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‘Ice-pick-sharp, packed with intrigue, action and spine-chilling suspense. Devour will keep you gripped from the very first page’ Kathryn Fox

Larkin's Latest

Welcome to my blog, Larkin’s Latest. News on thriller authors and great books to read, the writing process and festivals, incredible people I interview and exciting story locations, courses I run, and things that make me laugh!

Danger, action and adrenaline-pumping tension

January 15, 2016

Do you love the idea of writing your own crime or thriller novel? Can you spend a weekend in Sydney with me and aspiring authors for my Crime Fiction and Thriller Writing weekend course on 6 and 7 February 2016 at the Australian Writers Centre?

The top 10 living crime fiction authors have sold 450 million books and that figure just keeps rising. Do you love gritty detectives, troubled PIs and cool FBI agents? Or are you a fan of fast-paced, high stakes thrillers with a hero plunged into danger on a seemingly impossible mission? Crime and thriller novels dominate the bestseller lists around the world. Just think of Michael Connelly, Dan Brown, Stieg Larsson, David Baldacci, Patricia Cornwall, Janet Evanovich or Michael Robotham? Or shows like The Bourne Identity, Law and Order, Sherlock and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • different types of crime fiction and thrillers – and what kind of story yours is
  • core ‘ingredients’ of a detective story and a classic thriller
  • techniques to discover your story
  • researching your story
  • creating intriguing and well-rounded central characters
  • opening paragraphs to your novel, hooking your reader
  • creating a sense of place in your story
  • writing action scenes
  • managing pace and building suspense
  • discovering your story’s climax
  • publishing options available, and the market for crime fiction and thrillers today.
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Thirst gets 4 star review

January 12, 2016

Helen Goltz Reviews has given 4 stars to THIRST over the Chrsitmas break. I am so proud this action-conspiracy thriller is still getting such lovely reviews.

‘Move over Matthew Reilly’s Scarecrow because Luke Searle is in town. I loved Reilly’s Scarecrow series and I was looking for a thriller that would keep me on the edge of my seat. I found it in Thirst. This is a fantastic read by L.A. Larkin.’

You can read more of the review here.

Thank you, Helen!

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The Rise of the Present Tense

December 2, 2015

Olivia Wolfe’s head slams into the passenger window, dislodging the scarf that conceals her Western features, as the dented Toyota Corolla – Kabul’s favourite car – bounces out of a pot hole. Hastily covering her head, she fails to notice she is being watched by an old, bearded Mesher in a black turban standing at the roadside, who raises a mobile phone to his ear.

‘Can’t we go any faster?’ she asks Shinwari.

(Extract from my new thriller which is still to be edited).

In The Guardian there’s an interesting article about the rise of the present tense in fiction. In it Richard Lea says Kevin Barry, Hilary Mantel and David Mitchell are just some of the many fiction authors using the present tense because of the way it lends immediacy and intimacy to the story and characters.

‘Some books just come alive in the present tense in a way I feel they don’t when told in the past tense,’ says Mitchell.

I couldn’t agree more and that is why my new thriller series starring Olivia Wolfe is in the present tense. I wanted my readers to feel they were in the action and experiencing her thoughts and feelings ‘live’. It happened naturally. I started writing the novel and I found it in the present tense. It was like watching a reality TV show with a camera crew looking over Olivia’s shoulder. I found the emotional engagement with her was more intense and I hope readers will experience this intensity of her fear and horror and fury and joy, just as I did as the author. I also found that Olivai Wolfe’s viewpoint worked best in third person present tense, but when I was inside the head of the psychopathic stalker I was in first person present tense. The reader doesn’t know who the stalker is but sees what is going on inside this mysterious person’s head.

The present tense seems natural for capturing ‘the jitter and flux of events, the texture of them and their ungraspable speed,’ says Hilary Mantel.


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Thrilling locations

November 16, 2015

I’m going to sound like an estate agent when I say, ‘Location, location, location!’

One of the many reasons I love writing thrillers is that I get to research and, whenever possible, visit the locations of my novels. If you want a dramatic action scene, yes there needs to be exciting and credible action, but the location can make it even more dangerous and even more breath-taking.

I’ve been working on a new thriller series with an investigative journalist central character, Olivia Wolfe. Resourceful and brave, a champion of those who cannot speak out for themselves, she travels the world to uncover corruption, conspiracies and heinous crimes. So here are some images that have inspired this new thriller. If you know these places, please let me know on LA Larkin Facebook or LALarkinAuthor Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!


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My alter ego’s UK book launch: Louisa Bennet

October 9, 2015

Flying into the UK on a sunny afternoon reminds me England is still a very ‘green and pleasant land’. It’s the location of my new funny mystery series which kicks off with the launch of Monty & Me (published by Harper Collins, Avon) on 22 October 2015.

Monty & Me is very different from anything I’ve written before and is published under the pseudonym Louisa Bennet. It’s amusing, charming and quintessentially an English murder mystery with a twist: the furry four-legged kind! It’s about a dog, Monty, who solves crimes that have humans stumped and will appeal to yound and old, lovers of humorous fiction, mysteries, as well as dog lovers. Imagine the TV series Inspector Rex, narrated by Rex, the canine super-sleuth.

I’m very happy to say that international best selling mystery author Peter James has given it a big thumbs up, which makes me very proud.

“Charming and uplifting, Monty is the new kid on the block among animal sleuths.”


And here is a sneak peak of the gorgeous hardback cover. It should melt your heart. It’ll be available widely in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and later on in Germany and the website will help you find a store that stocks the book. Enjoy!


> Read More

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