Friday, 5 October 2018

BEST OF CRIME with Louisa de Lange

Welcome to my latest BEST OF CRIME feature, looking at crime writers' top picks, from their favourite author and fictional detective to their best writing tip. 

Today I'm delighted to welcome 


to share her BEST OF CRIME ...

When I was growing up I read a lot of Stephen King. While not strictly crime, they are a master class in writing thrilling, gripping stories. And I loved the element of something different - things were never as they seemed at first glance. This was a huge influence when I came to putting my own pen to paper, and these aspects have sneaked through for both The Dream Wife and my second novel, Double Take.

I love a good story, clever dialogue, a twist that makes me gasp, and preferably a romance thrown in, so Ocean’s 11 has to be at the top for me as one of the best crime capers out there. And Brad Pitt and George Clooney together in one movie doesn’t hurt either…

I have just started rewatching Castle, and remembering how unashamedly beautifully cheesy it is. A mystery writer teams up with a New York detective to solve murders! I love a bit of easy escapism and this is definitely that.
Away from the cheese, I’m a devotee to NCIS (all versions), Criminal MindsCSI  (all versions, always on repeat), ElementaryBlindspot, The Mentalist, Bones and most recently, Killing Eve. Stick a handsome-slash-beautiful troubled FBI agent-slash-homicide detective in the plot and I’m there! (And yes, I do watch a lot of television!)

Patrick Bateman. I read American Psycho while I was at university and didn’t dare go out for a week. Patrick Bateman was such a terrifying misogynistic psychopath, he has stuck with me ever since. And I’ve never dared read it again. Then, of course, there’s the debate around the ending, which I loved for its ambiguity and skill.

I love anything written by Kate Atkinson, but especially the Jackson Brodie novels. Kate Atkinson has a way of creating characters so rich in believable detail, down to the smallest observations about a person, that I couldn’t help be swept up in him and his investigations.

Roald Dahl’s darker side is often very clear in his children’s books but I have always loved the macabre short story from Tales of the Unexpected where a wife kills her husband with a leg of lamb, then cooks it and serves it to the police officer investigating his murder. It’s so brilliantly cold and calculating!

I would have to say the death of Brad Pitt’s wife in Se7en, poor old Gwyneth, is one that sticks in my mind. It isn’t a death you see on screen, but it’s certainly one of the most shocking and heart breaking I can remember – and also so integral for the plot. I remember everyone in the cinema shouting, “Don’t look in the box, Brad! Don’t look in the box!”

I always get a clear idea of what my characters and locations are like when I’m writing, and I find Pinterest is a great place to collect all these images together. It then acts as inspiration when I get stuck and a reference for anything descriptive. It’s also a wonderful way to procrastinate so I do have to be careful. Too many hours lost getting distracted!

Just write! I find the writing process very organic, and the ideas and inspiration doesn’t seem to flow until I’m actually getting words down on the page. Then once the first draft is done I’ll rip it all apart, plan my chapters and make sure the story I want to tell makes sense. But getting those words down is the first step, and often the hardest, mentally.

Writing is not a great profession for the waistline, so I try to avoid smuggling food into my study. (Especially chocolate. Definitely chocolate.) However, a cup of tea is my constant companion. It’s always a good excuse to take me away from the desk and have a think - many a plot line has been worked through standing by a boiling kettle.

Louisa de Lange is a freelance copywriter, mum of a little boy and a keen runner, blogger and photographer. Turns out the combination of psychology and motherhood is a potent one.

Find Louisa de Lange on her website here and on Twitter - @paperclipgirl


Publisher's description
Annie is the dream wife.
Mother to two-year-old Johnny and wife to David, she is everything her husband expects her to be - supportive, respectful and mild - but what he expects isn't who she truly is.
Annie is a prisoner in her home.
Her finances, her routine, her social life are all controlled by him. It's the love for her boy that she lives for, and at night she dreams of a world where she is free.
But Annie is going to fight back.

The Dream Wife was published in paperback by Orion Books on 4 October 2018.

Look out for more BEST OF CRIME features coming soon.

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