About Author

H.R. Kemp

H.R. Kemp
BIOGRAPHY

Hi, I live in Adelaide, South Australia, and I'm the author of two mystery suspense thrillers - Lethal Legacy and Deadly Secrets. They have political intrigue and a plot involving an amateur woman sleuth caught up in a sinister conspiracy.
My short stories have been published in UK and Australian anthologies, and UK, Canadian, and US magazines.
My public service career spanned roles as diverse as Management Trainer, Team Facilitator, Statistician, and Laboratory assistant. Prior to that, I worked as a retail assistant, babysitter, dog kennel employee, and worker in an electronic factory. Lots of material for writing in this range of experience.
After taking early retirement, I wanted to develop my creative writing skills (as opposed to the more boring business writing) and I completed a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing, at Adelaide University. Growing up, I was more interested in the sciences and my first degree is a Bachelor of Science (majoring in Chemistry). I also gained a Graduate Diploma of Education while still working.
My other passions are traveling, (which includes writing a travel journal and taking copious photos), live theatre, art, and of course, reading.

H.R. Kemp's Books

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Book
$3.99 kindleeBook, Paperback, Signed Paperback,
Lethal Legacy: An Australian conspiracy mystery thriller with suspense and intrigueby HR KempPublish: Apr 08, 2022Crime Fiction Thriller Suspense Mystery
Deadly Secrets: What unspeakable truths lurk beneath the lies? A political conspiracy thriller with mystery and intrigue built around a provocative ... to make. Will they make they right one?
$3.99 kindleeBook, Paperback, Signed Paperback,

H.R. Kemp's Awards and Achievements

    H.R. Kemp has earned excellence awards over time. Here is the glimpse of the accolades clinched by the author.

  • Readers' Favourite Five Star Review
    2020

    Deadly Secrets: What unspeakable truths lurk beneath the lies? A political conspiracy thriller with mystery and intrigue built around a provocative ... to make. Will they make they right one?

    achievement

H.R. Kemp Interview On 14, Apr 2022

"H.R. Kemp grew up in the country Victoria outside of Melbourne. She devoured books as a child. She has been a Management trainer, Team Facilitator, Statistician, and Laboratory assistant. Deadly Secrets is her debut political conspiracy mystery/thriller novel. She loves to travel and enjoys a range of genres."
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your life growing up. How did you first get into writing?

I grew up in country Victoria outside of Melbourne (Australia). There wasn’t much to do, except help out on the farm and I used to disappear on long, contemplative walks along disused railway tracks and country roads. Reading, was an escape, showing me exciting new worlds. It sparked an interest in writing too.

When I grew up and had a young family of my own, I moved to Adelaide, South Australia. I still read whenever I could, but writing took a backseat to all the other demands in my life. Were you a big reader as a kid too? If so, what were some of your favorite books then?

I devoured books as a child. I loved reading, but I also loved the look, feel, and smell of books. I was a collector. I immersed myself in stories, starting with the Enid Blyton mystery books – Famous Five and Secret Seven and then moved on to anything I could lay my hands on. My parents would be horrified to learn that included Raymond Chandler books. They’re unsuitable for an eleven-year-old but that didn’t stop me. I think that’s how I developed a love of mystery stories. As a teenager, what were you obsessed with?

I was a typical teenager; I wrote bad poetry and stilted short stories. I still loved reading, but my interests and studies took me into the sciences. I went on to study a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry), so writing became a private hobby. It wasn’t until much later that I took up creative writing seriously. Do you remember the first novel you read that made you think 'Wow! I wanna write about this too'?

I don’t remember a specific moment, although at age eleven, I wrote mystery stories for my little brother’s entertainment. I was obviously inspired by Enid Blyton and Raymond Chandler. There are many books that have inspired me. Reading ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ when I was at High School taught me the power of a great novel. How did you get started with writing your first novel?

When I retired, I was finally able to indulge my desire to write. I found snippets of story ideas, scenes, and prose that I’d scribbled and thrown into the bottom drawer of my home desk, my brain leaks as I call them. I couldn’t put them together to make a story, but I decided to take creative writing seriously. After years of business writing, I took a number of short courses to learn the craft of creative writing and then finally completed a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing at Adelaide University.

The idea for a novel had been rattling around in my brain for a few years, so I finally committed it to paper, and Deadly Secrets was born. Do your book ideas usually start with the characters, story/plot, historical events, or something else?

My plots are political conspiracy mystery/thrillers, so the ideas often stem from contemporary events/issues. I collect newspaper clippings and read non-fiction books on topics that interest me. My plot ideas spring from ‘what if?’ questions while reading or hearing news items and then my imagination takes over.

The characters are born at the same time as the plot. They’re a package deal. We must say that the plot of your book "Deadly Secrets" is really intriguing. How did you come up with this story?

I pay more attention to politics than is good for my health. It’s not the politicians or partisan politics that interests me, it’s the impact of policies on people and society. Sometimes it’s the idea that what can sound like a reasonable idea has possible negative implications.

There are so many complex contemporary issues and I feel politicians often settle on simplistic solutions. It creates a minefield of possible bad consequences and my imagination runs away with me. The end result is always fiction but I like to think, it’s what could happen if no-one is paying attention. Were there some alternate endings you considered while writing your book, Lethal Legacy?

