Best-selling author Karin Slaughter gives us the inside scoop on her new book.
Sometimes our names mark out our destinies.
After all, what could bestselling author Karin Slaughter possibly have been, if not a gritty crime writer whose pen has sent many a character to a cold grave?
“I never thought much about my name, although I was teased for it at school,” she says. “It’s my real name but most people never believe that.
“I just love to tell stories and dive into character’s lives and that’s why I write books. My name never pushed me into it.”
Slaughter recently passed through Brisbane to introduce her bevy of loyal readers to her new book, Cop Town. This is the first stand-alone book by Slaughter, who is the author of the New York Times bestselling Will Trent novels.
Set in 1974 in Atlanta, Cop Town follows police officers Kate Murphy and Maggie Lawson as they search for a cop killer and are sidelined by their colleagues.
“I was just fascinated by that time and by women and men who chose to be police officers,” she said. “It was a radical career choice for women back then; I guess it still is today as well. But I talked to female officers from that time and I’ve tried to bring them to life.
“It’s funny, most books are purchased by women but it can still be difficult for female writers to break into the crime and thriller genres.
“People always ask me why I write such strong female characters, which I find strange. Nobody asks Lee Child why he writes strong male characters. I think we write the world we want to see.
“I want to show violence for what it is. For so long, women weren’t expected to talk about these crimes, even though we were more likely to be the victims. I think it’s time we started talking about rape and violence against women.
“When I was growing up, these subjects were “boys only” territory in fiction, so I find it refreshing to see authors like Mo Hayder and Denise Mina really opening up the conversation about abuse and sexual assault.
“This isn’t to say that men are not capable of writing about these topics, only that women authors bring a different perspective.”