Stubborn Characters, Future Spy Thrillers, and Abundant Creativity with Kasia Radzka

Podcast episode 29Today I’m interviewing Australian author Kasia Radzka. Kasia has a series of crime thrillers featuring her ‘stubborn’ investigative journalist sleuth Lexi Ryder. Kasia and I discuss the origin of characters, writing habits, and whether or not outlining a plot works for her.

I’ve added a new segment to the podcast where I mention new books being released by former guests. I’ll add this intro to the audio recording each week, though it won’t be included in the YouTube video.

This week two guests of the show have new books out. Malcolm Richards, who I spoke to in Episode 11, has released his next book in the Emily Swanson series; the book is called Cold Hearts. You can learn more at Malcolm’s website.

As well, Renee Pawlish, who I spoke to in Episode 22, has a new book in her Dewey Webb PI Series called Murder in Fashion. You can learn more at

You can find out more about today’s guest, Kasia, and all her books on her website

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on iTunes. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.

Transcript of Interview with Kasia Radzka

Alexandra: Hi mystery readers, I am Alexandra Amor. This is It’s a Mystery Podcast and I’m here today with Kasia Radzka. Hi Kasia.

Kasia: Hi Alexandra, how are you?

Alexandra: Very well, how are you?

Kasia: Good, thank you. Thanks so much for having me on the show.

Alexandra: Oh you’re so welcome, it’s my pleasure, I’m looking forward to talking to you very much. Let’s give everyone a little bit of information about you.

KasiaRadzkaKasia Radzka is an author, athlete wannabe and blogger living with her husband and son on the Gold Coast, Australia. In her lack of spare time, she likes to run marathons, eat fine food and drink good wine, discover new places and write action-packed novels. She’s currently working on book number four in her Lexi Ryder Crime Thriller series. So that’s what we’re here to talk about today.

Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about Lexi.

Kasia: Okay, Lexi is an investigative journalist who likes to get herself into trouble. So trouble seems to follow her around everywhere and I suppose she likes to get into the way of people who do bad things.

Alexandra: Was she a character that you, let’s say, that you created from some sort of inspiration or did…where did she come from?

Keep reading →

Writing Thrillers on Trains, Visual Story Ideas, and Kidnapping Plots with Rachel Amphlett

Podcast episode 28Thriller author Rachel Amphlett grew up reading thrillers. She mentions both Dick Francis (perhaps my all-time favorite mystery author) and Enid Blyton in our chat; those were two authors who introduced me to the world of mysteries as a young person as well.

I asked Rachel about writing in a genre that is predominantly occupied by men, but like JF Penn, she doesn’t let that phase or stop her. Her Dan Taylor series concerns a former British soldier struggling with PTSD, as well as an injury received during a run-in with an IED.

You can find out more about Rachel and all her books on her website And as with so many of my guests, Rachel has a book – and two book extracts – available for free. You can find that on her website.

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on iTunes. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.

Transcript of Interview with Rachel Amphlett

Alexandra: Hi, mystery readers, I’m Alexandra Amor. This is “It’s a Mystery” podcast and I’m here today with Rachel Amphlett. Hi, Rachel.

Rachel: Hi.

Alexandra: How are you?

Rachel: Good, thanks, and thanks for having me on the show.

Alexandra: Oh, you’re so welcome. It’s great to have you here. Let me introduce you to our listeners.

RachelAmphlettBefore moving to Australia in 2005, Rachel Amphlett lived in the UK and helped run a pub, played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a subeditor and editorial assistant. Her thrillers appeal to a worldwide audience and have been compared to Robert Ludlum, Michael Crichton, and Clive Cussler.

Thank you so much for being here with me today, Rachel. The thing that I found so intriguing about your books, or one of the things, is that you’re a woman writing in a man’s world. We mentioned J.F. Penn just before we started recording and the conspiracy theory-thriller genre really is dominated by men.

Can you talk a little bit about that? What drew you to this genre?

Keep reading →

Cannibals, Agatha Christie and a Rock ‘n Roll Murder with Christina Larmer


Podcast episode 13My guest today is a woman who wears many hats; mother, journalist, freelance writer, and, of course, crime fiction author. C.A. (Christina) Larmer currently has two mystery series on the go: The Ghostwriter series featuring journalist and amateur detective Roxy Parker, and the Agatha Christie Book Club series, which is loosely based on her own experience with book clubs.

