Monday, 2 September 2013

Meet A Writer Monday Presents...

... Brian Kavanagh

1. Tell me about your book
CAPABLE OF MURDER (first in the Belinda Lawrence mystery series) and where you got your inspiration for it?

It goes back quite a few years, when a good friend inherited a small cottage near Bath, in England. At that time I was travelling a lot to Europe and I would stay with him when in England, so I got to know the history of the village, the cottage, and the area. Out of that came the idea to write about it and along with the idea, the character of Belinda formed, and some of her associates. To write a mystery was logical as I enjoyed reading them and the location and the settings seemed to lend themselves to that genre. I’ve an interest in English history so during research, I came upon a reference to small private gardens designed by a great landscape designer, and that provided the motivation for the mystery.

2. How do you react to a bad interview of one of your books?

There’s an old saying; if you believe good reviews, you must also believe the bad. Reviews are mostly personal opinions, and reading a book, or seeing a film, or listening to music, your reaction to them often depends on the mood you’re in. Or your particular likes or dislikes. It’s impossible to please everyone, so if a reader doesn’t like my work, well, that’s their prerogative. But, if they object, I would like it to be for specific reasons. Often non USA writers will get negative comments from US readers regarding ‘typos’ or ‘poor editing’ when in fact they fail to realise that not all countries or authors use the USA way of spelling. Reviews like that can be annoying.

3. Would you rather write for children or adults?

Adults. I’m not clever enough to write for children…

4. Which do you find more embarrassing to write, violence or sex?

Both. With violence I don’t see the point or the need for specifics. A reader is working with you, so the suggestion of the action should be enough to create an image in the reader’s mind, rather than being obvious with the minutiae of mutilation – to coin a phrase. Much the same with sex. The same with sex on screen. Once you introduce detail, the reader/viewer becomes a voyeur. We all know the mechanics of love making, and unless one is actively involved, descriptive prose tends to become humorous, and again breaks the thread between author and reader.

5. Do you research your novels?

Yes, in great detail. As the Belinda Lawrence mysteries have at their core, some historical event or an artefact of historical importance, research is vital. I also research locations, backgrounds, personality disorders, medical conditions, anything in fact, that strengthens the characters and/or the story.

6. What’s the nicest thing you’ve ever done or ever been done for you?

Too many nice things have been done for me, but one especially. Some years ago I produced a film and cast an actress who became a very dear friend. With the money she earned from this film she bought a house. Sadly she died recently and left me some money from the sale of her house. It came at a time that I needed some help, so I am indebted greatly to her. A very dear friend, indeed.

7. Is Elvis really dead?

I hope so…

8. How do you overcome writers block?

Sit back and wait for the muses to resume work. I rarely have this problem, but when I do I find that time away from the writing will always eventually lead to a resolution.

9. What is your favourite quote?

“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.”

― Oscar Wilde

10. How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

The title for my new Belinda Lawrence mystery is, A WICKED DESIGN. Without giving too much away, it has to do with two elements that make up the mystery. One would appear to be obvious to the reader, but the real meaning is disclosed at the climax.

11. Do you recall how your interest in writing occurred?

All my working life was in film production, in the creative areas of editing and directing, so really storytelling has always been part of my life. In recent years when film work began to dry up – for various reasons – I began to write, originally to fill in time, but as I progressed I came to realise it was satisfying and a good creative outlet, and really carrying on from where I left off telling visual stories.

12. When did you first consider yourself a writer?

With the publication in paperback of my first mystery novel, CAPABLE OF MURDER.

13. Name one thing that drives you crazy.

Rudeness and crassness, especially now in the Social Media. If someone has a strong objection to a subject, it’s much better to write intelligently and creatively, than to be vitriolic and vulgar. That demeans the writer.

14. If you could have an unlimited storage of one thing, what would it be?


15. If you gave one of your characters the opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?

Actually, I think the characters in my books pretty well speak for themselves. I don’t have to censor them or withdraw what they say. They are individuals and behave and speak their minds, as all individuals do. They don’t take much notice of what I say…

16. Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcovers?

No preference. All three. eBooks have the convenience of carrying a small library with you when travelling – that is its major attraction to me.

The old lady's body lay at the foot of the stairs!
The police believe it was simply an accidental fall that killed great-aunt Jane.
But was it?
Young Australian, Belinda Lawrence is convinced it was murder and when she inherits her great-aunt's ancient cottage and garden on the outskirts of Bath, she finds herself deep in a taut mystery surrounding her legacy.
A secret room. Unknown intruders. A hidden ancient document. They all contribute to the mounting dread.
A second vicious murder by a ruthless killer intensifies the tension and Belinda, now under threat herself, is befriended by two charming men: her neighbour Jacob and real-estate agent Mark Sallinger. But can she trust them? And what interest has befuddled antique dealer Hazel Whitby in the cottage.
Can one of them be the killer?
An excellent example of a time-honoured English village murder mystery with a lively young heroine pitting her intellect against an evil killer both bent on solving the riddle of an ancient garden.
An inventive puzzle glazed with wit and the first of the Belinda Lawrence series.

About Brian
(In his own words)

I'm proud to have a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Australian Film Editors Guild and an Australian Film Institute award for Best Editing for the children’s film, Frog Dreaming. Proud also of my first feature film, which I produced and directed, A City's Child, which won an AFI award for actress Monica Maughan and was invited to screen at the London Film Festival as well as Edinburgh, Montreal, Chicago and Adelaide, where it won the Gold Southern Cross Advertiser Award for Best Australian Film, all in the days when most of you were a mixture of multiplying cells, when the world hadn't heard of Australian films (apart from the dear departed, Chips Rafferty) and therefore was a neater and cleaner place. I am also a member of the Australian Society of Authors.

I recently changed publishers and my books are now available as eBooks and new paperback editions will be published soon.

 Author's website:

Author's On-Line Bio:


  1. I enjoyed this very much. And A Wicked Design is on my list of must-haves for this summer. Spring has just sprung, so I don't have long to wait. I'll go for the paperback, I think.

  2. Good interview. Found myself agreeing with several of Brian's answers, not the gin though LOL.

    1. Interesting interview, Sonnet and Brian:-) Hope this one works. My first comment timed out.