|Pen name||Lauren Crow|
|Period||2001 â€“ present|
|Genre||Fantasy, crime, history|
I don't see myself as an artist, as a writer. The sort of writing that I do, which is popular fiction, it's work. I have contracts to fulfil, and I have deadlines to meet.
We travel a lot from Australia and deliberately route ourselves through the U.A.E. because my whole family loves the place.
Readers want to have the confidence that you understand the era in which the book is set, so for 'The Perfumer's Secret,' I needed to know everything about the First World War from a French perspective. I had to understand those people and that town in 1914.
Fantasy was something I'd read as a child. And, in fact, my teachers despaired a little bit because I refused to give up Enid Blyton. Then I walked through the wardrobe with C. S. Lewis, and I don't think I actually have returned fully from the wardrobe. So, fantasy was something that was in my life from quite young.
When I first decided I was going to have a go at writing a book – and really, it was a mid-life crisis – I was 39. I was in business with my husband; we had a very busy lifestyle and quite a hectic schedule running this flourishing business in travel, and I found myself waking up and realising that I didn't want to do this anymore.
What I find is that it's the middle-aged authors who have lived a life who have the most important, interesting voices. They just need someone to give them the key to unlock the door.
For me, a great fantasy is real people, a world I recognise, human struggle and magic. You've got to have magic to make a fantasy work. But I like my magic to be subtle. I don't want magic coming out of the hands of wizards. I want it to be pervading, sinister somehow.