CRIMINALLY GOOD: interview with author Johana Gustawsson

1) So, who are you & what have you written?

I am Johana Gustawsson. I am southern French, with some Spanish “boiling” blood, as we say in my family and I live in London with my Swedish husband and soon to be three boys. I worked as a journalist for the French press and television for ten years, before becoming a full time novelist. Block 46, my first thriller, has now been sold to fourteen countries and is published in the UK by Orenda Books. I am working on the third novel in the Roy & Castells series. You can follow me as @JoGustawsson on Twitter.

2) Why do you write crime fiction?

I greatly enjoy dissecting the minds of the hunter (profiler and serial killer) and his prey: I find it fascinating. And, also, killing people on paper is wonderfully cathartic and allows me to stay out of prison! But that said, I am definitely hoping I could plan the perfect murder!

3) What informs your crime writing?

I am an avid reader of forensic psychology and enjoy immensely the books written by profilers about their hunting methods and behavioural science knowledge. I am particularly fond of the American John Douglas and Robert Ressler, and Stéphane Bourgoin, our French national specialist in serial killing, just to mention a few.

4) What’s your usual writing routine?

I write when my son is at pre-school and I usually even eat at my desk not to loose one minute, as those hours pass so fast! When I am finishing a book, let’s say the last couple of months before the date I have to deliver it to my French publisher, I work weekends and late in the night, as I tend to be late!

5) Which crime book do you wish YOU’D written, and why?

Murder on the Orient Express, which is brilliantly plotted and so diabolically clever! I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie: I got into crime reading when I was 7 thanks to her, after discovering the incredible Poirot in The Mysterious Affair at Styles. But Murder on the Orient Express really is my favourite.

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