Minette Walters is the author of several novels, two novellas, and a number of short stories.
Her first novel, The Ice House, was published in 1992. It took two and a half years to write and was rejected by numerous publishing houses until Maria Rejt, Macmillan Publishers, bought it for £1250. Within four months, it had won the Crime Writers' Association John Creasey award for best first novel and had been snapped up by 11 foreign publishers. With her next two books, The Sculptress and The Scold's Bridle, Walters won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award and the CWA Gold Dagger respectively, giving her a unique treble. She was the first crime/thriller writer to win three major prizes with her first three books.
As part of the British project 'Quick Reads', to encourage literacy amongst adults with reading difficulties, Walters wrote a 20,000-word novella called Chickenfeed. In competition with works by other best-selling authors, such as Ruth Rendell, Maeve Binchy and Joanna Trollope. Chickenfeed won two awards as the best novella in the 'Quick Reads' genre and was translated into several languages.
In September 2007, Walters released her fourteenth book, The Chameleon's Shadow, in the UK. She is currently working on a novel set during the Black Death.
She lives in Dorset, England.
Minette Walters's website
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An Interview with Minette Walters
Where did your interest in crime come from?
Two things really. Reading Grimm's Fairy Tales as a child. It's all about baddies getting their come-uppance and wicked stepmothers being rolled down the hill. Then there was the James Hanratty A6 murder case in the 1950s. (involving a man hanged for a murder that many thought he didn't commit). To hang someone with the level of doubt that existed in that case, it was so dreadful. He was one of the last people to be hanged in Britain. I was only about nine or 10-years-old then. But I was absolutely fascinated.
Why did you pick a psychological thriller as your first book?
I have always been fascinated by the challenge that crime fiction represents to an author. I wanted to know if I could carry an intricate plot for 100,000 words, and keep readers guessing, while I was portraying characters under considerable tension.
Why don't you have a series character?
I'm always asked why I chose not to create a series character like Poirot or Rebus, but I was never interested in creating a series character because I wanted to be free to tackle whatever I wanted, when I wanted, without being shackled to a particular...
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