Writer Of The Week: Liz Filleul

Our brilliant Feel-good Fiction bookazine is currnetly on sale. It’s packed with 44 fantastc stories, including four gripping Long Reads! One of these is “Hot On The Trail” by Liz Filleul. We caught up for a chat.


Tell us about your Long Read story “Hot On The Trail”.

“Hot On The Trail” is a contemporary crime story set in summer in Australia. Private investigator Kati and her husband Matt are looking forward to taking a long-overdue break from work. Part of their trip involves an overnight hike in a national park. But dastardly goings-on at the campsite mean Kati’s detective instincts kick in, and she doesn’t get the holiday she hopes for.

I’ve written other long crime reads for the “Friend”, but this is my first contemporary one, and my first set in Australia, so I hope readers enjoy it.


Do you enjoy writing crime stories?

Yes. I have written in other genres, but nine times out of ten, if I think of an idea for a story, it’s got a crime in it. Though I’m more interested in the crime-solving aspect than the crime itself, really, which is why my crime writing is mostly on the cosy side.

It’s great that “The People’s Friend” publishes cosy crime of varying lengths, and offers the opportunity to write both contemporary and historical crime.


Do you feel the long reads give you more chances to develop plot lines and characters?

They definitely do. The longer format gives my detectives more opportunity to dive into the victim’s past, and dig into the suspects’ lives as well. It enables them to have a life outside work too – including time for romance and friendships. I’ve used some of my characters in more than one long read, which has allowed for further character and plot development – for example, my convict constable, Will Grafton, has met and become engaged to a convict maid over the course of three long crime reads.


Which crime writers do you admire?

I really admire crime writers who can create interesting characters we care about, and develop them over the course of a series – and, importantly, recognise when it’s time for that series to stop. Elly Griffiths is a shining example of this – it would have been so easy for her to keep writing more Ruth Galloway stories, knowing readers would buy them, but she decided that it was time to bring the series to a conclusion. Risky, but wise, in my opinion.

I also admire authors who can come up with so many original ideas year after year. There’s an American short crime fiction writer called John M. Floyd, who’s had more than 1000 short crime stories published over the past 30 years. Amazing output!

Of course, there are many other crime writers whose work I enjoy reading, including Jane Harper, Sarah Epstein (writer of young adult crime) and CJ Sansom.


What are you working on just now?

I’m working on a few crime stories right now – all of varying lengths and at various, though early, stages of development. I’m also putting together ideas for a possible serial, which will also no doubt feature a crime!


Thank you, Liz!

You can get your Feel-good Fiction bookazine from WH Smith, Amazon, some supermarkets or you can order a copy here https://eu1.hubs.ly/H09jKV80


Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!