I don’t actively seek out the research for a plot, because I know a lot of what is relevant from my two decades as a forensic psychologist, although I do check it to ensure that it is as relevant as I think – or hope! Knowing a fair bit about a subject has its benefits, but also its drawbacks: you need to be careful not to dump a lot of unnecessary information on the reader, yet at the same time the inner forensic psychologist is thinking ‘Hey, all of this is relevant!’ So there’s inevitably a compromise between including just enough information to be accurate or ‘real’ and whittling away a lot and hoping that other professionals in my line of work will realize that that’s what I’m doing.
As a forensic psychologist I’ve met with a lot of people who are in trouble and who have told me about themselves, their lives and the things they’ve done: much of it sad, a lot of it very bad. Of course, I can’t use any of that information in my writing because it is highly confidential yet its value for me as a writer is that it kick-starts my imagination and my thinking. Without it, I would need to work even harder than I do to construct plots and dialogue. Not being a deviant person (any more than the next crime fiction author!), I think I would find it really difficult to invent deviance which comes off the page as both chilling and real. I see what I’ve learned from my professional work as gold dust in terms of my writing.
“A gripping, suspenseful, cleverly plotted story with plenty of unusual twists and a smart, independent heroine” Booklist
“Those who love to shuffle the pieces of a puzzle, eagerly anticipating that aha moment when the solution is revealed, will relish British author Cross’s third mystery featuring forensic psychologist Dr. Kate Hanson” Publishers Weekly
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