Fremantle author Alan Carter discusses new book at Mandurah Library

Fremantle author Alan Carter (right) signs his book for a fan.
Fremantle author Alan Carter (right) signs his book for a fan.

FORMER TV documentary director and award-winning author Alan Carter revealed how he was drawn into writing crime novels when he was the guest of Meet the Author at Mandurah Library.

Carter, who shares his time between Fremantle and Tasmania, has just published the fourth in his Cato Kwong novels, Heaven Sent, set in Fremantle.

The Sunderland-born author likes to localise his characters and settings and his Chinese-Australian police officer is based on someone he once met at a Perth police station.

When, several years ago, he shifted to the WA south coast with his wife who was starting a full-time job there, she told him he could be stay-at-home dad if he looked after the kids, did the housework and cooking and in any time remaining, started writing the book he might have in him.

“The housework took about 15 minutes and she called my bluff,’’ he said.

“I never imagined there was any hope of being published and the stats were pretty daunting.”

But while surfing the net he came across the Penguin Crime Writing competition, entered 1000 words and won second place.

After a second writing win, Fremantle Press took him on and the rest is history.

In Heaven Sent, Kwong is happy with his new wife and baby girl but contentment is not compatible with life in the job and soon a series of murders of Fremantle’s homeless people gets in the way of his newfound bliss.

Carter has already drafted a sequel to Marlborough Man, an earlier book based in New Zealand, and is half way through his fifth Cato Kwong novel.