Tag Archives: crime fiction

Publication day – Would you like a dash of sunshine with your noir?

1 Aug

My new Olivia Grace teen PI novel, ‘Trouble is my Business’ comes out today – hooray! It’s the second in my teen mystery series set on the Gold Coast, and in Byron Bay.

Most people who read crime fiction are familiar with Nordic noir, also known as Scandinavian noir. It’s all about dark deeds in cold countries with morose detectives. Think ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ or ‘Miss Smilla’s feeling for Snow’. 

‘Trouble is My Business’ is pretty much the opposite of that. It’s not Nordic noir, but sunshine noir. In teen PI, Olivia Grace’s world everything is fun and colourful on the surface, but rotten underneath. The sea is sparkling, but dark deeds are afoot.

Olivia might not be treading the mean streets of urban California like Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, or Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone, but her beat has its share of both glamour and grunge.

As in the Florida crime novels of Carl Hiassen and Elmore Leonard, the happy holiday exterior provides cover for a seedy underbelly. Florida has been called a sunny place for shady people, and this could be said of the Gold Coast and Byron Bay as well. An eclectic mix of real estate developers, tourists, and eco-warriors can lead to a whole lot of trouble.

In ‘Trouble is My Business’, as Olivia gazes out at the sparkling blue sea in Byron Bay, she muses that people would, quite literally, kill for this.

Brisbane launch:

‘Trouble is my Business’ will be launched by Kay Kerr, author of ‘Please Don’t Hug Me’ at Where the Wild Things Are, in West End, Brisbane, on August 19th, 6.30pm. This is a free event, but bookings are essential. Click here to register.

Here’s the blurb …

Olivia Grace, recently retired teen PI, has her priorities sorted. Pass first-year law, look after her little sister, and persuade her parents to come back from a Nepali monastery to resume … well, parenting. But after Olivia’s friend Abbey goes missing in Byron Bay, she can’t sit back and study Torts. It’s time to go undercover as hippie-chick Nansea, in hippie-chic Byron Bay: hub of influencers and international tourism, and home of yoga, surfing and wellness culture, against a breathtaking backdrop, a short drive from Olivia’s Gold Coast home.

Olivia’s looking for answers, with the help of her stash of disguises, the PI skills her irresistible ex-boss Rosco taught her … and a nose for trouble. Her suspects include a hard-core surfer who often argued with Abbey in the surf, a charismatic cult leader and an acrobatic botany student. And then there’s Rosco, officially assigned to the case, and proving impossible to avoid.

Lisa Walker’s second Olivia Grace novel is another rip-roaring excursion into madcap sunshine noir, with nods to Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes, and a flavour of Veronica Mars meets Elmore Leonard.

Goodreads

Add ‘Trouble is my Business’ to your to-be-read list on Goodreads.

Order

Order ‘Trouble is my Business’

Early reviews

‘I loved being swept up in this mystery. A wonderful combination of comical, high-stakes and genuine.’ 

Emily Gale, author of ‘We are out with Lanterns’

‘New mystery, new trouble, new(ish) normcore clothes… Forget Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew, teen PI Olivia Grace going deep undercover as Nansea is everything I never knew I needed. 

Fearless, fun and fake tanned, has Olivia found the perfect disguise in Nansea to take on cults, bad boy surfers and dangerously attractive acrobats? 

Trouble is my Business kept me reading, guessing and laughing late into the night.’

R.W.R McDonald, author of ‘The Nancys’

‘I am here for a brilliant young protagonist who’s solving mysteries and showing up for herself. A page-turning read.’ 

Claire Christian, author of ‘Beautiful Mess’

‘Hilarious, tender and fun, this sun-drenched teen PI mystery drips with humour and style. I adored it.’ 

Poppy Nwosu, author of ‘Taking Down Evelyn Tait’

‘Trouble is my Business’ Book Launch

9 Jul

My second Olivia Grace teen PI novel, ‘Trouble is my Business’, comes out on August 1st! It’s had some lovely early reviews and I’m pretty excited about it.

I’m thrilled to be launching ‘Trouble is my Business’ as a Byron Writers Festival satellite event on Saturday August 7th, 6pm. Kayte Nunn, bestselling author of ‘The Last Reunion’, will be doing the honours and it should be a fun evening. It’s a free event, but click here to book on Eventbrite.

