‘I’ve tried to reimagine Sydney as a sort of noir, dastardly underworld version of itself.’ – Candice Fox
Better Reading: It’s been an incredible few years for you – your first novel Hades winning a Ned Kelly for best debut, the sequel Eden winning the Ned Kelly for best crime novel last year and now a collaboration with James Patterson on Never Never, now in the bestseller list. How does it feel to be living the dream as a crime writer?
Candice Fox: It’s more stressful than you’d think! A lot of that has to do with pressure that I put on myself not to screw this dream life up. Writing full time is more than I could ever have hoped for as a job, and in my family we tend to think in very dramatic ways about luck and fate and karma. I feel as though something this good deserved something really bad in return. I know logically that the world doesn’t work that way, but emotionally it’s a different story. I’m just maintaining my love of writing, and not bowing to the pressure to write when/what my heart’s not in.
BR: We’ve seen some interesting developments in Australian crime fiction in general in recent years, with some great new writers on the scene, including yourself. Do you think Australian crime fiction is more popular than it has ever been?
CF: It could be. I certainly think female crime writers in Australia are getting a better look in.; I think the rise of Scandanavian crime fiction has opened up possibilities for readers looking for stories in exotic locations, where the weight used to be in American and UK based settings.
BR: Can you tell us a little about what you’ll be discussing at the St Albans Writers’ Festival?
CF: I’m always happy to follow a conversation where it goes at writers festivals, but I believe I’m talking about ‘other worlds’ and people familiar with my Bennett/Archer series will know I’ve tried to reimagine Sydney as a sort of noir, dastardly underworld version of itself.
CF: I think it’s important to get in front of fans and actually talk to them, answer their questions individually, if you want their loyalty. So I’m trying to do that as much as I can at the moment. The interaction between writers and readers at festivals has always been an integral part of literary culture. How can you write about people, or be written about, without that relationship?
What other fiction, and crime fiction, authors do you admire?
I’ve always loved Peter Temple. His work was very important in my study of writing dialogue. I’m a big Lee Child fan and love Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy series.