Today we’re talking to Felicity Young, author of “A Certain Malice”, our latest eCC Creative Content eBook publication.
What first made you want to write?
The answer to this question merges in to the next, I guess. I’ve always had a natural inclination to write and knew it was a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘will.’ It was only when my three children became teenagers and life became less hectic that I decided the time was right.
“A Certain Malice” is set in Australia. Is that where you’re from?
No, I was born in Germany to British army parents. We changed countries every two years, living between Germany, Canada and the UK. When I was nine I was sent to boarding school in the UK and shortly after that my father was posted to Australia. I joined my parents for school holidays which meant four to six long flights a year.
Those long boring plane trips were a great aid to developing my creative imagination. I would spend most of my time plotting aircraft disaster/hijack scenarios, with myself as the heroine, naturally. By the time I was sixteen I had flown around the world twelve and a half times and composed dozens of stories.
My parents migrated permanently to Australia when I was sixteen and I now have dual citizenship.
What inspired you to write “A Certain Malice”?
We moved to a small rural town about twenty years ago. The town’s locality and the characters we came to know were largely the inspiration for the story as was listening to the tales of my police superintendent brother-in-law.
There’s enough forensic detail to satisfy the most avid CSI fan. How did you research the autopsy scenes?
Books, the Internet but some of the more visceral parts were dredged up from my nursing memories. I had to assist with an (very basic, thank goodness) autopsy once and will never forget it.
Police sergeant Cam Fraser is a great protagonist, and “A Certain Malice” has a really interesting cast of supporting characters; it would be wonderful as a TV series. Who would be your dream casting for Cam?
At the time of writing, I imagined an Australian actor called Gary Sweet playing the role — but he might be a bit long in the tooth now!
What is your routine when you’re writing? Take us through a typical day.
I do some kind of work 24/7. I start earlier, as early as 4.30AM if there’s a deadline looming, and work until about lunch time with frequent short breaks for stretching — I get very stiff if I sit at a computer for too long. Then I break for lunch, work out on my cross trainer, do some chores and then return to my desk at about three or four-ish, depending on how busy I am. I find I’m not very creative in the afternoon so will do things such as edit or take care of publicity stuff.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to try their hand at crime fiction?
Don’t neglect the craft of writing for the sake of a clever plot. A good crime writer is also a good writer.
Is there anything that your readers would be surprised to know about you?
That I’m a 160cm, 53kg volunteer bush firefighter?
What are you working on now?
I’m just finishing the second book in a new historical mystery series that features Britain’s first female autopsy surgeon. The books are being published by HarperCollins in Australia (2011 and 2012) and Berkley Press (Penguin Group USA) and will also be available in the UK.
More information about Felicity Young can be found here: www.felicityyoung.com
Also by Felicity Young: