Anne here, and today I'm interviewing Sulari Gentill, an Australian writer who writes excellent historical crime novels, set in the 1930's, with absolutely gorgeous covers, similar to travel posters of the times.
Some of you might remember that I recommended Sulari's books back in April. Now she and a small group of other Australian crime writers are about to tour the USA and I thought I'd ask Sulari a few questions about her series.
Anne: Sulari, where did the original inspiration for a crime series set in the 1930's come from?
Sulari: Writing can be quite an isolating obsession. I spend a great deal of time in my own head, and while that’s fine for me, it is awkward for those who live with me… or rather, live with my body while my mind is wandering. For me, great part of the challenge in being a writer is making my imaginary world work with the real world in which I actually live. And so I made a pragmatic decision to build a bridge towards the poor man who had married a lawyer and then found himself financially and otherwise tied to someone who refused to do much else but write.
I looked for a story to which my husband could relate, so that I could bring him into my head… and perhaps not have to come out so often, myself. Michael’s particular area of expertise is in the extreme right-wing movements of the early 1930s in Australia and the world, and so, conveniently, it is this context in which the Rowland Sinclair Series is set.
By basing my books in this period, I rather cleverly ensured Michael would keep editing my novels—he cares far too much about the genuine history of the time to let me play with it unsupervised! I also procured for myself an invaluable source of information. It is one thing to read about a time, and another to have the opportunity to discuss it with someone who is an expert in the era. For me, a dialogue with an historian affords a richer understanding and fuels the kind of creative excitement that is fundamental to bringing history to life.