Booktopia is very fond of crime and thriller author Candice Fox – not only is she exceptionally kind and funny, Candice knows how to get us every time with her thrilling stories. In light of her latest novel, Redemption Point, we thought it only prudent to ask her about Ted and Amanda’s recent adventure.
1. Ted is back – what can fans look forward to?
Yes, Ted is back with all his Teddy Teddy goodness. He’s got a few things on his plate this time around, including a brand new bombshell in his already tattered world, but what you can look forward to is his determination not to give up on forging himself the life he deserves. With a little help from some not-so-friendly friends, Ted is out to catch the person who really did attack Claire Bingley and clear his name. His mission will have consequences for both Amanda and Kelly, his ex-wife, so fans can look forward to seeing where his loyalties lie.
2. What were some books you loved that you read last year?
I’ve been reading a lot of James Lee Burke and loving his style. He’s very evocative and his characters are weird and ugly, and the protagonist has got a totally crazy unpredictable offsider, which is something everyone knows I love. I read a lot of James Patterson, of course. His Women’s Murder Club is totally addictive.
3. If you could have dinner with Ted and Amanda, what would you ask them?
I feel as though Amanda would have a lot of great recommendations for books, podcasts and movies, because her sense of taste is a lot like mine, so straight up it’d be something like that. I guess I’d want to know about her childhood, because something must have happened to make her the way she is (or maybe not?). I think there was a certain something off with Amanda before the Lauren Freeman incident, so if she could help me out with that it might make interesting book fodder.
I’d love to know what kind of stuff Ted heard in prison, because he talks briefly about being locked up with all the protection inmates and how they used to blather on and on with their stories. He would have shared a common space with some pretty interesting people, I think, so it’d be good to hear that.
4. Will there be another book about Ted and Amanda?
Yes indeed, I’m about 25,000 words into the third book.
5. What was the most difficult challenge you faced when writing Redemption Point?
Look, I thought it was going to be writing as a child sex offender, because how on earth do you understand that kind of thinking? It’s completely foreign to me. And it might be that I haven’t done a very truthful job of representing what it’s like to be that kind of person, but I’m sure no one’s going to stick their hand up and say they know for sure and I’m wrong. I just wrote about someone who has a terrible, shameful secret that they kind of – but don’t really – feel awful about, and I wrote as an obsessive, a control freak, which I’ve done before.
But in fact it was harder to write Amanda this time, because the first time around I presented the reader with someone who was very unpredictable and seemed to make no sense in the world, a true misfit. She was a mystery to the reader – and to me, which was fine then, but it’s not something you can get away with for long. When I started to write Amanda a second time I’d pause before she spoke and my first impulse was always ‘Say something zaney!’ But Amanda isn’t just hopelessly zaney. She’s far more complex than that. She had a ‘purpose’, and that purpose wasn’t just comic relief.
6. If you had to describe Amanda in one sentence, what would the sentence be?
She thinks she’s hilarious, without any evidence to support that conclusion.
7. If you had to describe Ted in one sentence, what would that sentence be?
The man just wants to drink a damned whiskey by the sunset and doesn’t think that’s such a big ask.
8. Did you draw on any real life events when writing Redemption Point and if so, what cases did you research?
I watch A LOT of crime TV, and for that reason I really should keep a notebook and pen beside me, because I am flooded with great ideas all the time. Sometimes I don’t know if something I have seen is going to be immediately useful to me or not, so I’m lazy and I don’t write down the details.
But I saw an episode of Forensic Files (the BEST show on television) about these young workers in a restaurant – might have been a Taco Bell or something – who were being robbed late at night. The robbers had them all lie on the floor, and then they shot them all, one at a time. I was horrified – which rarely happens with me. It just seemed so pointless and wasteful for these young people to have their hopes and dreams extinguished on the floor of some crappy restaurant like that. So that went some way to inspiring the Barking Frog case.
When I taught university I used to get random classes all the time because I was a PhD student, and one semester I was teaching film. I took a clip from an interview with Dennis Ferguson on a major current affairs program that I won’t name. Now, Dennis Ferguson was guilty – and an all-round vile human being. But the devices the program used to trump up his apparent ‘evil’ and dramatise him was almost comical. If you applied the same techniques to an innocent person you could make Mother Teresa look like Elizabeth Bathory. So I used what I saw there for Ted’s bombshell moment.
9. What’s next for you?
I’ve just finished the next Harriet Blue novel with James Patterson – that’ll be the third full novel in the series, Liar Liar. Right now I’m working on the next Ted and Amanda book, and I have two other novels to write this year. There is film and TV stuff swirling around all the time, but all of that is managed by other people and I have little to do with it, so I just sit back and wait for news on that front. In July, I’ll be back in Australia, but before then I have a few major book tour and event commitments, some of them across Europe. So planes, airports, hotel rooms and my trusty pink laptop. That’s what’s next for the foreseeable future!
Thank you Candice!
Sarah McDuling’s review of Redemption Point:
I have been desperate for this book ever since reading Crimson Lake last year. Candice Fox is a genius mastermind with crazy-amazing storytelling powers – literally every time she writes a book it becomes my new favourite. Redemption Point is no exception!
For anyone who hasn’t yet read Crimson Lake, my advice to you to you is to drop everything and get a copy immediately. I’m actually really jealous of all the readers out there who will be able to read Crimson Lake and Redemption Point back to back. For us fans, it’s been a long wait to catch up with Ted Conkaffey and Amanda Pharrell again!
Accused of a horrific crime and judged guilty in the eyes of the world, Crimson Lake saw Ted Conkaffey fleeing to far north Queensland to start his life over again. In the last book we watched as he slowly emerged from his grief and shock to team up with highly eccentric private investigator, Amanda Pharrell. In Redemption Point his journey continues as he gets closer to clearing his name and hunting down the dangerous criminal responsible for ruining his life.
Ted is the most reviled man in the country and Amanda is the most hated woman in Crimson Lake. Both are ex-cons accused of terrible crimes. Ted is falsely accused. Amanda isn’t. Read more.
Interested to hear more from Candice? We’ve got your back! Check out our podcast interview with Candice about the first in the series, Crimson Lake:
Crimson Lake Series: Book 2
#1 New York Times bestselling author Candice Fox delivers a compulsive new crime thriller, which sees Ted Conkaffey once again teaming up with an unlikely partner – this time the father of the girl he was accused of abducting . . .
When former police detective Ted Conkaffey was wrongly accused of abducting thirteen-year-old Claire Bingley, he hoped the Queensland rainforest town of Crimson Lake would be a good place to disappear. But nowhere is safe from Claire’s devastated father.