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Hi. Let me introduce myself.


I'm H.R. Kemp, the author of the political conspiracy mystery/thriller (a multi-layered plot-driven story) called Deadly Secrets. I’m an Australian author and live near the beach in Adelaide, South Australia although I grew up in the country area just outside of Melbourne.


Although I’ve scribbled story snippets and scenes all my life, in 2011 I got serious and successfully completed a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing at Adelaide University. I’d taken a variety of writing courses at Writers SA and WEA before that (and still do). My original degree is a Bachelor of Science (majoring in Chemistry), and my career in the public service spanned roles as diverse as Management trainer, Team Facilitator, Statistician and Laboratory assistant. Writing waited until I had time, energy and brain-space, but perhaps it also helped me gather a wealth of ideas and life experience.


I love to travel and have indulged that passion extensively. My travel diary and my (thousands of) photos often inspire scenes for my stories. You can see some of the photos that inspired scenes in Deadly Secrets in the Photo Gallery


I am an avid theatre-goer (I subscribe to the State Theatre Company) and would love to someday write a script for a play.  People tell me that Deadly Secrets would make a good movie. Let me know if you agree.


I am also an art lover, and of course, I read a lot. I enjoy a range of genres: thriller, spy thriller, crime, and mystery, are top of the list but I also enjoy literary fiction and a good story no what the genre. I read non-fiction, too, mostly for research, and I think it's true, non-fiction is often stranger (and scarier) than fiction. Just look at the pandemic.


The Adelaide's Writers' Festival (features in several of my blogs) is one of my favourite events and I can be found wandering in the Pioneer Women's Memorial Garden in early March sitting in on different sessions and scouring the book tent for that special copy. Given the overflowing bookcase at home (and that's just the to-be-read pile) I should probably stop buying, but I can't help myself. Some of my favourite authors, discovered at the Festival, are Ron Rash, Marina Lewycka, Tony Birch, Zoe Ferraris and Thomas Mullen. 

You can also learn more about me from several guest posts and features by book bloggers. The links are on my news and events page

My writing process

Deadly Secrets is my debut novel. I’m a slow writer and this novel took many years to write (and rewrite). The corporate and political world inspired me with ‘what if’ questions which generated plot ideas. I started writing and at the same time, learning about the craft of novel-writing, plot and character development. It has been fun and challenging, so much so that I’m currently editing the first draft of a second political conspiracy thriller/mystery and the beginning of a third novel sits in the bottom drawer awaiting my attention.


My novel is plot-driven but also has a strong focus on the central characters. I like the idea of heroines and heroes who are ordinary people being stretched by extraordinary issues. My main characters are not government agents, spies or professional advocates nor are they gun-toting police officers. They’re everyday people, in ordinary jobs, who become embroiled in a powerful conspiracy and need to make choices.


I’ve had five short stories published. They highlight relationship issues, whereas my novel, Deadly Secrets, is a political/conspiracy thriller which incorporates relationship dimensions into the storyline but has a complex and multi-layered plot.


My short stories (links are on the books page) are:  'A present of presence'  published in the UK anthology When Stars Will Shine (edited by Emma Mitchel) Dec 2019, 'Hot Stuff' (Sept/Oct 2020), 'Reunited' (January 2020) and 'Unforgivable' (October 2019) in the Writers' and Readers' Magazine and 'Reunited' was previously shortlisted in a short story competition and published in a 2016 anthology Fledglings by Birdcatcher books.