Garry Disher is the author of myriad books including Signal Loss, an Australian based crime novel, that was featured in our December Mystery Box.  Signal Loss, part of the Inspector Challis series, finds Inspector Hal Challis and Senior Sgt. Serena Coolidge uncovering an array of densely packed felonious activity that all seems to start with meth importer, Hector Kaye.  With so much crime and bureaucratic red tape, will the pair be able to stop the meth-fueled criminality from spinning out of control?

Mr.Disher agreed to a five-question rapid-fire interview with us about his tricks to channel creativity and how he got his professional start in writing.  He didn’t offer any spoilers, though, so to find out the fate of Inspector Hal Challis and Senior Sgt. Serena Coolidge you’ll have to read the book!

Garry, tell us a bit about your background.

I am an Australian writer of crime and literary fiction for adults and children. I have written over fifty books, mostly fiction.  Early in my career I was fortunate to win a creative writing scholarship to Stanford University, California, and that experience gave me a wonderful grounding for my career.  My books are slowly growing in popularity outside of Australia, and I have toured both the States and Germany in recent years.

How long does it take to write a book like Signal Loss?

I write about one book a year. I spend months planning, and although I always listen to my instincts if they take me away from the plan, the book I plan is usually the book I write.

Do you have any specific or strange writing rituals that get you into a groove?

The only strange customs I have is to write longhand, in blue ink, on the backs of old manuscript pages. Otherwise the magic would fly out of the window.

What advice do you have for writers just starting out?

My advice to new writers is to be a reader, and above all, to write—don’t talk or dream about being a writer, write, every day if possible, whether or not you feel inspired. Writing will unlock your creativity.

Lastly, if Signal Loss has a soundtrack, what would be on it?

I think the soundtrack to Signal Loss would include anything from Emmylou Harris, Chris Smither and Leonard Cohen.

Miss out on the December PageHabit Mystery box featuring Signal Loss by Garry Disher?  Send us an email at and we will make sure you receive it along with your January box, while supplies last.

Sign up for the January Mystery Box here.