Each Thursday I ask ten questions to authors of mystery, thriller and suspense about their books, their inspirations and how to get away with the perfect murder. In the hot seat this week is... Rachel Amphlett.

Rachel Amphlett is the bestselling author of the Dan Taylor espionage novels, the new Detective Kay Hunter series, and a number of standalone crime thrillers. Like her characters, Rachel is a stickler for detail, which means if you happen upon her Instagram account and find book titles such as ‘How To Kill’, don’t worry, it’s all in the name of research…

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Q1. Hello Rachel! Can You Tell Us A Bit About Yourself And Your Books?

I’m originally from the UK, but currently living in the leafy northern suburbs of Brisbane, Australia.

I’m a full-time writer of crime fiction and spy novels, and the latest novel in my Detective Kay Hunter series, Hell to Pay, will be published on 16 November.

Q2. What Three Things Should Readers Expect From A Rachel Amphlett Novel?

Fast-paced, well researched crime fiction that will keep you up at night!

Q3. Can You Tell Us About Your Character Kay Hunter? 

Detective Kay Hunter was introduced to readers in Scared to Death last December – she’s a resilient DS with Kent Police, who’s been put through the wringer both professionally and personally.

However, she’s a fighter, and with the support of her husband, Adam – a vet whose patients often make an appearance during the course of the stories – she’s set out to discover who is responsible behind a vendetta against her.

Supporting Kay in her work are a team of dedicated detectives – it was really important to me to show that Kay isn’t a loner; she has people around her that support her and help to solve the investigations, so it’s more like CSI or NCIS than your typical detective fiction.

Q4. If Your Books Were Turned Into Movies, Who Would Play Your Main Characters?

I try not to impose my thoughts about who should play my characters on my readers – when I’m reading a book, I’ll have a different idea in my head about what the character looks like from someone else reading the same book, after all.

Plus, I think it’s very rare for any author to have a say-so in the casting if they’re lucky enough to have their books optioned for film or television!

The latest Kay Hunter novel

The latest Kay Hunter novel

Q5. How Do You Come Up With The Ideas For Your Stories – What Is Your Inspiration?

Inspiration is everywhere – particularly news articles, overheard conversations, chance encounters, that sort of thing.

The trick is to let your mind go “what if?” – and always keep a notebook to hand when inspiration strikes!

Q6. What Do You Enjoy Most About Writing Crime Thrillers?

Everything! I love it when an idea strikes and you go hell for leather chasing it down and getting it onto the page, as well as the editing process as you delve deeper into the character development and settings. I really enjoy the research, too; I love to learn new things, and so I’ve got the best job in the world.

Q7. What Are You Working On Right Now?

The rough outline for Kay Hunter # 5 is loaded onto my computer, as I’m about to start writing that; I’ve got a three-part spy novel series I’m aiming to publish in December; and I’m also developing a new crime fiction series with completely different characters. The idea is to publish the first novel in that series next year alongside two Kay Hunter novels.

Q8. Who Are Your Favourite Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Authors?

So, so many but the ones that I tend to go back and read include Michael Connelly, Peter Robinson, and Peter James. I’m working my way through series by Stuart MacBride, Val McDermid, and a lot of newer authors too – unfortunately with the number of novels I’m publishing every year, my reading consumption has decreased, so I’m fighting a losing battle with the “To Be Read” pile!

Q9. You're Being Sent To A Desert Island. You Can Only Take One Book With You. What Is It?

The Complete SAS Guide to Safe Travel by Nick Cameron – lots of useful information in that!

Q10. How Do You Get Away With The Perfect Murder?

Who’s to say I haven’t? Mwahahahaha…

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