Updated: Dec 21, 2019
Even though he's now a best selling author, if you ever have the opportunity to listen to Christian White speaking about his books he still manages to convey the impression he's simply a 'local boy done good'. Ah, but we love a local success story on the Mornington Peninsula! Partly because of that, I've been following his progress and rocket to success with more than a little interest. Poor Christian might worry I'm stalking him, but I promise I'm not. I'm listening and learning.
As I said in a previous post somewhere, listening to Christian is like receiving a lesson on how to be a successful author and win your audience. It you've ever had that opportunity you'll know exactly what I mean. He has readers (and audiences) captivated. It's not only his winning ability to recount anecdotes and stories, it's his winning combination of self-deprecating humour, lauding the achievements of others and not forgetting to thank the people who have helped him along the way, recognising the value of family and friends, and admitting about his own doubts and failings. He has the ability to make you feel he's no different to anyone else ... but of course he is.
Christian White has shown that crime pays. Literally, at least. He is among the considerable number of Australian authors who are doing incredibly well in the crime writing genre. Think Jane Harper, Michael Robotham, Candice Fox. Perhaps it's all those convict roots;)
I first went along to one of Christian's talks at my local bookshop, Farrells in Mornington, and as well as being impressed by his ability to entrance his audience, I also loved his novel, The Nowhere Child - the premise was so familiar and yet so surprising. His second book, The Wife and the Widow, took me by surprise again. Set on a fictitious island, somewhere off the Ballerine Peninsula, the setting and characters seemed comfortably familiar ... only, we soon learn that they are not. The Wife and the Widow quickly draws you into the story: on the one hand, there is the widow whose husband has been found murdered, and on the other hand, the wife who suspects her husband may have done something untoward. Their stories converge and the tension ramps. It's a gripping read from the outset, but it's the element of the unexpected which I think makes this work stand out - of course, I'm not going to give any spoilers here, but I do encourage you to read The Wife and the Widow if you haven't already.
Just as a side note and referring back to what I mentioned earlier about Christian's respect and acknowledgement for his wife, Somer, and for his publishers at Affirm, you might like to finish by reading this article in the Good Weekend (Sydney Morning Herald) https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/christian-and-summer-met-while-editing-porn-then-his-debut-novel-upended-their-marriage-20191209-p53i8m.html