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Hi. Let me introduce myself.
I'm H.R. Kemp, the author of the political conspiracy mystery/thriller, Deadly Secrets. I’m an Australian author and live in a beachside suburb of Adelaide, South Australia. I love my morning walks along the foreshore.
I grew up in the country area just outside of Melbourne. My walks there were along disused railway tracks and country dirt roads.
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) trying to change my business writing into compelling creative writing.
My first degree was a Bachelor of Science (majoring in Chemistry), and I also have a Graduate Diploma of Education. My public service career spanned roles as diverse as Management trainer, Team Facilitator, Statistician, and Laboratory assistant and creative writing had to wait until I had time, energy, and brain-space, after all, working and raising a family (as well as studying from time to time) didn't leave a lot of thinking time. Although it means I have a lifetime of experience to add to my writing.
I love to travel and have indulged that passion extensively. My travel diary and (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'm 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'm 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 inspire ‘what if’ questions that generate my plot ideas. As I wrote, I learned about the craft of novel-writing, plot, and character development. Creative writing is very different from the business writing I'd done for most of my working life. It's been fun and challenging.
I don't think I'll ever stop learning, but I'm pleased that my second novel is with my editor, getting ready to be released in late March 2022. It's another conspiracy thriller/mystery set mainly in Australia but with scenes in Amsterdam and Italy.
My novels are plot-driven but also have strong characters. Both have heroines who are ordinary people (everyday women) 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 lives hang in the balance. They are forced to choose between their own safety and standing up for what is right.
I’ve had short stories published in anthologies and magazines. They focus more on relationship issues.
My short stories links are on the books page.