

Please enter your details and we'll email you the first chapter
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

‘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!

Tagged in : /////

Book’d Out blogger review of Prey – ‘breathtaking moments of tension’

May 1, 2020

During the Covid-19 pandemic authors like me have had all our events cancelled. Instead we’ve been hoping for support from the reading and writing community to help spread the word about our new books. And the support has been amazing. So I’d like to thank the bloggers who reviewed Prey, my latest thriller, and I’d like to begin by sharing this great review from Book’d Out which you can read here.

‘An action packed story with a plot of intrigue and a dynamic lead character, Prey is a gripping and exciting read.’

You can follow the Book’d Out blog via:

GoodReads

Facebook

Twitter

> Read More

Tagged in : /////

Natalie Conyer and I talk to Malla Nunn on why our crime novels are set in South Africa

April 27, 2020

I was proud to launch the New South Wales chapter of Sisters in Crime with this online event: Deadly, Dangerous, Dazzling – the allure of South African crime fiction. Convener Catherine du Peloux Menagé welcomed viewers and introduced the panel: me, Natalie Conyer and Malla Nunn. In it we discuss our story locations, characters and inspiration.

In my latest thriller, Prey, journalist Olivia Wolfe must unravel the terrible secret that connects a British Cabinet minister, a Vietnamese billionaire, and a poor South African teacher to a series of gruesome murders. Wolfe is in a country she doesn’t know and surrounded by enemies. Who can she trust when her life depends on it?

Natalie Conyer’s debut crime novel, Present Tense, is set in Cape Town. It’s a hard-boiled police procedural about an ordinary cop trying to find his way in a thrilling and dangerous country.

Malla Nunn is the author of four internationally published adult crime novels set in 1950s Apartheid South Africa. Her debut YA novel, When the Ground is Hard, is set in a Swaziland boarding school where two girls of different castes bond over a shared copy of Jane Eyre.

Copies of our novels have been stocked by Gleebooks in Glebe, NSW. This wonderful bookstore was going to host this event until Covid-19 hit. They are offering pick up and free delivery to the Inner West of Sydney.

If you would like to join the NSW chapter of Sisters In Crime Australia, please contact:

Catherine du Peloux Menagé
0412 517 885
nsw@sistersincrime.org.au

> Read More

Tagged in : ///

Official Book Launch of Prey by L.A. Larkin

April 22, 2020

Welcome to my first ever digital book launch of my new crime thriller, Prey. The book launch was streamed live on Facebook on the 22 April, 2020. It was a great turn out and it was lovely to see so many people from different parts of the world in attendance. Here is the recording of the 30 minute event.

Want to get your hands on a copy of Prey?

Amazon Australia

Amazon UK

Booktopia

Clan Destine Press

You can view this, and other videos made by me, on my L.A. Larkin Author Channel on YouTube.

> Read More

Tagged in : /////

On writing suspense – guest blog for the Booktopian

April 21, 2020

To celebrate the launch of my new thriller Prey I was invited to write a guest blog for The Booktopian on the topic of creating suspense in thrillers. It was great fun to write and I hope you find it interesting. Here is the link. I want to thank Booktopia for the opportunity and you can purchase paperback and ebooks of Prey through their online store here.

Just in case you can’t view the article on the Booktopia site, here is the original article:

Before the world was turned upside down by the Coronavirus pandemic and we could no longer fly to other countries, I was at ThrillerFest in New York City. One of the big topics for panel discussion was how thriller writers create suspense. Having a suspenseful plot that builds to a satisfying climax is what thrillers are all about, after all. As well as writing crime-thrillers, I also teach thriller writing at the Australian Writers Centre and I always get asked: what is suspense. One of my favourite definitions is Alfred Hitchcock’s – ‘It is when you expect something bad to happen and you are powerless to intervene.’ At ThrillerFest, best-selling author Meg Gardiner defined suspense as ‘a state of mental uncertainty about how something will pan out.’ It’s the uncertainty that keeps readers reading, it’s the puzzle we want to solve. Add to that the rollercoaster of emotions that readers experiences: the pleasurable but nail-biting excitement and anticipation regarding an outcome, such as the detective finally catching the serial killer, or the mother, who has lost everything, finding and saving her kidnapped child.

When I was writing Prey, the first question I asked myself was why should the reader care about Olivia Wolfe, the central character? If the reader doesn’t connect with her then they won’t experience her joy and despair, her terror and moments of hope. Thrillers are very plot driven, but it is the characters people remember: Jack Reacher, Phryne Fisher, psychiatrist Joe O’Loughlin, detective Jane Tennison. Which is why I spend as much time creating my characters as plotting the story. Wolfe is no ordinary journalist. She travels the world exposing heinous crimes and in so doing makes powerful enemies. She’s flawed and troubled by a past she wants to forget which creates a dramatic tension because the reader suspects her past will catch up with her. But when and how? She makes mistakes – she’s human. She’s in love with the wrong kind of guy. We’ve all been there, right? So, we can relate to her. But she’s brave and risks everything to expose a terrifying criminal syndicate who sends an assassin to kill her.

I like to raise a question and set up a mystery in the first chapter. In the opening chapter of Prey a woman is murdered by a professional killer and her boyfriend is warned to back-off or the same will happen to him. This raises the question: why was this ordinary woman murdered? Why it was made to look like a suicide. What information does the boyfriend have that’s worth killing for? In chapter two, we meet Olivia Wolfe and discover that the murder victim had met with Wolfe the day before she died and Wolfe knows a small part of a bigger mystery. It’s not until the last few chapters that we discover what the series of murders in four different countries is all about.

Here are some more of my favourite ways of building suspense:
• Don’t reveal too much, too fast – the reader wants to fill in the gaps in their knowledge about the plot and characters along the way. Keep something back.
• Drip feed vital clues and hints to the reader throughout, but keep the final piece of the puzzle until the very end.
• Use plot twists that surprise the character as well as the reader, especially in the middle part of your story.
• It’s fun to have the reader sometimes know more than the central character and be powerless to stop the character making a terrible mistake. It’s that ‘Don’t do it!’ moment.
• Ticking clocks really ramp up the suspense in a thriller too. Can he stop the faulty plane taking off in one hour? Can they diffuse the bomb in fifteen minutes? Will the serial killer take his next victim at the next full moon?
• Cliff hangers are great. They leave the reader wondering if all is lost at the end of a chapter, or hint at something bad is about to happen.
• Keep your reader unsure who will win at the climax– the hero or the adversary?
This all leads to an adrenalin pumping climax. As Jeffery Deaver once said, ‘Always keep in mind that people don’t read books to get to the middle; they read books to get to the end’.

> Read More

Tagged in : ////

GIVEAWAY time with Goodreads

April 20, 2020

GoodReads is offering thriller book lovers in the USA and Canada the chance to WIN one of four signed paperback copies of Prey. The giveaway runs from April 20 – May 11, 2020 and you enter via GoodReads here.

GoodReads only runs giveaways for the USA and Canada, so sadly readers in other countries cannot enter.

Good luck!

> Read More

Subscribe to my Newsletter

Get my newsletter delivered to your email and get a sneak peek of my new thriller, Prey and discover where Olivia Wolfe is off to next.