"A savvy, entertaining environmental thriller" The Age

'The best Antarctic thriller since Ice Station.' James Phelan

Antarctica is the coldest, most isolated place on earth. Luke Searle, maverick glaciologist, has made it his home. But soon his survival skills will be tested to the limit by a ruthless mercenary who must win at any cost.

The white continent is under attack. The Australian team is being hunted down. Can Luke stay alive long enough to raise the alarm?The countdown has begun. T minus 5 days, 2 hours and 53 minutes … 

Download the first chapter of Thirst here.

 

Praise for L.A. Larkin ...

'Action that hits like an icepick in the back of the head.' John Birmingham, author

'A savvy, entertaining environmental thriller.' The Age 

‘A frantic rollercoaster of plot twists until the final resolution.’ The Herald Sun   

'Deserves comparisons to Michael Crichton and John Grisham' ABC North Queensland

'This Antarctic thriller is a rollicking good read, with a true hero and fabulous accompanying cast' Vanda Symon, author

LARKIN'S LATEST

Welcome to my blog, Larkin’s Latest. Twice a week I will post an article on topics such as thriller writing; book reviews; details of my events or those of other authors; updates on my next thriller; the research I am doing; environmental, social and political news; as well as the latest from Antarctica – the setting of Thirst.

10 June, 2014

What makes a compelling central character?

Thrillers and detective fiction, by their very nature, demand complex and intriguing plots. But when you hear readers talk about the crime fiction they love, it's the characters they remember: Harry Bosch, Jack Reacher, John Rebus, Dr Tony Hill, Precious Ramotswe, Hercule Poirot, and so on. For me, creating fascinating, emotionally engaging, complex and credible central characters that readers enjoy spending time with, is one of the most critical tasks I have as an author.

“I think that a crime novel – like any story – succeeds or fails on the basis of character,” says Michael Connelly, the creator of Detective Harry Bosch. “Creating and sustaining a main character with whom the reader makes empathetic connection is the biggest ball you must juggle when you are writing one of these things. It is also the most difficult task.”
 
For some  authors, the central character's journey is almost more important than solving the crime. This can be said of Peter Temple. ...
19 May, 2014

I ran a detective crime fiction course recently at the NSW Writers' Centre and I kicked off with a very brief history of the detective novel and the different styles and sub-genres of detective stories available today. As I'm sure everyone knows, the 1920s was the "Golden Age" of crime fiction, a time when the amazing Agatha Christie was working her magic. In 1928, a gentleman by the name of S.S. Van Dine created his "Twenty rules for writing detective stories". Many remain true today, but when I read them they always make me smile because he is so very black and white about what constitutes a detective novel. I particularly like rules 6 and 7: 

6. The detective novel must have a detective in it; and a detective is not a detective unless he detects. His function is to gather clues that will eventually lead to the person who did the dirty work in the first chapter; and if the detective does not reach his conclusions through an analysis of those clues, he has no more solved his problem than the schoolboy who gets his answer out of the back of the arithmetic...
09 April, 2014

I was very honoured to be asked to join Mark Colvin on his PM radio show to talk about censorship recently. Here is a link to the conversation transcript and the audio file so you can listen to it, if you wish.

The PM, Tony Abbott, has recently attacked the ABC, claiming it is biased and not on Australia's side. In my opinion, what he's really complaining about is that the ABC is, in fact, reporting in an unbiased way and is asking the PM awkward questions. He doesn't want the ABC to talk about Edward Snowden or about the plight of boat people arriving here. He prefers the tame press who know that if they keep the PM happy, he'll give them the scoops. There is very little true journalism left. The days when journalism was about uncovering the truth, no matter whom it might upset, are almost gone. There are powerful corporations to consider, mining contracts to take into account. In the UK, the BBC, The Guardian and The Independent soldier on and do a valiant job. In the USA, The New York Times...
05 April, 2014

After being on the receiving end of Chinese censorship, I wonder if China's ever-widening powers over free speech will even be discussed when Tony Abbott's trade delegation arrives there next week, writes L.A. Larkin.

I was asked to write a piece for ABC's The Drum, which was published yesterday, 4 April. My story has highlighted China's efforts to control what is said about it beyond its own borders, at a time when our PM, Tony Abbott, is gearing up for his visit to China next week, accompanied by many of our top corporations. Click here, to read my article in The Drum.

04 April, 2014

Fascinating piece in The Sydney Morning Herald by Nick Galvin on 2 April 2014. It has to be read to be believed. Follow this link to the site here. In it the MD of Reader's Digest Australia, Walter Beyleveldt, 'flatly denies there has been any censorship,' when their printers in China insisted that the words Falun Gong and references to torture of a Falun Gong practitioner in my thriller, Thirst, due be in a Reader's Digest volume, must be deleted. When I said I would not allow China to censor my work, Thirst was removed from the Reader's Digest volume. 

Beyleveldt's comments in The Sydney Morning Herald article has caused outrage around the world from authors, journalists, bloggers and from the book-loving public because he is denying Reader's Digest has caved into Chinese censorship. 

Here are just some of the hundreds of tweets about this article...

01 April, 2014

I never thought I'd see the day when my thrillers would come to the attention of the Chinese Government. But THIRST, my Antarctic thriller, has done exactly that. A condensed version of the story was due to be released in a Reader's Digest fiction volume destined for Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and India. Not, I might add, for the Chinese market. But the Chinese printers contacted Reader's Digest demanding that the words Falun Gong be removed and that a character's torture, because she would not recant her beliefs, was to be changed, using the word 'torment' instead of 'torture'. I refused, and I was withdrawn from the Reader's Digest volume. 

If you would like to know more, please follow this link to Nick Cohen's article in The Guardian and The Observer in the UK Sunday 30 March 2014, and the Australian Guardian.

I would like to add that Reader's Digest was caught between a...

RESEARCH LINKS

Herald Sun, Antarctic Ice Melting,...

In this interview at The Sydney...

This video demonstrates how to...