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UK crime author Paul D. Brazill quizzes Elka Ray on books and humour

Short, Sharp Interview: Elka Ray

PDB: Can you pitch SAIGON DARK in 25 words or less?

A grieving mom makes a grim choice, then struggles to hide her secret. When she’s found out, disaster ensues. Will her family survive?

 PDB: Which music, books, films, songs or television shows do you wish you had written?

I wish I’d written Scott Smith’s utterly compelling psychological thriller “A Simple Plan”.

As well as writing adult fiction, I write and illustrate kids’ books. Anyone who’s been forced to read a lame kids’ book over and over again knows how torturous it can be. Books like “Room on the Broom” that are funny and have perfect rhythm are gold: “I am a frog, as clean as can be. Is there room on the broom for a frog like me?”

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

My new book, Saigon Dark, was turned into a screenplay. Whether anything will come of it remains to be seen, but it would make a good scary suspense movie.

 PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

The UK has a crop of stunningly smart current female crime writers: Tana French, Belinda Bauer, Denise Mina.

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

While I love a good tune, it’s the lyrics that stay with me:

There are places I remember all my life

Though some have changed

Some forever, not for better

Some have gone and some remain

(The Beatles, In My Life)


“I been bluffin’ with my muffin…”

(Lady Gaga, Poker Face)

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

Perfect timing, as the festive season looms:











PDB: What’s on the cards?

elkaMy short story collection, “What You Don’t Know: Tales of Obsession, Mystery & Murder in Southeast Asia, came out last summer and got a good response. More dark short stories keep creeping into my head.

Bio: Elka Ray is a Canadian/UK author and illustrator who lives in Central Vietnam. When she’s not reading, writing or drawing, she’s in the ocean.

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