Sara Foster chats to fellow crime writer Alexander Thorpe about how life as an editor prepared and failed her for life as an author on this episode of Love to Read Local Radio with Fremantle Press
Sara Foster and Alexander Thorpe have never met, but this podcast feels like the meeting of kindred spirits. From the classic mysteries of Agatha Christie and Josephine Tey to the police procedurals of Val McDermid and the atmospheric psychological thrillers of Nicci French, their discussion of their favourite books is a masterclass in international crime reads.
The pair discuss how Sara’s work as an editor, first for HarperCollins in the UK and then as a freelancer, held her in good stead when it came to the editorial process. As an editor, Sara learned that when pacing your thriller, you need ebb and flow – that without pauses between the peak moments of suspense, you deaden the overall impact, so quiet moments where the readers can breathe are essential. What Sara’s editorial work didn’t show her was the extent of post-publication marketing or just what it takes to get a book out into the world. She says it’s important to allow creative joy to flourish even while the business of being a writer is taking up time and energy.
Alex and Sara have a fascinating chat about her PhD thesis on maternal relationships in dystopian fiction, how to plot, audio books and true crime podcasts before ending with a big bunch of recommended local reads from Nadine Brown, Rachael Johns, Natasha Lester, Dervla McTiernan, Mihaela Nicolescu, Kim Scott, David Whish-Wilson and Tess Woods.
This episode is produced by Fremantle Press for Love to Read Local. To listen to more episodes, subscribe the Fremantle Press Podcast on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.
About Love to Read Local by Writing WA
Love to Read Local is a statewide, online celebration of Western Australian stories, books and writers. While we remain at a social distance in the physical world, let’s get socially closer in the digital world. Visit the Love to Read Local website to connect with other readers, tell us which local books you love to read and perhaps inspire others to read those books too!
About the authors
Alexander Thorpe is from Fremantle, Western Australia. He has written advertising copy for pool cleaners and concrete supply companies, taught English in Joseph Stalin’s home town and almost managed to read half of James Joyce’s Ulysses twice (which is more or less the same as having almost managed to read the whole book). Alex has written for news outlets, travel journals, marketing companies and educational providers, and has recently completed his first novel, Death Leaves the Station.
Sara Foster has written six critically acclaimed novels: Come Back to Me, Beneath the Shadows, Shallow Breath, All That Is Lost Between Us, The Hidden Hours and You Don’t Know Me. She was born and raised in England, and moved to Australia in 2004. She lives in Perth with her husband and two children.
Books and authors mentioned by Sara and Alex
Beneath the Skin by Nicci French
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
Messiah by Boris Starling
1984 by George Orwell
The Coves by David Whish-Wilson
The Whip Hand by Nadine Brown and Mihaela Nicolescu
That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott
Music: ‘Letter to a Daughter of St George’, from the Meat Lunch EP: Songs from Floaters. Written by Alan Fyfe. Performed by Trevor Bentley (guitar and vocals – @trevormb) and Chris Parkinson (harmonica). Produced by Blake Carnaby of Nuglife studios with impresario work by Benjamin P. Newton.
Producer: Claire Miller
Mastered and edited by: Aidan d’Adhemar
Sponsor: This show was made possible with a grant from the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund