My guest today is author, Carmen Radtke who has come along to Patricia’s Pen to chat about her writing, so without further ado, it’s over to Carmen.
I’ve always written, since I discovered that I could use a pen and paper to make up poems (when
you’re seven, any rhyme will do) and stories (the hamster and the stolen diamonds could’ve become a classic had I but known about the concept of a second draft).
Then I became a newspaper journalist, sticking to facts and deadlines so tight I rarely got to explore the concept of a second draft. I covered police beat and politics, small town scandals and serious affairs, feel-good human interest and history, sometimes all on the same day.
Most reporter want to write a novel one day, lavishing time on crafting one immaculate sentence after another and following in the literary footsteps of Ernest Hemingway. Me too. Which is why, with impeccable timing, my first novel was partly written under my desk, while I typed away like a woman obsessed between earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The Case of the Missing Bride is set in 1862 and tells the story of a group of young, impoverished
Australian women, travelling half-way across the world, to marry prosperous Canadian miners. When one of the brides is missing after a stormy night, it’s thought of as an accident, but one girl knows better and embarks on a secret mission to find a killer.
These women really existed – I found a short paragraph online, during an idle research into imported brides while looking for a story idea for the local paper I wrote for then. The brides set out in high hopes from Melbourne, but when they reached San Francisco for a stopover, they vanished without a trace. I can’t imagine a world where this would have ended well for them. Maybe that is why I couldn’t let it go.
In the next book, Glittering Death (soon to be re-titled The Prospect of Death), I give them some of the happiness the real life did not hold in store for them.
Because I’m endlessly fascinated by history, my other series is set in Australia in the early 1930s,
during the Great Depression and comes complete with a plucky heroine, a dashing nightclub-owner, artists and crooks.
I’ve only recently taken the plunge and dived into contemporary mystery. It’s fun, it takes a lot less research, but then I do love discovering quirky or astonishing details about the past. As a reader I’m polygamous, voracious and insatiable. I love historical fiction, mysteries, grittier crime, comedy, romcom, thriller, some fantasy and science-fiction … After moving half-way around the world twice, I still have the complete works of Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Rex Stout, Ngaio Marsh, plus Janet Evanovich, Dick Francis, Terry Pratchett, Tony Hillerman, Elizabeth Peters, and many more. Life changes, but we’ll always have stories. Including poetry, although I no longer write it. It’s for the best; believe me.
Dig your own Grave will be published on 8th March 2022 but is available for preorder now – Click HERE to read the blurb and preorder your copy.
About Carmen Radtke
Carmen Radtke has spent most of her life with ink on her fingers and a dangerously high pile of books and newspapers by her side. She has worked as a newspaper reporter on two continents and always dreamt of becoming a novelist and screenwriter. Her debut novel, The Case Of The Missing Bride, was a finalist in the Malice Domestic competition in a year without a winner. Since then she has penned several more cozy mysteries, including the Jack and Frances series set in the 1930s. Carmen now lives in York, UK, with her human and her four-legged family.