Of characters, that is.
In the six years she’s been writing, Sulari’s killed off her fair share of characters – good, bad and ugly. It’s par for the course when you’re an Australian historical crime fiction writer.
Sulari is a corporate lawyer-turned-author, and has written a Young Adult trilogy based on Homer’s Odyssey (see my review of the first book in the series here), but is perhaps best known for her Rowland Sinclair crime fiction series, which has its roots in true historical events.
(The first book, A Few Right Thinking Men, for example, weaves in true details, such as the historic ‘crashing’ by Francis Edward de Groot of the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.)
The hardest part, Sulari says, is killing off people she knows. She often gives characters the names of fans or friends (in fact, she’s run competitions where fans can win the right to have a character named after them), but the newcomers are more often than not bad guys or bit-parts, which means more often than not, they have to go.
“You wouldn’t believe what people would do to get in the book! I’ve got a list a mile long of people who want to be in,” she says during our telephone conversation. (Sulari is sitting in the dining room of her Snowy Mountains home, surrounded by paintings she’s done – a talent she shares with her protagonist Rowly. I’m in my study, hoping the baby will sleep through our interview.)
“People often barter with old letters and things that they have from their historical archives from their family.
“…It’s hard, because you can only have so many good guys. I’ve actually had to say to people you’ve got to realise this is not you it’s just your name. It’s not what I think of you. Please don’t get upset!”
And with such a prolific output, it’s no wonder she’s had [...Click for more...]