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Q. Where do you get your inspiration to write?

A: As a cop I loved writing about things that happened. Being able to tell a story – even though it was purely factual – was gratifying. Being able to tell a victim’s story (even if they were dead) was like representing them; being their voice. After the police force, I found myself wanting to write about the many things I saw and did. I felt the best way to do this was through fiction. Bringing alive a character and showing a journey. But don’t get me wrong; writing fiction has not come easy to me. 

Q. Who are your literary heroes?

A. Like many other authors I’ve met, I’m not (what I call) a voracious reader. This will bring looks of horror to those in the literary world! And, I don’t read widely (those left standing now have fallen backwards).

My first literary “hero” was Robert G Barrett, bestselling Australian author who wrote about legendary protagonist Les Norton. I still read his books today. Barrett was, at the time (he’s dead now) regarded very much as being “anti-literary.” I love to read cop stories, often referred to as ‘police procedurals’. Michael Connelly is the master of this genre and I could read his stuff all day. There are many others, like Michael Robotham, Karen Slaughter, Jane Harper; the list goes on. 

There are stack of great Aussie crime writers around and I love discovering new writers. I’m always on the lookout for them in the bookstore.

Q. Do you have a favourite book?

A. It’s a bit like asking which child in my favourite! (It’s my first-born, by the way). All jokes aside, I really enjoy any crime book. In 2017 I read a book by American author Don Winslow called “The Force”. If you’re into cop novels – as Molly Meldrum would say – do yourself a favour and read this one.

Q. How much of what you write is autobiographical? 

A. Obviously, as a cop I’ve seen and done lots of interesting things. And, it’s true that a lot of my ideas come from those experiences. But, being a cop is nowhere near as exciting as it is on TV. If I wrote a “real” detective story it would put people to sleep pretty fast! In the end, I write fiction. It’s entertainment. 

Q. Have you ever shot someone?

A. Unlike my character Bo Campbell, no… I’ve never shot anyone. I’ve come close a few times and am thankful it never happened. It’s not something any cop would ever want to do. 

Q. Will there be any more Bo Campbell books? 

A. Most definitely! Bo Campbell is a young detective with a long career ahead of him. There are stacks of adventures planned, which will test him at every turn. Everything from plane crashes, corruption plagued branches, to missing kids and devastating floods. Can’t give too much away!

Q. What advice would you give someone wanting to write a book? 

A. Writing is not as easy as it sounds, but it’s worth it. First, you need to learn the craft. There’s a multitude of organisations out there teaching creative writing skills. You can do it all online if you want.

Second, persist with it. Get the story you want told on paper, then fix it up (edit) from there. You can’t edit nothing! 

Third, join a writers group, go to writers/readers conferences, and connect with other authors. No one in the literary world is competing with you! It’s a bit like golf; you keep your own score. 

Never, never give up. Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has a unique voice.

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