• Maya Linnell

Creativity, wanderlust and writing agents with Kelli Hawkins

It’s not often I finish a novel in 24 hours, but the pages pretty much turned themselves with Kelli Hawkins’s new thriller, All She Wants. The main character Lindsay recruits an investigator to confirm her boyfriend’s infidelity, and not only does PI Natalie deliver the damning evidence, she introduces heartbroken Lindsay to her brother Jack, who is also keen to start a family of his own.


The story twists and turns between past and present, with the changing perspective of the two female leads adding plenty of pace and suspense to the story. I always love it when an author brings their own areas of expertise to their novels, and we see Hawkins’s insights into private investigations, and local knowledge of the city of Newcastle, showcased throughout the story.


I also liked how the plot had me enthralled without being bone-chillingly scary or especially gory, offering little tidbits of information and red herrings to keep me guessing. Many thanks to Harper Collins for sending through an early copy of this easy reading, highly engrossing story. All She Wants out now in all good book stores.



Five fast minutes with Kelli Hawkins


Do you have a good luck charm or a special token that sits on your desk/in your office?


Not really, though I have one wall filled with photos of my family, travels and other things that inspire me. I like to think I write at my desk, but I often write at the kitchen table, on my bed, at a café, etc.


Favourite exercise to counteract all the hours sitting at the keyboard?


Walking is the easiest to fit in, especially with a new puppy in the house. Murphy gives me no choice! But I love the gym too and would really like to get back into boxing. Exercise works wonders for clearing the crap out of my mind!


What’s your go-to weekday dinner dish?


I love cooking so it really changes all the time. But for my teenage kids I regularly make curries, pork schnitzels or pan-fried duck breasts with salad, or spicy Chinese or Mexican dishes. Sashimi is our favourite. And homemade dumplings when time permits!


Which career would you choose if money wasn’t a factor and writing wasn’t an option?


A singer or an artist – if I could sing or draw! Definitely something creative.


Chocolate, potato chips or cheese?


All three! If I had to pick, then chocolate, especially when writing.


Have you done anything special with any of your advances?


Sadly, no. Just paid bills. Hopefully we’ll see the end of Covid soon, as I’d really like to take the kids overseas at the end of 2022. Japan? Taiwan? We can’t wait to get back on a plane.


Spot where you seem to get the best bursts of inspiration?


In bed in the middle of the night. I try to write things down, but sometimes it’s illegible and other times it is not nearly as good an idea as it seemed at 3am. Otherwise, a long walk is great for inspiration.


Agent or no agent?


Agent. The support I receive from my agent, Melanie Ostell, is invaluable. I’m not the most confident writer, and it’s good to get her feedback. Also, it’s great to know I’m in good hands with regards to contracts and approaches to overseas publishers and agents. That side of the business is a world away from writing, and it’s time consuming, so I’m grateful I’ve got someone to steer me in the right direction.


Do you have a writing ‘uniform’?


No. I just need to be comfortable. Pyjamas are good! Trackies, t-shirts, shorts.


Aussie novel you’re most looking forward to in 2022?


To be honest I haven’t looked ahead to see what’s coming out. But I’m keen to read Kimberley Allsopp’s Love and Other Puzzles, which came out recently and is next on my TBR pile. And there are always so many great new Aussie books on the shelves I don’t really need to plan ahead!


Best one-line sentence from one of your book reviews?


Honestly, I try not to read reviews. Goodreads can be a scary place! But I’m always touched and surprised to be emailed or messaged by people who found one of my books personally affecting. And being contacted directly by kids who’ve read my children’s book, The School for Talking Pets, is a real treat.


Share a quirky habit or something readers might be surprised to discover about you.


A few weeks ago I was driving home and a huntsman scuttled across the windscreen in front of me – INSIDE the car. It was then I realised I have a phobia of spiders! Also I’m terrified of stick insects. Something about the way they sway back and forth freaks me out…


Where can people find you online?


I’m most regularly on Instagram – kellihawkinswriter – and I have a website kellihawkins.com.au.



All She Wants


Ask no questions. Tell no lies. The utterly compelling new novel from the bestselling author of Other People's Houses.


Lindsay just wants to be a mother. And when she discovers her partner is leaving her for another woman, her dreams are left in tatters. He was her last chance at a family ... or was he?


Then she meets Jack, they fall hard for each other, and suddenly everything seems perfect. But why is his sister Natalie so strangely protective of him, yet eager to pass the responsibility to Lindsay? Who are these siblings, why did they really leave the UK, and what terrifying secrets lie in their past?


And does Lindsay really want to know?


BUY IT NOW or ask your local bookshop to order it in.


About the author


Kelli Hawkins writes reports for a private investigator, as well as working on novels for adults and children. She lives in Newcastle with her two teenagers. Over the years she's travelled whenever possible and worked all kinds of jobs. Kelli's been a political journalist, a graphic designer, a mystery shopper - even a staple remover.


WIN - WIN - WIN


Head to the WIN page for your chance to win a copy of All She Wants, thanks to Harper Collins. Contest closes April 10. Aussie addresses and newsletter subscribers only, please.