British-Australian thriller author, L.A. Larkin, has been likened to Michael Crichton and Matthew Reilly. The Genesis Flaw was nominated for four crime fiction awards and Thirst described as, 'The best Antarctic thriller since Ice Station'. An adventurer at heart, Larkin has spent time in the Antarctic, with scientists at the British Antarctic Survey and the Australian Antarctic Division. Her latest t thriller, Devour, is out now.
L. A. Larkin lives in Sydney and London, and teaches mystery and thriller writing.
What makes a daring woman?
I believe a daring woman is someone who has courage to do and say what she thinks is right and to pursue her goals and ambition, regardless of the barriers in her path. I often think of the women in countries where they have no rights, are prone to horrific abuse and are denied education. The women who strive to change this situation are women who deserve out support and admiration.
What has been your most daring move?
On a mental level, I’d say leaving a well-paid job to start on the rocky road to becoming a thriller author. I had always wanted to write novels, but the fear of failure held me back. Writing a novel is like baring your soul to public scrutiny.
On a physical level, I’d say surviving a blizzard in Antarctica. I’m a bit of an adventurer and I like to explore the remote and often hazardous locations in my stories. During my time in Antarctica I experienced my first extreme blizzard, known as a white-out, in which the air is so thick with swirling ice particles that you can’t see the horizon, your feet, and sometimes, even your hands. It is totally disorienting and impacts your balance. Experienced expeditioners have died in white-outs, but I was lucky I was with people who knew what they were doing. That scary experience, however, has enabled me to write the blizzard scene in the opening chapter of Devour.
Tell us about the daring woman in your novel?
The central character of my new thriller, Devour, is a great example of a daring woman. Olivia Wolfe is an investigative journalist who seeks out the corrupt and the criminal, all over the world. She has cut her teeth reporting from war zones like Afghanistan, Iraq and The Crimea. She will pursue the truth no matter the obstacles or threats. She does get hurt. But she keeps going. In Devour, Wolfe must battle her inner demons and strive to leave her past behind. This also takes courage.
Why did you choose a female protagonist?
I have always loved reading action and conspiracy thrillers, which probably explains why I write them too. Often, the central character in this style of thriller is male, possibly because of the physical danger in these types of stories. However, I wanted to create a dynamic, intriguing and credible female central character who could hold her own in life-threatening situations. I decided Olivia Wolfe would be an investigative journalist because it enabled her to pursue people who have done terrible wrongs and to travel to different countries, which keeps each book in the series fresh and exciting. For many years I used to read the reports in The Sunday Times by investigative journalist Marie Colvin, and I admired her great courage, reporting as she did from battle zones. Tragically, Colvin died in the siege of Homs in 2012. I have strived to capture some of Colvin’s bravery in the character of Wolfe.
Tell us a bit more about your latest book …
Devour is an action-adventure thriller with a spine-chilling psychological thriller sub-plot. Olivia Wolfe must unravel a complex web of lies if she is to stop the release of an ancient biological weapon that will decimate civilisation.
This intricate mystery will take you from the poppy palaces of Afghanistan, to Antarctica’s forbidding wind-swept ice sheets; from the UK’s top secret, biological warfare laboratory, and, finally, to a target in the USA who must be saved at any cost. But Wolfe’s choice will not be a simple one: she must choose between saving one life or the obliteration of many.
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