AN author who has built a career writing and illustrating children's books has delved into crime fiction with a story most will find familiar.
Ed Chatterton's A Dark Place to Die is a psychological thriller that stretches from close to his place of birth in England to northern NSW and the Gold Coast.
"The Gold Coast is only an hour away (from Lennox Head). It has a big population and a suitable setting for a crime thriller," Mr Chatterton said.
"I came from England about eight years ago."
Mr Chatterton said not only is the setting familiar but the characters in the book are based on people he knew while living in England.
"This is certainly the book that took the longest to write," he said.
"I have written a lot of comedies and this one had no comedy in it."
Mr Chatterton said he was motivated to write a thriller after a fellow children's writer published his own crime fiction.
"I have always been interested in crime fiction," he said.
"A friend Phillip Gwynne successfully published his own crime fiction.
"I'm just really jealous of his success," Mr Chatterton quipped.
The story follows the exploits of Detective Inspector Frank Keane who teams up with his old boss, the legendary DI Menno Koopman, his after the discovery of the body of Koopman's son in Liverpool.
As the body count rises in Liverpool and Australia, Keane and Koopman's search for the killer becomes a fight for survival.
Mr Chatterton is launching his book at the Byron Bay Writer's festival on August 5.