“It’s hard to work plot twists and a surprise ending into a thousand words,” says Kirsten Leggatt. Ms Leggatt, a Sydney writer, managed to do it so well that her story A Prisoner of My Own Making has just been published by Random House Australia.
Ms Leggatt won a Random House Australia short story competition, in which entrants were given the first line: ‘I have seen unspeakable things in my life…’ The line was provided by crime writer Karin Slaughter. In Ms Leggatt’s story, a nurse encounters a dead body in a remote place. From there the narrative moves briskly to a truly surprising ending.
With a background in the Royal Australian Navy and technology industries, Ms Leggatt has always been interested in writing but did not have time to seriously pursue the interest. “I’ve always loved literature,” she says. “Both my parents are teachers. I loved reading Jane Austen and Emily Bronte at school.” With more time available to her during a sojourn overseas in India and Italy, Ms Leggatt started pursuing writing with renewed energy.
Ms Leggatt enjoys reading thrillers and crime novels, but her current project is from the erotic romance genre. This is a genre which is rapidly growing in popularity, partly inspired by the huge success of the novel Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James. Ms Leggatt will not give too much away about the new project, but will say that it is based on one of her earlier short stories that she decided to develop into a novel. “The story involves a dominatrix,” she says. “I wanted a powerful woman as a central character. A lot of story lines have been done before in the erotic romance genre and I was looking for something different.”
Ms Leggatt has some other projects in development, including one based on her travel in India. She would like to use her journals from that time as the foundation of another book, but has not yet decided what form it will take.
Enjoyment of reading and writing is something Ms Leggatt mentions often. “I like writing because I read so much, and I get so much pleasure out of what other people have written that I too would like to publish my work.” Her motivation is straightforward. “I write for pleasure,” she says. “Hopefully people will enjoy reading what I write, as much as I have enjoyed reading what other authors have written.”
A Prisoner of My Own Making will be available as an e book in August. It can be pre ordered on Kindle now.