Christina shares the true story of her adventures in a cave of cannibal skulls (I’m not kidding) as well as some deeper insights into Roxy’s character that a fan of the books pointed out.

You can find Christina on her website. As well as Facebook and Twitter.

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on iTunes. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also watch the interview on YouTube by clicking here.

Transcription of Interview with Christina Larmer

Alexandra: Hi, everyone. I’m Alexandra Amor, and this is It’s A Mystery podcast, and I’m here today with Christine Larmer. Hi, Christina.

Christina: Hello, how are you?

Alexandra: I’m well, how are you?

Christina: Very good thank you.

Alexandra: Sorry, I said Christine instead of Christina.

Christina: That’s okay, no problem.

Alexandra: I’ll give everybody a bit of an introduction to you as we begin. CA Larmer, otherwise known as Christina, is the author of nine books including six in the popular “Ghostwriter Mystery” series. A second crime series called the “Agatha Christie Book Club,” and a nonfiction book about Papua, New Guinea where she was born and bred. Papua, New Guinea is also the setting for her standalone novel and “Island Lost”. Christina spent three years living in New York and Los Angeles and now lives in Australia with her musician husband and two sons. She’s also a journalist, editor, and guest blogger with The Huffington Post.

It’s so great to have you here today, Christina. I’m so happy to have you so let’s begin. We were talking just before we started about this fabulous blog post you’ve got about a cave of skulls on Papua, New Guinea.

Talk about your origins as a mystery writer and about that great little story.

CALarmerChristina: I was born and bred in Papua, New Guinea, in the capital of Papua, New Guinea called Mosi, which is sort of a city, a ramshackle city, but every holiday or once a year, we’d head off to this really remote island. It’s just beautiful and exquisite and the crystal clear waters that sort of thing. The island has an amazing history. It’s got a history of cannibalism and tribes, which all Papua, New Guinea does.

Keep reading →

Criminals, con-men and comedy with Robin Storey


Podcast episode 8Today I talk to my first guest from Down Under, Robin Storey. Robin lives in the Sunshine Coast region of Queensland, Australia. We talk about the influence of other Australian crime writers, her natural pull toward writing comedic mystery novels and the importance of feedback from trusted sources when one is writing a book.

You can find Robin at, where the novel we discuss in this episode, How Not to Commit Murder is available for free. Robin is also on Twitter. And Facebook.

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on iTunes. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the episode on YouTube.

Transcript of Interview with Robin Storey

Alexandra: Hi everyone, I’m Alexandra Amor, and I’m here today with Robin Storey. Hi, Robin.

Robin: Hi, Alexandra.

Alexandra: Nice to see you.

Robin: Thanks for inviting me.

Alexandra: You’re so welcome. I’m going to give everyone a little bit of background information about you. Robin Storey is an indie author of three books: “How Not to Commit Murder,” “Perfect Sex,” and an anthology of short stories called “Comedy Shorts.” She will publish her fourth book, romantic-suspense novella, “An Affair with Danger”, in early 2016, which is a departure from her usual style, as her first three books are comedies. She lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, where sitting on the beach and watching the waves roll in gives her inspiration for her stories and is the perfect way to procrastinate. And did you know that we have a Sunshine Coast here in British Columbia too?

Robin: I do, I do. Yes.

Alexandra: Yeah, I’ve been to that one. I haven’t been to yours, though.

Robin Storey AuthorRobin: Sometimes I’ve been Googling things for Sunshine Coast for here, and I end up with Sunshine Coast over there.

Alexandra: The same thing has happened to me. That’s so funny. I’d love to come to your Sunshine Coast.

Robin: Yeah, our Sunshine Coast is beautiful.

Alexandra: One day. So tell us a little bit about “How Not to Commit Murder.”

I was intrigued, because when I was doing a little bit of background on the book and the character, it made me think of Lawrence Block’s Bernie Rhodenbarr series, where the main character is a criminal, and the book is a bit comedic. So tell us about “How Not to Commit Murder”.

Robin: I’ll tell you the story first. Basically, it’s about a career conman called Reuben Littlejohn, who gets out of jail, on parole, and he decides he’s going to go straight this time. But he runs into one of his old colleagues and is blackmailed into becoming an accomplice in a plot to kill his parole officer, Lucy, with whom he happens to be madly in lust. So his dilemma is that he has to pretend to be a part of this plot to kill her, at the same time trying to save her life, trying to prevent himself from being killed or going back to jail, and all of this without his wife finding out.
Keep reading →