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Vikki Petraitis talks about some crime authors who mix humor into their novels...

READERSVOICE.COM: You have an interest in humor writing and I was wondering what books you’ve liked along these lines.

VIKKI PETRAITIS: Janet Evanovich is a definite favourite. I also love Shane Maloney and a new favourite is Scottish author Stuart MacBride who has an incredible mix of darkness and humour. I think finding crime novels that are funny is a rare and delightful thing.

RV: What are some projects you have planned or are working on?

VP: A couple of years ago, I heard of a guy who had paid around $10,000 to an interstate ‘editor’ to make his manuscript ‘sparkle’. When he told me this, I couldn’t help but wonder how you could hand over a story to someone who didn’t know you who would then make it ‘sparkle’. It turned out that the woman was no able to do that (surprise, surprise) so I took on the man as a client. We sat together for a couple of hours a week and I teased out the story and wrote it with him. He didn’t want to be a writer, but he had an amazing story to tell. He had tried to do it himself, but there is an artistry to writing that not everybody realises. This guy’s plight brought home the fact that there are a lot of people out there who need the services of a writer, but wouldn’t know where to find one. Me and a couple of other writing pals decided to set up a consultancy service. People could come to us and we could help them on their writing journey. This takes all sorts of forms from ghost-writing to mentoring. Writers have a rare skill-set. Our consultancy helps people find us and use our services.
As far as my own writing goes, I am working on a new true crime story involving a number of the gangland murders. Before this, I had thought I was done with true crime for a while, but it turns out that I wasn’t. To challenge myself further as a writer, I have been dabbling in fiction. I have written a novel called The Good, the Bad and the Fugly about a Gen Y teacher detective who stumbles her way through cases with plenty of group hugging and downloading e-books on detecting. It is due for release later this year. I have found it incredibly refreshing to make stuff up. I am halfway through the sequel. But then again, the other day I had a really good idea for something more hard-boiled… so who knows?

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-copyright Simon Sandall.