Crime Fiction at its Finest: Q&A with Karin Slaughter

Crime Fiction at its Finest: Q&A with Karin Slaughter

About the Author

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her eighteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls and The Good Daughter. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organisation established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, Karin Slaughter lives in Atlanta. Her standalone novels The Good Daughter and Cop Town are in development for film and television.

Purchase a copy of Pieces of Her here

Read our review of Pieces of Her here 

Where do you get your ideas?

With most books, I have no idea where the inspiration comes from.  Generally, it’s a “what if” moment. That’s what gets me going: answering the what ifs.  Though I have a lot of access to real-life cases, I never take one in its entirety and put it in a book.  I always remind myself that these crimes happen to real people, and I need to honor that fact, not exploit it.  So, I pick and choose different details from different cases and blend them together.  That being said, there is nothing a fiction author can come up with that hasn’t been done before in real life—usually far more horrifically.

What is your writing schedule?

Unfortunately, I’m not very disciplined. I’m more of a “run off into the mountains and write until I collapse” author. I wish I could be more structured, but it’s been working for me so far, so who am I to judge? When I’m ready to work on a story, I drive two hours outside of Atlanta to the Blue Ridge mountains, where I have a cabin that my father built for me. When I’m writing, all I do is get up in the morning, start writing, then stop writing when I can’t see or think anymore.  Sometimes, that can be 12 or 16 hours (with naps in between) and sometimes that can be four hours (with more naps) but I’ve always been better in isolation.  I don’t understand how people can work in coffee shops or, worse, be in the middle of a chapter and just stop.  I suppose part of it is my obsessive/compulsiveness.  I’m completely incapable of not finishing something I start.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It depends on what the book is about and how much research is involved. I’d say on average that the whole process takes around ten to twelve months. Sometimes it goes more quickly, sometimes more slowly. I never want to be in a position where I am rushing a story, and thankfully my publishers are very patient.

How do you do your research?

I have the great fortune of being able to ask agents at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, or retired cops, for pointers and tips about solving (and committing!) crimes. For my Grant County series, a doctor friend of mine has been helping me since Kisscut so that Sara seems like she knows what she’s doing. Mostly, it’s me thinking a lot and trying to figure out a plot and then I call on the experts and say, ‘I need a cop to search this house and find this clue. How would they get a warrant?’ or ‘I want Sara to stick her hands into a man’s chest and pump his beating heart. Tell me the steps.’  I hope very much that the FBI is not monitoring my emails with these folks because we’re probably on a list somewhere.

What authors do you like to read?

I’ve read all of Kate Atkinson’s stuff. I adored Case HistoriesFingersmith by Sarah Waters was one of my all-time favorites. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher  and Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski are my favorite series characters. Alafair Burke, Kate White, Sara Blaedel, Don Winslow, and Lynda LaPlante, and Lisa Gardner are all on my necessary reading lists.

Related Articles

I Wrote Misconception to Open up the Conversation About Pregnancy Loss: Q&A with Rebecca Freeborn, Author of Misconception

News

31 July 2019

I Wrote Misconception to Open up the Conversation About Pregnancy Loss: Q&A with Rebecca Freeborn, Author of Misconception

    I’ve Always Been Fascinated by Cults: Q&A with Karin Slaughter, Author of The Last Widow

    News

    24 July 2019

    I’ve Always Been Fascinated by Cults: Q&A with Karin Slaughter, Author of The Last Widow

      An Adrenalin-Fuelled Plot: Read an Extract From Karin Slaughter’s, The Last Widow

      News

      17 July 2019

      An Adrenalin-Fuelled Plot: Read an Extract From Karin Slaughter’s, The Last Widow

        A Nail-biting Thriller: Read a Review of Karin Slaughter's The Last Widow

        News

        15 July 2019

        A Nail-biting Thriller: Read a Review of Karin Slaughter's The Last Widow

          Entertain, Delight and Tug at the Heartstrings: Q&A with Messy, Wonderful Us Author Catherine Isaac

          News

          28 June 2019

          Entertain, Delight and Tug at the Heartstrings: Q&A with Messy, Wonderful Us Author Catherine Isaac

            A Deeply Personal Project: Q&A with Bradley Trevor Greive about The Blue Day Book

            News

            4 May 2019

            A Deeply Personal Project: Q&A with Bradley Trevor Greive about The Blue Day Book

              Suspenseful Australian Crime: Q&A with Dave Warner, Author of River of Salt

              News

              10 April 2019

              Suspenseful Australian Crime: Q&A with Dave Warner, Author of River of Salt

                Hilarious and Life-Changing: Q&A with Virginia Duigan on writing The Age of Discretion

                News

                19 March 2019

                Hilarious and Life-Changing: Q&A with Virginia Duigan on writing The Age of Discretion

                  Sweeping Rural Historical Fiction: Q&A with Nicole Alexander on writing Stone Country

                  News

                  18 March 2019

                  Sweeping Rural Historical Fiction: Q&A with Nicole Alexander on writing Stone Country

                    War, Love and Literature: Q&A with J.R. Lonie about his new novel, The Woman from Saint Germain

                    News

                    11 March 2019

                    War, Love and Literature: Q&A with J.R. Lonie about his new novel, The Woman from Saint Germain

                      Synopsis

                      The electrifying new thriller from international bestseller Karin Slaughter explores the deadly secrets kept between a mother and daughter.What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all?Andrea Cooper knows everything about her mother Laura. She's knows she's spent her whole life in the small beach-side town of Gull away Island; she knows she's never had any more ambition than to live a quiet life as a pillar of the community; she knows she's never kept a secret in her life. Because we all know our mothers, don't we?But all that changes when a trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. A side which is a million miles from the quiet, gentle woman who brought her up. And more than that, news coverage of the mall attack puts Laura's face on every TV screen in the country - and leaves her terrified. Because it turns out that before Laura was Laura she was someone completely different. For nearly 30 years she's been hiding from her previous identity, lying low in the hope that no one will ever find her and re-open the wounds left by the terrible events which made it impossible for her ever to go back. But now she's been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again.Twenty-four hours later Laura is in hospital, shot by an intruder who's spent thirty years trying to track her down and discover what she knows. Andrea is on a desperate journey following the breadcrumbs of her mother's past. And if she can't uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for either of them ...

                      COMMENTS

                      Leave a Reply

                      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *