If you were allowed to give one argument as to why the world should read your work, what would that argument be?

Read my work if you like tense, gritty stories with characters who have their own, very individual ways of finding justice.

What compelled you to become a writer in the first place?

As a six-year-old, I remember writing one of my first stories and being transported to another world. I’ve never the lost that sense of wonder about the possibilities of the imagination and where it can take you. As an adult, writing helps me distil my experiences and find the truth within them. Writing is also an endless, three-dimensional puzzle that infuriates, inspires and challenges me.

Who are some writers every new/beginning writer should read and why?

Vladmir Nabokov for the beauty of his language; Jane Austen for her enduring wit, social commentary and powers of observation; Kazuo Ishiguro for his mastery of voice and characterisation; and Koushun Takami for his sheer audacity and breathless originality.

What are some writing tips you would offer new/beginning writers?

Read widely, write lots and take as many writing courses as you can. Find a writing group to give you quality feedback and support – you’ll learn so much from watching their work develop over time. Get used to having your work critiqued and don’t be too hard on yourself. Adopt a ‘growth mindset’ where you’re constantly learning how to write better.

What’s a movie that absolutely has to be seen on the big screen to be fully appreciated?

Any of the Bourne movies for their larger-than-life action scenes and exotic locations. Watching Apollo 11 at an IMAX on the anniversary of the Moon landing filled me with awe at the sheer scale and ambition of the NASA mission.

What can we expect from you in the near future?

My debut novel, The Hidden Girl, an edgy, young adult mystery set in Australia and Indonesia, will be released in August 2022 by Walker Books. I am beyond excited.

Louise Bassett is an Australian author who writes for young adults and grown-ups. The Hidden Girl is her debut novel and will be published by Walker Books in 2022. It was shortlisted for the Ampersand Prize. Her award-winning adult short fiction has been published internationally. Her second and third YA novels are in the works.

After emigrating from England on a Greek liner, Louise grew up in Adelaide, ‘the weird murder capital of Australia’ and a fertile environment for a budding writer. After university, she narrowly dodged a career as a lawyer and worked in international aid in Cambodia, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam.

Louise works in community justice, giving her a deep understanding of the impact of crime and vulnerability – issues she explores in her writing.

Based in Melbourne, Louise lives with her partner and too many books.