From my years of teaching creative writing, I know that new writers take the setting for granted, as simply a place to set the action, but setting is a vital element in fiction writing and deserves serious treatment.
A good writer can set a thriller anywhere and make it convincing: the trick is to evoke the setting in such a way that it highlights the crime or unsettles the reader.
Chopper Read attended a writing school I gave for inmates at Risdon Prison in Hobart many years ago. Even if I hadn't known about his hacked-off ears and his criminal history, I'd have found him powerful and compelling.
Delaying and withholding tactics, red herrings, partial and doubtful outcomes are stock in trade for fiction writers, especially crime writers.
To be a writer, you must be a reader, yet as many as 30 per cent of my writing students were not readers.
At one level, an award is an endorsement, a confirmation, but I always find myself looking askance at awards and good reviews, as though another Garry Disher had earned them.
I grew up in a house full of books, and we belonged to the Country Lending Service - each month the State Library would send us a parcel of books by train.
I have no favourite genre or style but treat each novel with the same care, imagination and craftsmanship. It's as difficult to write a crime or a children's novel with a touch of style and grace as it is a literary novel.
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