Phillipa (PD) Martin is author of the Sophie Anderson series featuring an Australian FBI officer. Her novels include Body Count, Fan Mail and Kiss of Death.
PD (Philippa) Martin started out writing non- fiction books, but then discovered she actually really loved the process of writing and slowly transitioned herself into crime fiction. Philippa talks her transition between non-fiction to fiction. “It wasn’t really that hard for me to switch hats in that – I know it sounds strange probably, but it was still writing and I love the process of writing. Because when I was younger I had read so much, and particularly my two loves when I was younger were fantasy novels. And I also started off early in crime fiction like Nancy Drew, and Famous Five, moving onto Agatha Christie. So, I was really going back. My first novels were going back to my love of fantasy and then Body Count was going back to my love of crime.”
KEEPING WITH THE TIMES
Phillipa had a childhood fascination with crime fiction novels, but recognises that modern-day crime fiction has evolved. “I think when I was younger, for me it was the real mystery of it in terms of trying to work out who had done it, a bit like a puzzle, or a longer high-level puzzle and I really enjoyed that element of it.
“Now, for me, I think crime fiction has changed a lot since I was reading when I was kid to now. You’ve got a lot of people who’ve come into the genre with backgrounds as forensic pathologists, or forensic assistants, or law enforcement people. So, it’s become much gushier and much more realistic. Of course, the science behind it has changed itself. I mean when I was reading Agatha Christie … Agatha Christie’s books they don’t have DNA, and all the high-tech science stuff.
“I think in some ways that actually quite appeals to me. I did go into sciences in high school. I think there’s also a part of me that is interested in that. Certainly when I do my research, I love researching all of the forensics and all of the different tests they do to work out a brand of lipstick on a shirt. It’s something that I really enjoy.”
WRITE SOMETHING EVERY DAY
“So much of writing is a craft and something that you refine, and that you can get better and better at as you go. So, I would definitely say write something every day, if it’s just a journal, or a paragraph about what the weather is like, or anything – just to actually be in the practice of writing.”
Listen to the Australian Writers’ Centre’s spine-tingling Murder and Mayhem podcast here.