Saturday, June 10, 2017
Interview with Elka Ray, Author of Saigon Dark
Elka Ray is a Canadian/UK author and editor. Her first novel, Hanoi Jane, was published by Marshall Cavendish in English and DT Books in Vietnamese. A suspense novel, Saigon Dark, came out with Crimewave Press in November 2016. Late 2016 also saw the release of a collection of short crime stories: What You Don’t Know: Tales of Obsession, Mystery & Murder in Southeast Asia.
Elka is also the author and illustrator of a popular series of bilingual children’s books about Vietnam. She lives with her family near Hoi An, Vietnam.
To learn about Elka’s new projects, please check NEWS. Her kids’ books and souvenirs may be found at STICKYRICE.
Amazon Author Page:
Did you like suspense and crime novels when you were growing up?
I read everything from classics like "Great Expectations" (essentially a mystery, with some of the creepiest settings and characters going) to '80s teen classics by Stephen King and VC Andrews. I discovered Daphne Du Maurier and Patricia Highsmith young too.
The fact that Du Maurier is typically classed as a "romance writer" is seriously disturbing.
What was the first crime story that you wrote?
I spent years convinced I was a literary author. Maybe six years back I wrote a short story called "Payback" about a rich American lawyer who was sick of his trophy wife. It ended up being included in the 2013 edition of "Crime Scene Asia: Asia's Best Crime Fiction".
What is your favorite part of writing in this genre?
I've always been interested in why people do what they do, especially when it seems risky. Crime fiction is all about characters' motivations.
What do you find most difficult about writing in this genre?
I can't open a stall in a public toilet without expecting to find a body in there.
Is there an author in this genre that you admire most?
There's a bumper crop of scarily good contemporary British female crime writers. Two of my favorites are Tana French and Belinda Bauer.
What is up next for you?
I just finished the first draft of a manuscript I'd class as "domestic noir". My last novel, Saigon Dark, was all about motherhood. This new one's about marriage. They're both about mistrust - a deep vein I intend to keep tapping.