Player Profile: Angela Savage, author of The Dying Beach

Angela Savage, author of The Dying Beach

Author shot_Paul X Stoney_smallTell us about your latest creation:

The Dying Beach, set in the exquisite southern Thai province of Krabi, finds expatriate PI Jayne Keeney investigating the death of a young tour guide, a case that takes her into the murky world of corruption and environmental destruction.

Where are you from / where do you call home?:

9781921922497I was born in Melbourne and call it home, but my heart is divided between Australia and Southeast Asia. When you were a kid, what did you want to become? An author?: I’ve wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember. I still have a book of bad poetry that I made as a ten-year-old, complete with ‘About the Author’ blurb on the back cover.

What do you consider to be your best work? Why?:

I believe writing is a craft and you get better with practice. My best work is still to come. Describe your writing environment to us – your writing room, desk, etc.; is it ordered or chaotic?: I share a study with my partner, also a crime writer. His desk is ordered. Mine is chaotic. Thus the world balances itself.

When you’re not writing, who/what do you like to read?:

I love good writing. I love books that reveal something new about the world and make me feel transported. I read mostly crime fiction and non-genre fiction, as well as at least one classic and one non-fiction book each year. Among contemporary Australian crime writers whose work I admire are Honey Brown, Robert Gott, Wendy James, David Whish-Wilson and Leigh Redhead. Two of my favourite books of all time are The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje.

What was the defining book(s) of your childhood/schooling?:

The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck by Beatrix Potter stands out from a childhood rich in books as my first thriller. The tale of a naïve duck who accepts the offer of a sandy-whiskered gentleman to incubate her eggs in his feather filled wood-shed still gave me chills more than 30 years later when I read it to my daughter. Jemima Puddle-Duck introduced me the power of literature that unsettles, frightens, arouses, and introduced me to the perennial literary theme of inappropriate relationships.

If you were a literary character, who would you be?:

I would be an outsider drawn to Asia, like the unnamed narrator in Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s Heat and Dust, or journalist Guy Hamilton in Christopher Koch’s The Year of Living Dangerously.

Apart from books, what do you do in your spare time (surprise us!)?:

Spare time? I work four days a week, write books, try to maintain an ‘online presence’ and a functioning household with a partner and young child… I sometimes get to knit in front of DVDs. I also enjoy singing along to 80s pop music. Loudly.

What is your favourite food and favourite drink?:

I love Lao, Thai, Malaysian, Indian and good Italian food, French cheese and Belgian chocolate. I like New Zealand sauvignon blanc in summer, Australian shiraz in winter and Irish whiskey all year round.

Who is your hero? Why?:

I’m not really one for hero worship, but I have enormous admiration for the people I’ve had the privilege of working with on HIV/AIDS prevention in Southeast Asia over the years. I reserve particular admiration for the bravery and resilience of the Cambodians I worked with.

Crystal ball time – what is the biggest challenge for the future of books
and reading?:

A friend suggested recently that we are headed for another Dark Ages, with the digitisation of so many of our cultural products. I think the biggest challenge is ultimately how we protect and preserve books for future generations.
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Jon Page

Jon Page is a bookseller and author of the Bite the Book Blog.

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