Here’s the blurb …

Olivia Grace, recently retired teen PI, has her priorities sorted. Pass first-year law, look after her little sister, and persuade her parents to come back from a Nepali monastery to resume … well, parenting. But after Olivia’s friend Abbey goes missing in Byron Bay, she can’t sit back and study Torts. It’s time to go undercover as hippie-chick Nansea, in hippie-chic Byron Bay: hub of influencers and international tourism, and home of yoga, surfing and wellness culture, against a breathtaking backdrop, a short drive from Olivia’s Gold Coast home.

Olivia’s looking for answers, with the help of her stash of disguises, the PI skills her irresistible ex-boss Rosco taught her … and a nose for trouble. Her suspects include a hard-core surfer who often argued with Abbey in the surf, a charismatic cult leader and an acrobatic botany student. And then there’s Rosco, officially assigned to the case, and proving impossible to avoid.

Lisa Walker’s second Olivia Grace novel is another rip-roaring excursion into madcap sunshine noir, with nods to Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes, and a flavour of Veronica Mars meets Elmore Leonard.

Goodreads

Add ‘Trouble is my Business’ to your to-be-read list on Goodreads.

Pre-order

Pre-order ‘Trouble is my Business’

Early reviews

‘I loved being swept up in this mystery. A wonderful combination of comical, high-stakes and genuine.’ 

Emily Gale, author of ‘We are out with Lanterns’

‘New mystery, new trouble, new(ish) normcore clothes… Forget Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew, teen PI Olivia Grace going deep undercover as Nansea is everything I never knew I needed. 

Fearless, fun and fake tanned, has Olivia found the perfect disguise in Nansea to take on cults, bad boy surfers and dangerously attractive acrobats? 

Trouble is my Business kept me reading, guessing and laughing late into the night.’

R.W.R McDonald, author of ‘The Nancys’

‘I am here for a brilliant young protagonist who’s solving mysteries and showing up for herself. A page-turning read.’ 

Claire Christian, author of ‘Beautiful Mess’

‘Hilarious, tender and fun, this sun-drenched teen PI mystery drips with humour and style. I adored it.’ 

Poppy Nwosu, author of ‘Taking Down Evelyn Tait’

Surfing the words to the shore

26 Mar
Surfing at Cape Arid National Park, Western Australia

Writing a book with a surfer-girl heroine has made me reflect on the relationship between surfing and writing in my life. One of my favourite authors, Haruki Murakami, has famously said that everything he knows about writing he has learned from running. For me, it’s surfing.

My surfing and writing journeys both started when I moved to the north coast of New South Wales. The surf was at my doorstep, it seemed a shame to waste it. My hometown is world-famous for its waves. A looming basalt headland captures the big swell and a rocky reef creates smaller waves on the inside. With such waves at my doorstep, what else could I do but buy a surfboard?

So I bought myself a beginner’s surf board – soft and fat. Each time I took it out I challenged myself to stay in the water for a little longer. I floundered around in the whitewash, falling off and getting pummelled by the waves, emerging with nostrils full of saltwater and hair caked in sand. But then I started catching little waves. I glided over the reef. I was hooked.

For twenty years now, I have surfed almost-daily. If I count it up, allowing for times when I was away from home, or the surf wasn’t happening, by even a very conservative reckoning this is thousands of hours immersed in the water.

My process of learning to write was somewhat similar. I got less sand in my hair and water up my nose but the slap downs were still painful. With both writing and surfing, you need to be able to take a pounding and come back for more. It takes hours and hours of thankless practice. You are going to wipe out. Get used to it. I wrote three complete novels before I got my first one published. That’s a lot of words. A lot of practice. A lot of rejections. Every writer and every surfer is different. Different doesn’t mean wrong. You can learn from others, but there’s no point in trying to copy them.

You need to go out as often as possible, no matter the conditions. Some days are good, others not so good, but as long as you keep turning up, you will get somewhere. Once in a while everything goes right. The waves are perfect. The words flow. Those days are rare, but oh so beautiful.

Both writing and surfing are more about the journey than the destination. You don’t surf with the aim of getting to shore. Nor does it make sense to focus on the outcome – the book, rather than the process of getting there. That’s where the magic is. There is always another wave on the horizon, another story to tell.

The Girl with the Gold Bikini is available at your local bookshop, most are now doing deliveries, as well as online at:

Wakefield Press, Booktopia, Readings, Amazon Australia, US, UK