I usually know the beginning and the end when I start to write. How the story gets there and sometimes, who does what, can change but the overall plot is essentially the same. How did your friends and family react to your first book?

Surprise. I’d kept my desire to write secret and when I started, I didn’t tell many people about what I was doing. I was testing myself, seeing if I could actually complete a book. But, once I’d finished the book, I needed to know if it was ‘worthy’ of the time and effort I’d put in.

Feedback from strangers encouraged me to publish. I’m thrilled that my friends and family are so supportive and they actually read my book. They’re also not shy about giving feedback. Which one is do you prefer - hardbacks, paperbacks, or eBooks?

As a reader, I still prefer paperback, however the convenience of an eBook is hard to ignore. It’s so easy to have a book on hand when I’m waiting for my grandchildren at the school gate or I’m on the bus.

Although I also published Deadly Secrets in hardback, it hasn’t sold many copies. I don’t think they’re as popular these days.

As a writer, I love having eBooks that readers from anywhere in the world can find. It blows my mind, when I see people in Canada or the UK have bought my book.

I’m hoping to branch out and produce an audiobook this year. It’s an exciting prospect and a very different venture. What sort of advice do you have for any novice writers out there?

If you want to write, my advice is to make the time and start writing.

Don’t fret about the prose, the first draft is getting the story components down on paper (or in your computer). I call my first drafts a brain dump and I’d never show them to anyone. It’s a starting point.

Learn as much as you can about the craft of storytelling,

Get feedback once you’re happy with the manuscript, and be prepared to write, rewrite, edit, and produce numerous versions before you’re finished.

I’d also say, finally holding a copy of a book you’ve written in your hands, is a wonderful feeling.

Who is your target audience? What are some things you wish your readers would take away from your books?

I really struggle to identify my target audience but I think the people who would enjoy my books are both men or women who enjoy reading complex mystery/thrillers that entertain but feel real. Those readers who enjoy stories about ordinary people being confronted with the choice of making a stand and finding extraordinary courage. I’m a big fan of John le Carre, Scott Turow, and Peter Temple.

The take-aways from my books are that everyday people can make a difference, that we all need to stay vigilant and ask questions, and that power can corrupt.

Would you rather live in a huge mansion with a large estate? Or in a gigantic cruise ship?

Neither is likely, but despite loving the sea, I’d prefer to keep my feet firmly on the ground and stay where I can spend time with family and friends. It looks like the mansion wins. If the mansion was beside the sea, preferably with a view of the water, it would be my ideal.

What are your plans for the future as a writer? Are you working on anything new?

I have several stories floating around in my head and I’m not sure which to start.

Another stand-alone thriller. This story has been waiting almost 10 years for attention. I’ve written a couple of chapters but it needs a lot of research to proceed.

I also have ideas for 2 different series, one which has emerged from a short story I wrote (but hasn’t been published) and the other could be connected to Lethal Legacy.

I’m not the kind of writer who could complete these projects simultaneously, so maybe I’ll have to flip a coin, or decide somehow.

What marketing strategies do you find most helpful? Have you liked your experience with AllAuthor so far and would you recommend it to your other author friends?

The author features on AllAuthor are a valuable support for my marketing. I love being able to create interesting and professional looking advertising banners and quote GIFs especially when the images are there and the tools are easy to use.

I’ve tried different marketing and promotion strategies and I’m still evaluating what works best. I’ve used guest blogs, Facebook groups, Instagram, Amazon ads, author talks (now that they are again viable), and different discount strategies.

There is so much to learn and I’ve barely scraped the surface. I’ve organised a Book Tour for Lethal Legacy, so wish me luck.

Ask H.R. Kemp a Question

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    • AllAuthor AllAuthor 2 years ago
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    • Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
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      • H.R. Kemp H.R. Kemp 2 years ago
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      • I draw on personal experience all the time, although I may adjust it to fit the scene, characters, or story. I love being able to use special anecdotes from my travels, include cities and overseas or local locations that I enjoyed and I happily mine my memories to help bring a scene to life. Hopefully, it adds a touch of realism but it also makes writing more pleasurable.
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      • H.R. Kemp H.R. Kemp 2 years ago
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      • I am an independently published author, but I paid a professional to design the cover. I devised the title myself (and find it quite hard) but I got a lot of feedback. As a reader, I'm attracted by a cover and title generally although my final decision is based on the blurb. With so many books published every day, the cover and title need to stand out, be consistent with the genre and attract readers.
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      • H.R. Kemp H.R. Kemp 2 years ago
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      • I do. I'm like most authors, I love reading that someone has enjoyed my book. I also try to rationalise the bad reviews, not everyone can love my book, but it's hard. After the amount of time, energy and self that I put into my novel, I want everyone to love it. I know that's not possible, but I do love to read a good review.
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      • H.R. Kemp H.R. Kemp 2 years ago
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      • Start, don't wait.
        I let life get in the way of writing and didn't take it up seriously until later in life. I wish I'd started earlier.

        I'd also say, Keep learning and practising until you're happy with the result, don't give up. There's no shame in writing a bad first draft, everyone has to rewrite and edit to shape the story.
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