‘She’s nervous,’ whispered the former army interrogator into my ear. ‘Look at her body language: scanning the room; seeking the reassurance of eye contact with people she knows; the nervous chatter… I guarantee that afterwards she won’t remember a single thing she has said.’
Talk about getting my money’s worth out of the Crime Pays session at the Brisbane Writers Festival.
Like everyone else in the State Library auditorium, I was there for crime writing tips from international best-sellers Lisa Unger and Gregg Hurwitz. But I also had the added bonus of Brisbane-based thriller writer JJ Cooper in my right ear.
JJ spent seven of his seventeen years with the Australian Army working in the Intelligence Corps, and has just released his first novel, aptly titled THE INTERROGATOR. It’s fiction, of course. It had to be, what with the Official Secrets Act and all… I’d like to say more, but if I do, I’ll have to kill you.
It would have been clever programming to have JJ up on the stage with Lisa Unger and Gregg Hurwitz. After all, Lisa did blurb JJ’s debut novel and even made a point of introducing him to the audience during Q&A.
I would have loved to have seen the panel Chair, Inga Simpson, short-listed for this year’s Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Emerging Author, bounce questions off a local thriller writer as well as the visiting big-guns.
Interrogating the Interrogator – now wouldn’t that have been something?