Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

I Grabbed Dennis Waterman and Spat in His Face ; Actress-Turned-Writer Lynda la Plante, 70, Has Created Some of TV's Most Successful Crime Dramas. She Talks about Her New Novel, Wrongful Death and the Inspiration Behind Her Stories

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

I Grabbed Dennis Waterman and Spat in His Face ; Actress-Turned-Writer Lynda la Plante, 70, Has Created Some of TV's Most Successful Crime Dramas. She Talks about Her New Novel, Wrongful Death and the Inspiration Behind Her Stories

Article excerpt

What was the inspiration behind new culture clash thriller, Wrongful Death? IT'S very interesting how we've recently seen and read so much about profiling, and psychological interrogation is now very relevant in most enquiries. Quantico (the training academy) at the FBI are the masters of this; they really originated profiling. I was interested to see what courses British officers had and then compare that with what an American detective being brought in to do research in England had, to see the difference between ours and theirs. That's basically why I chose the FBI.

How easy was it getting access to Quantico experts? OH, very hard; a lot of enquiries, and eventually I was very dependent on a British officer who had done the course in America with the FBI to give me how he had to react and what he had to do, because it's really very much a closed shop. With his help it was a lot easier when I did speak to somebody there, because at least I had some background information.

What inspires your stories? WHEN I'm in America, I'm an obsessive fan of a documentary crime show, ID on Discovery. When you watch real-life crimes that have occurred, sometimes they go as far back as the Eighties, and there was not a conclusion until 20 years later when they were able to use DNA.

Congratulations on The Fellowship of the Forensic Science Society Award THANK you. They also give me access to their lectures and meetings. It's fantastic; I just love it.

It's so fascinating and they're such lovely people. I was very, very honoured by it actually.

I imagine all your work is reliant on the approval of experts THROUGHOUT my career as a writer I've always been dependent on the research done by detectives and forensics to okay a script.

To me it would be almost abusive if I asked them, "Could I get to this point in this level of time?". They would say, "No. If you want a blood test and a toxicology test, it would take you two to three weeks". And often you will be watching crime shows in England that say, "Oh, we've just had the toxicology report", but they've only had the body for 10 minutes!

I've always been dependent on having my scripts and novels, particularly the novels, researched by them, so there are quite a lot of fingerprints over my books. …

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