When we asked our beautiful New York based crime writer Alafair Burke, where she gained her passion and experience for all-things-crime we weren’t expecting the incredible behind the (crime) scenes story she was about to tell. From childhood to her newest book, Never Tell, the article below uncovers why Alafair is just so good at writing crime:
Where it all began…
It all began in Alafair’s childhood. Her parents moved the family in the late 1970’s from the chaos of a changing southern Florida to a supposedly quiet and provincial neighborhood in Wichita, Kansas. The moving boxes had just been unpacked when Wichita police announced a connection between seven unsolved murders of women and children. The man who claimed responsibility called himself BTK, a gruesome acronym, short for “Bind, Torture, Kill.” The Burke’s new home fell squarely within the serial killer’s stalking territory. Like other children in Wichita in that era, Alafair learned to check the phone lines to make sure they weren’t cut, to keep the basement door locked at all times, and to barricade herself in the bathroom with the phone if she had to call 911.
Here’s Stuart’s plan:‘For a writer, there’s nothing quite like a good excuse to get out of the house, and this one’s perfect. Not only do we all get to raise money for a really important cause, we get to go out and tour Aberdeen, poke our noses into its seedy fictional underbelly, then nip off to the nearest pub for a bit of fortification before moving on to the next scene. Think of it as a semi-educational stag-night, only without the general rowdiness, stripper, and inevitable kebab. What’s not to love?’
Travel to Aberdeen from anywhere in the UK and accommodation at one of the finest hotels Aberdeen has to offer are also included.
To win, all you have to do is vote for the new morgue to be named after Stuart at www.millionforamorgue.com – you’ll get one competition entry for each £1 donated to the campaign, so the more votes, the more likely you are to win. The winner will be picked from the hat on 29 February.
Genevieve is currently working with the Crime and Thriller department for two weeks in order to gain work experience. Look out for another article from her on her experience in our department.
“Crime novels are about life, death, love, loss and broken minds”
I read a fascinating article in the Irish Examiner about female crime fiction writers and it got me thinking…why are women so attracted to this particular genre?
The presumption is that men, seen as naturally more aggressive, are more inclined to read novels of crime, violence, blood, guts and gore. But it seems as if the opposite is true.
The article, Murder, She Wrote by author and journalist Declan Burke, explores the opinions of four of the leading lights of the current wave of Irish crime writing – Alex Barclay, Arlene Hunt, Niamh O’Connor and Ava McCarthy. All women who prove that the female author is very often deadlier than the male.
One of the explanations given for this gravitation towards the more sinister side of fiction is due to what Barclay sees as “a compulsion to understand” a broken mind; a need to know how the darker side of humanity works. Perhaps the reason for this attraction is that crime fiction gives women an opportunity to explore the psychological motivations of a killer in the safe confines of the pages of a book.