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L.A. Larkin

Author, Social Commentator

British-Australian thriller author, L.A. Larkin, has been likened to Michael Crichton and Ian Fleming. The Genesis Flaw was nominated for four crime fiction awards and Thirst described as, ‘the best Antarctic thriller since Ice Station.’ Her latest thriller, Devour (July 2016), has been praised by authors such as Peter James and Kathryn Fox, and James Phelan describes Larkin as ‘a world-class thriller writer.’ An adventurer at heart, Larkin has spent time in the Antarctic, and with scientists at the British Antarctic Survey and the Australian Antarctic Division. In between creating the Olivia Wolfe thriller series, she writes humorous mysteries as Louisa Bennet. Larkin moves between Sydney and London, and teaches mystery and thriller writing.

To stay up to date with L.A. Larkin, see her website, Facebook or Twitter.

Where were you born?

London and migrated to Australia in 1998. A few years later I became a citizen.

What other jobs have you had?

After a successful career in magazine publishing, where I became publisher, I returned to university to study corporate responsibility, sustainability and strategic public relations at the University of Sydney. I was awarded a merit scholarship for academic excellence. I went on to work for one of Sydney’s leading climate change consultancies, Energetics. Since the success of The Genesis Flaw, I divide my time between writing novels, my public speaking engagements and running thriller writing courses and workshops.

What themes are recurring in your work?

My thrillers tap into the hot political, social and environmental issues of our time, such as climate change and food and water security. I believe all creative endeavour seeks to explain the human condition – who we are and how we interact with this world.

What are you passionate about?

My own writing and encouraging other people to write. I am very passionate about my thriller writing courses and workshops. I am one of the very few Australian thriller authors who teach creative writing on an on-going basis.

What have been the highlights of your career?

I feel incredibly lucky to have been invited to speak at so many book festivals including Sydney, Brisbane, Literati, Byron Bay, GenreCon and even The UK’s Guildford Book Festival and CrimeFest 2013. I love doing radio interviews and have really enjoyed being live in air with the likes of James Valentine from 702 ABC Sydney and Michael Cathcart from the ABC’s Books & Arts Daily Show. I was thrilled to chair a panel debate on Antarctica Under Threat and I get a real thrill out of teaching children about Antarctica. I have met incredible authors like Michael Robotham, Val McDermid, Tara Moss and John Birmingham. But the biggest kick of all is when someone tells me how much they enjoyed one of my books.

Haven’t I seen you before?

Possibly. I have appeared on Channel 7’s Today Tonight program with my hacker source. Or perhaps we’ve met at festivals or when I was doing a talk at a conference/ corporate event. Look forward to meeting you again!

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

To research Devour and Thirst, I have spent time in Antarctica, and also at the British Antarctic Survey and the Australian Antarctic Division. My next thriller is set in South Africa and touches on the brutal rhino poaching that is going to lead to their extinction in the next ten years if these magnificent gentle giants cannot be protected. I am happy to share my experiences of both Antarctica and South Africa, and talk about conservation.

Testimonials

There is nothing as motivating and enthralling as having a speaker who has actually experienced first-hand the thrill of being blown around on the ocean, has motored around an iceberg or who has come fact to face with a penguin. As an added bonus (and ticking all the right boxes for cross-curriculum studies), having LA Larkin, an author who has set her latest book in Antarctica, was an absolute winner for our students.

The writers amongst the group were immediately hooked that here was someone who was using their real life experience to write a thriller based in Antarctica. LA Larkin is an experienced and relaxed presenter who takes care to target her presentation to the right age group. Our students learned many facts in a fun and interactive way, consolidating what we had researched in class.

The PowerPoint that accompanied her talk was attention-grabbing and she was more than happy to run over time in order to satisfy the students’ curiosity about Antarctica.

—V. Dart, Newcastle Grammar, December 2012

There were people with quite varied interests in the audience and L.A. Larkin managed to engage them all. She got non-thriller readers keen to pick up thrillers, non-environmentalists interested in the environmental issues surrounding Antarctica and had everyone in the room intrigued with the relationship between the research process and the development of the characters and storyline.“

—D. Abbott, Campbelltown City Council Library, November 2012

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