Monday, 2 May 2011

Why I Write Crime Fiction for Teens by Savita Kalhan

It all started out in a very roundabout way. I lived in the Middle East for several years, teaching English, but access to books was very limited. Most books were banned, so I ended up smuggling them in! I was reading everything I could lay my hands on, including lots of crime fiction and fantasy epics, teen books, YA and adult.  When some  books proved to be disappointing my friend and I decided we’d turn our hand to writing a book ourselves. I wrote a fantasy epic, which ran to hundreds of thousands of words, and had barely finished it when I returned to live in the UK. Somehow everything changed and I literally turned my back on epic fantasy literature and started writing teen and YA crime fiction.
I’ve always read teen and young adult books, so it came naturally to me to write it. There’s an immediacy about the plot and pace that I love and it suits my writing style.
But why crime fiction, you might ask? I adore a good thriller, the kind that takes you on a roller-coaster of a story and leaves you breathless but wanting more. And when you put it down when you’ve reached the end, you know you won’t forget it because it’s left a lasting impression on you. A psychological thriller will do that to you. It’ll be a gut-wrenching read; it’ll take you out of your comfort zone and challenge you. It won’t leave you behind at any point. It’ll make you care.
I hope I’ve created that in The Long Weekend. It’s fast-paced, it will definitely take you far out of your comfort zone, and when you reach the end, I don’t think you’ll forget it in a hurry. It breaks a traditional taboo in teen lit too – but more of that in my next blog here on 19th May.
The Long Weekend comes with a few warnings: Not suitable for younger readers, but if you’re any age between 12 and 100 you’re fine. The other warning? Do NOT under any circumstances read it late at night! And that applies if you’re 12 or a 100. It’s a little bit scary...
Look out for The Long Weekend GIVEAWAY that’s running this month – a signed copy is up for grabs!


  1. Actually its just as scary a second time round! And I read it on my Kindle which in theory should make it less scarier - only it didn't, trust me. A great read whenever and wherever.

  2. Great post, Savita and it's true, isn't it, that psychological thrillers stay with you the longest. Very interesting that this is a reason you chose to write the way you do.

  3. Nick - Wow! Thank you! That's a great compliment! Interesting thought though - does reading on a kindle really make some books less scary? I'll have to try it out - as soon as I get my head, and purse, round reading on a Kindle!

  4. Bryony - psychological thrillers definitely stay with me long after a regular thriller has been open and shut!