Publication: NZ BookLovers
NZ Booklovers recently had the pleasure of catching up with Melbourne based crime novelist Anna Jaquiery about her debut novel The Lying-Down Room. Anna is of French-Malaysian descent, grew up in Europe and Asia, and has worked as a journalist in many countries. This novel is the first in a series to feature Paris detective Commandant Serge Morel.
The Lying-Down Room is your first novel – can you tell us a bit about what inspired you to write crime fiction, and particularly what gave you the idea for the storyline of this novel?
I’ve always enjoyed reading crime fiction and it was something I wanted to try my hand at. But it isn’t necessarily the only kind of fiction I want to write. It’s what I am doing at the moment. I’ll just have to see how it goes! I can’t think beyond the next book. At the moment I am really enjoying writing about Commandant Serge Morel. I want to spend more time with him.
One thing I love about crime fiction is that often the crime is an excuse to tackle social and political themes. This is something that draws me to the genre and makes it really interesting to me. The Lying-Down Room grew out of my desire to explore a number of themes. I wanted to set my story in Paris, because it’s a city I know well and feel a connection to. I wanted to give a sense of the political climate there under President Nicolas Sarkozy. I wanted to write about the fall of the Soviet Union, a period during which foreign religious sects arrived in the country en masse to convert unsuspecting Russians, many of whom had never seen anything like Hare Krishnas, born-again Christians and Mormons before. Russia is a fascinating country on many levels. The story developed from these different strands.