Fair Dinkum Baker’s Dozen #4: Leah Giarratano

This is #4 in our new feature here at Fair Dinkum Crime. New South Wales writer Leah Giarratano has agreed to respond to our version of an author interview. We’ve approached the author interview a little differently, trying to offer the authors (who we thought must get asked a few standard questions fairly frequently) the opportunity to share some of their lesser known secrets. Or not, it’s entirely up to them. We provide the authors with 13 beginnings and, like the creative geniuses they are, they turn them into sentences (or paragraphs, or full blown essays should the urge arise).

And so to Leah’s responses…

I OFTEN WONDER … if my parents hid my admission letters to Hogwarts…

FRIENDS WOULD DESCRIBE ME AS … never available 🙂

I WILL NEVER … watch Two and a Half Men

MY GREATEST FEAR IS … being eaten alive by a crocodile (because their teeth are so dirty; eww)

MY WORST JOB WAS … stuffing prongs up chicken watoozies

I’M IN DIRE NEED OF … a clone

MY CHILDHOOD WAS … safe; which is maybe why I’ve been able to last so long as a trauma psychologist

I WISH I HAD… a tail with which to swing from tree to tree. Or to just swish when angry.

I WISH I HADN’T… fallen in love with so many of the cats I’ve rescued (sigh)

THE THING I HATE MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER IS … procrastination-by-chocolate – part of the job description

THE LAST BOOK I READ WAS … The Magicians by Lev Grossman. v.good.

THE NEXT BOOK I’LL WRITE IS … Well, I’m halfway through Book 2 of my first young adult fantasy series (Disharmony), so the next book will be Book 3, to fulfil my contract with Penguin. The first book is called Disharmony: The Psychopath, the Empath and the Genius.
The publisher describes it as “a compelling, smart and sophisticated urban fantasy series with a psychological edge”. I’d describe it a little like this:

    Morgan Moreau was a truly terrible mother. An absolute witch. Literally. And although she spent decades trying to breed the right mix, there were only three children she ever wanted – Luke, Samantha and Jake, known in secret circles by other names: the Psychopath, the Empath and the Genius. But these secrets also extend to the siblings – they’ve never heard these names; hell, they’ve never even heard of each other, and they have no idea what makes them so special. But they’ll have to learn fast. Because from a gypsy camp in Bucharest, a juvenile lock-up in Sydney and a castle in Geneva, these teenagers are about to face Yakuza assassins, a homicidal gypsy king, brutal wardens and a voodoo warrior. And they’re only their mortal foe.

BEING AN AUSTRALIAN AUTHOR MEANS … being part of the gorgeous Australian book industry. All of the publishers, editors, bloggers :-), sales teams, festival organisers, book sellers, etc, I’ve met have been adorable.

Many thanks to Leah for agreeing to be interviewed and for giving such interesting responses.

Reviews of the first three of Leah’s books VODKA DOESN’T FREEZE, VOODO DOLL, and BLACK ICE featuring DS Jill Jackson can be found here on Fair Dinkum Crime.
Check Reactions to Reading for a review of WATCH THE WORLD BURN, the 4th in the series.

About Leah Giarratano (from Random House Australia)

Dr Leah Giarratano has had a long career as a clinical psychologist. Her professional background offers a unique selling point in this genre and gives an authenticity to her writing. Leah is an expert in psychological trauma, sex offences and psychopathology and has had many years assessing psychopaths and treating their victims. She has worked in psychiatric hospitals, with the defence force, and in the corrections system with offenders who suffer severe personality disorders. She has assessed and treated survivors of just about every imaginable psychological trauma, including: hostages; war veterans; rape, assault and accident victims; and has worked with police, fire and ambulance officers. In 2009 Leah began her television career, presenting Channel 7’s top rating Beyond the Darklands program, on which Leah was the expert psychologist who delved into the psyche of Australia’s most fearsome criminals.

The following links on Random House Australia will take you to all 4 of Leah’s books.

You can also purchase each of Leah’s books via Amazon for your Kindle.

Leah participated in 3 panels at the Perth Writers’ Festival including a session called Why We Lie where she talked with renowned psychologist Dorothy Rowe. This session is now available on the Big Ideas website.

Where you can find Leah in the next few months

The Fair Dinkum Baker’s Dozen has been launched especially to celebrate Australian Authors Month which is a cross-genre celebration of Australian writing. In addition to sharing reviews, author interviews, competitions and anything else relating to the writing and reading of works by Aussie authors the month is focused on raising awareness of the Indigenous Literacy Project (ILP). The ILP is a charity with the aim of raising literacy levels among Indigenous Australians in rural and remote communities and it works in partnership with the Australian Book Industry and the Fred Hollows Foundation.

2 thoughts on “Fair Dinkum Baker’s Dozen #4: Leah Giarratano

  1. Great answers, explains why the chicken factory was so real-seeming in one of her books!
    Disharmony sounds like a very original and engaging book.


  2. Great interview!

    One question: How does procrastination by chocolate work? Does one goes in mad search for chocolate or spend hours eating it, putting off writing? Or eat so much of it that one gets hyper and energetically, does other tasks rather than write?


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