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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!

What is Genetically Modified Food?

June 3, 2010

If the old saying is true that we are what we eat, Americans may want to sit up and take notice: the Center for Food Safety has estimated that up to 75% of processed foods on grocery store shelves contain genetically engineered ingredients. Even the most health-conscious individuals have likely been unable to avoid consuming genetically modified foods, especially since food distributors are not required by law to label them. We explore why some people wanted to alter the composition of crops in the first place, how GM food can impact your health, and what your elected representatives are doing in response to public concern. This is a lot to digest (so to speak), but we are confident you will emerge a more alert consumer.

At a local farmers market, we ask some of San Diego’s most health-conscious consumers if they’re aware of genetically modified foods. Continue watching to study the science behind the modification process.



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The Genesis Flaw will be in all good Australian and New Zealand bookshops from 2 August 2010. This means it will be available well in advance of Father’s Day on Sunday 5 September. So buy one for you, and one for dad too!


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Hacking Research Links

The Hacker Manifesto:

Hacker magazine:

How to own a continent- stories by hackers:

Blackhat security conference:

Defcon security conference:

Information security glossary:

A blog covering security technology:

Wikipedia’s timeline of hacking:

A hacker tells his side of the story – Kevin Mitnick:



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The rise of the thriller heroine

March 9, 2010

Writing a novel is one thing. Turning it into a movie script is another thing entirely. Today I met with a script writer who is interested in turning The Genesis Flaw into a movie. All very exciting, especially as the novel doesn’t go on sale for another few months. And it’s strange how the writing community is so inter-connected. This particular script writer heard about The Genesis Flaw though a mention on The Writers’ Studio’s website. It was at The Writers’ Studio that I first became inspired to write thrillers.

In this meeting, we discussed how rare, still, are female central characters in thrillers. I’ve noticed that over the last ten years, as more female crime writers have emerged, some magnificent female detective and forensic characters have appeared. How wonderful is Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpatta character? And some amazing, feisty leading females have powered across the pages of thrillers like John Grisham’s The Pelican Brief. But female characters in thrillers still often play the supporting role, such as Dan Brown’s recent mysteries. Steig Larsson’s trilogy breaks the mould here: what a complex, unexpected and intriguing heroine is Lisbeth Salander!

Creating a female protagonists isn’t easy. She has to be tough and resilient enough to survive all the horrors thrown at her. She must be courageous and steadfast, and able to draw on talents that equip her to win the final “battle”. But there is a fine line between creating a female character who endures more than we could, and not making her appear a heartless bitch who rides rough-shod over others to achieve her goal. Making her sympathetic and showing her vulnerabilities, I believe, is essential. If you understand what drives her to place herself in such danger, then, as a reader, you empathise and want to go along for the ride. In the case of Serena Swift, her motivation to action is not only the death of her father but the guilt she carries around that she not only missed his death but never went after those she believed responsible.

I’d be interested to here from you on what you think makes a good female central character?

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