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Lucy Cavendish Student, and Author of Twelve Motives for Murder, discusses her creative writing studies and embracing new opportunities

I applied for the MSt in Creative Writing to expand my technical writing skills and to introduce myself to the latest ideas in writing across all forms. As a journalist and a published author, I felt that I was not giving myself the space to explore various forms. The MSt has shifted my gaze from the word count tool to a curiosity about the best way to capture a ditch in poetry or write a slow story instead of a pacy crime thriller.

I'm motivated by a desire to leave a legacy, to be a positive role model for my two children and to inspire others to start writing and believe in themselves.

As audiobook listenership continued to expand at the start of the pandemic, I wanted to combine the interactivity of a podcast like Serial or West Cork, with a classic Golden Era detective setting. Each chapter of Twelve Motives for Murder is an interview with one of the suspects in the murder of Jonty Caswell-Jones. The reader actually hears all the information in real-time with the detective, Elizabeth Chalice, working with her to solve the case. The newly released paperback works like a case file, for readers to cross-reference alibis and evidence, satisfying the desire for amateur sleuths to participate in solving the mystery.

It's an incredibly interesting time to tell stories. I hope to playfully explore the opportunities in different formats, such as interactive audiobooks or podcasts, to satisfy readers and listeners with an entertaining experience that goes beyond reading the pages of a book. The gamification of storytelling is an area I'm particularly interested in.

Photo credit: John Shortt Photography

A murder mystery told entirely through interviews, Fiona’s book has been published by Hodder Studios and is available here.