An evening with LA Larkin.
With the title “Cyber trolls, serial killers and the FBI – how does local author, L.A. Larkin, create such terrifying stories?” it was bound to be a fascinating talk. We were fortunate to host the launch of LA Larkin’s new book, Widow’s Island, at our second FOBL event for this year. It was held on Friday 18th June in Balmain Town Hall with an enthusiastic audience, many of whom were new to FOBL, including friends, neighbours, fellow dog lovers and students of LA (Louisa) Larkin’s.
This latest novel was sparked when Louisa found herself wondering what would happen if a cyber troll were to come out from behind the anonymity of their computer. She showed us factories where hundreds of people are employed by governments as cyber trolls – for me this was a startling and terrible truth. Louisa’s books have been set all over the world. This particular book is set in the US so the FBI would clearly be involved. Given that Louisa is meticulous in her research, she wanted to talk with someone in the FBI to ensure authenticity. But how do you get in contact with the FBI? Fortunately, she was able to call in a favour which landed her in a café in the US meeting two FBI agents. When she asked how she would recognise them, one of them told her “Don’t worry, we know exactly what you look like.”
She was met by two FBI agents, both women in immaculate suits – like a scene from a TV show. They talked about the nature of the work they do, how being an FBI agent impacts dating and family life, the fact that their children may be in danger because of the nature of their work. She asked how they switch off at the end of a day’s work- the ritual of stripping out of work clothes and showering allows them to return to family life in their head before they head out of the office, although I suspect their work never leaves them. Having spoken so intimately, they hugged as they parted – the FBI agents with Tim Tams to take back to their families. Louisa felt their guns under their suit jackets. She was only writing about this stuff, these women were living it.
Louisa then gave us a chilling insight into the minds of serial killers – the Dark Tetrad – the four personality traits of serial killers—psychopathy, sadism, Machiavellianism, and narcissism. Having assured us that she really is a nice person, despite the sometimes gruesome nature of her books, she stopped there, leaving us in suspense. We would have to read the novel to find out the ending!
There were many questions from the audience, more anecdotes from Louisa. She was generous with her time and signed numerous copies of her book which were on sale after the event, whilst the audience continued to enjoy the supper provided by the FOBL committee. We had many comments about how delicious, generous and unexpected it was.
It was a very successful evening, and we thank LA Larkin for her thought-provoking and entertaining talk. Also, thanks to The Inner West Libraries for their administrative and technical support, particularly Kaija Fletcher.
If you would like to know more about LA Larkin and this book, look online at her website LA Larkin https://www.lalarkin.com/Behind the Book.