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Interview With Author Lee Christine

I am thrilled to be bringing you an interview with Lee Christine. Lee is the author of three crime novels with romantic elements set in Australia’s iconic Snowy Mountains.

Lets find out more.

Tell me about yourself.

I live in Newcastle, New South Wales, with my husband and my Irish Wheaten Terrier, Honey. I have an adult daughter and son both in their thirties. My daughter lives in Newcastle and my son lives in California. My husband I live close to the beach and enjoy walking around the beautiful beaches and parks in our neighborhood.

You did not start writing until your fifties. What would you say to women who believe they are too old to follow their dreams?

I’d say you are never too old to follow your dreams, and especially if your dream is to write a book. I believe you need a certain amount of lived experience that you can draw upon to write a novel. Honestly, I don’t think I could have written a novel in my twenties and thirties. And if your dream is to write your memoir, or poetry, or you simply want to write in a journal, I say go for it.

What do you like to read?

Mostly crime novels. I love anything written by Sandra Brown. I also love Tana French’s novels (In the Woods and The Likeness were made into the BBC series The Dublin Murders). I love Michael Connolly’s Harry Bosch series, and David Baldacci’s Amos Decker series. I read The Famous Five, Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden’s books when I was young and Agatha Christie when I was a teenager, so I’ve always had a love of crime fiction.

You have written six romantic suspense books and three alpine crime books. What inspired these stories?

I’ve worked in legal offices in Newcastle and Sydney, taught legal office duties at TAFE, and worked as a practice manager, and I have been married to a lawyer for 40 years, so I have been surrounded by and exposed to the law for many years. This background was the inspiration for my first three romantic suspense novels and my current work in progress which is a police procedural/legal mystery set in Newcastle. My novel, A Dangerous Arrangement, was written after a trip to Italy and a cruise along the Amalfi Coast. My Snowy Mountains crime trilogy was inspired by my love for Australia’s alpine regions. I have been a skier for many years, and my daughter worked as a ski instructor for seven seasons while she was at university. I’ve probably visited Australia’s high country more than any other location and felt very comfortable setting my alpine crime books there.

You passion for music, law, and the snow come to life in your stories. Are you a great believer in the adage ‘write what you know’?

I think I must be! I certainly feel more in control of the narrative when I’m writing about something I’m familiar with. But of course, you can’t know everything, and that’s when research comes in.

How do you approach penning a crime novel?

I spend many hours thinking about it, so many hours. With my current WIP, I began with thinking about the judicial bubble, how judges exist in their cloistered environment. As my last three novels have been police procedurals showcasing the homicide squad, I thought for this book, being set in Newcastle, I’d feature a regional detective, although he used to be in the homicide squad, so he has those links and that experience. Then I wanted to bring in the murky relationship between the police and journalists, so my female protagonist became a journalist. It seems as though I begin with an idea, and then start thinking of the characters and then develop the story which brings them into each other’s orbit, which is the plot.

Tell me about your latest release?

Haha! See above!

What comes first for you, the plot, or the characters?

The characters. Once I get a handle on who they are I can develop a plot which brings them together.

Which one of your characters would you most get along with and why?

Vanessa from my Snowy Mountains trilogy. We could probably talk about skiing and ski fields all day.

What advice would you give an aspiring author?

If you really want to write, put as much time aside as you can and sit down and do it. Like exercise, you have to make the time. Writing is an isolating occupation, so if you’re an extrovert and your priority in life is socializing, you may find it difficult working alone for long stretches. I tend to cope with that by catching up with old friends between books. And you do develop friendships with other writers through writing groups and festivals etc, which is natural as you have this incredible occupation in common.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love bush walking and walking with my dog. I love having coffee and lunch with my family and friends. I love visiting my son and daughter-in-law in America. And I love skiing, love that bite in the air come winter.

Thanks to Lee for sharing the inspiration behind the stories. If you would like to check out Lee's work, click on the links below.

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