Barry Maitland is an award winning Australian author of crime fiction. He has published 15 books, including Crucifixion Creek and Chelsea Mansions. He is author of the acclaimed Brock and Kolla series of crime mystery novels set in London, as well as the Australian mystery thriller Bright Air and the new Belltree Trilogy.
Barry says that it takes a solid six months of research before he will start writing his book. This research process is very intricate and helps him to solidify his characters. “I’m doing the research, I’m visiting the place, I’m talking to people, and I’m trying to clarify the characters who are going to play a part in the story. Sometimes the characters are based on real people that I’ve met in these areas, other times they just develop from the role that I need for them in the story.”
Barry talks about researching crime and the importance of keeping up with the new trends in technology used in criminal investigation. “One of the things that you have to do, of course, is to keep up with what’s going on. The real life situation for a crime investigation is changing all the time and you do have to keep up with technology and the methods and so on, so I do try and do that and certainly sort of look at those shows and read true crime.”
He also says you need to read other crime fiction. “I think it’s important to get a feel for what other people are doing, it keeps you up to the mark to know what new ideas are about. One of the things about crime fiction, of course is that it is constantly evolving, finding new forms, new writers, and that’s very exciting.”