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Working From Home: The Australian Crime Writers' Edition

L.A. Larkin Narrelle M Harris Natalie Conyer Stephen Johnson Working From Home

In lo, these unusual times, have you ever found yourself wondering how Australian and New Zealand crime writers focus their finely-tuned brains enough to pen their heart-pumping prose?

Wonder no longer!

How Do You Work From Home When You Write Crime (The Answers Involve a Pig)?

[New South Wales] is not in total lock-down yet, so my tip would be walk your dog while you still can! Naturally, keep a safe distance from people when you do this. I find it energises me and giving my dogs a cuddle is very soothing. If you don’t have a dog, maybe run around your back yard looking crazy! — L.A. Larkin, author of Prey

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I've been working from home for 20 years. The one thing - and it's not unique to me - that inspires my day, every day, is Esther the Wonder Pig. She's on Facebook with her brothers Phil, the dog, and Cornelius, the turkey. Esther and her dads in Canada make me smile at least once a day; and I know that, without a doubt, there are good people in this world - and some of them happen to be pigs. — Lindy Cameron, Clan Destine Press publisher, and author of Blood Guilt.

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With two of us in a small two-bedroom space writing from home, we’ve set up one office in our back room. The door is closed and we work while pretending we are alone. This way we’re not tripping over each other or disrupting each other with noise and movement. We have set start and end times for the day, though we break for lunch together. We also try to do something fun at the end of the day - read aloud, listen to Patrick Stewart reading sonnets, once we had a singalong to some music on a streaming service." — Narrelle M Harris, author of Kitty & Cadaver

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I set goals: monthly and daily. And I pin up a monthly calendar so I can cross off each day. Anal, I know, but it gives me something to aim for. I [also] use noise-cancelling headphones. And when nothing else works I report to a friend, daily, by email, on my progress. Inspiration by shame. — Natalie Conyer, author of Present Tense

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The writing can't begin without a six - ten kilometre walk. Emails to friends and family might be answered, but nothing creative will emerge until the cobwebs have been cleared by a brisk tour of Glendowie or the waterfront. Rainy days - of which there are a few in Auckland - can stall the routine. Sometimes I have to wait for a heart-pumping 20-30 minute dash between showers. Downpours that refuse to yield find a curmudgeon occupying the keyboard. Evil characters often bear the brunt of that sulkiness. — Stephen Johnson, author of Tugga's Mob

What're your work-from-home tips? G'wan, give us one?

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  • Essa on

    What gets missed in the working-from-home talk is NOT WORKING. It’s so important to have the same holidays as others have, like bank holidays and so on.

    Remember, part of working is not working!

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