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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!

Antarctic Diary extract 1 – Write with authenticity? Go live it!

June 20, 2012

I have an idea for a story. A thriller set in Antarctica. A tale of exploitation and greed, of man’s short-sighted, self-destructive impulses; a tale of survival against all odds and one man’s attempt to stop a global, environmental catastrophe. A battle between the forces of good and evil, the odds stacked in favour of the villain.

But to understand how my hero can survive the horrors I will be putting him through, I am going to experience Antarctica first-hand: feel its cold clawing at my bones and its dryness as I dehydrate, smell the ammonia of pink penguin faeces, hear a fur seal bark like a dog, touch ancient ice, and experience the feeling I have stepped into a time capsule as I visit old, abandoned stations, expecting the occupants to return at any moment. I want to be awed at Antarctica’s beauty, experience its isolation, fear its ferocious and unpredictable weather and its turbulent seas, and understand why so many of those who visit this great white continent are drawn back again and again.

So I fly to Ushuaia in Argentina and from there I will board a former Russian oceanographic research vessel, The Professor Multanovskiy. I will cross the infamous Drake Passage and will travel down the Antarctic Peninsula until I cross the Antarctic Circle. I plan to get my hands dirty. Well, icy anyway.

What exactly is the Antarctic Circle? It’s the parallel of latitude that runs 66° 33′ 44″ south of the Equator and it encircles Antarctica. As Wikipedia puts it: ‘Every place south of the Antarctic Circle experiences a period of twenty-four hours continuous daylight at least once per year, and a period of twenty-four hours continuous night time at least once per year.’

To write my action adventure, I am going on my own adventure. Come and join me as I experience swells that threaten to swallow our ship, glaciers the size of small countries, and learn about life in the coldest place on Earth.

Interesting info: Antarctica is dryer than the Sahara Desert.

 Photo © L.A. Larkin 2012

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My first blog post

June 19, 2012

Hello and welcome to my first blog post. I have been a published thriller author for two years now and have really enjoyed updating my readers with news and information through my website, Facebook and Twitter. Facebook and Twitter have enabled me to interact with you, but space is limited. What a blog gives me is a way of communicating without restriction on word count, as well as an easy way for you to communicate with me and share my posts. To leave a comment, just click on the ‘Read more and Comment’ link.

To share an article, simply click the Facebook, Twitter, email, Google+ or the Share This icons at the bottom of each post. If you want to be notified that I have posted a new article, then please click on the RSS feed icon to the right of this blog. There is also a ‘Search’ box which will help you find previous articles: all you do is tap in a key word or two. ‘Latest News’ postings have now been integrated into the blog, and you can also find these through the ‘Search’ box.

To kick off my blog, I will be sharing extracts from my Antarctic diaries. In 2008, I had an idea for a thriller that I wanted to set in Antarctica. I knew enough about the great white continent to know that if I wanted to bring Antarctica to life through my writing, I needed to spend time there.

Thirst will be published on 1stAugust 2012. I hope you enjoy it and that it transports you to a frozen, dangerous and stunningly beautiful world, to a remote Australian station under threat from a mercenary foe, and to a reluctant hero who will ultimately not only have to save Antarctica, but the whole world.

I hope you enjoy my Antarctic diary extracts, as well as my other blog posts. So let’s get started …

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Antarctica at The Sydney Writers Festival

May 24, 2012

On Sunday morning, at The Sydney Writers’ Festival 2012, Alison Lester and I had a great time with adults and kids, talking about Antarctica.

Alison’s latest picture book, Sophie Scott Goes South, is about a little girl who goes to Antarctica and will be published on 27th May. Her book is beautifully illustrated and explains everything from polar clothing to blizzards to the beautiful lights in the sky of the aurora australis. We invited a little girl onto the stage, whose name happened to be Sophia, and we dressed her in the outer layers of my Antarctic clothing, including bright yellow hooded parka, thick outer gloves and my faux-fur hat, complete with ear-flaps! Here is a picture of Sophia in her polar gear:

What struck me was that both Alison and myself share a passion for Antarctica and we tell stories set there for this very reason. Except, Alison creates picture books for children and I write thrillers for adults. My Antarctic thriller, Thirst, will be published in August. Here a photo of Alison and myself at the book signing:

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Photo of my wonderful workshop participants at SWF 2012

May 15, 2012

The all day workshop on thriller writing at the Sydney Writers’ Festival went down a storm. I am really touched by the lovely feedback from the participants – thank you guys. You were a joy to teach. Here is a photo of the group and good luck with your writing!

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