By Alison Bunis
With her blend of vivid, eccentric characters and engrossingly horrific crimes, every book from Australian author Candice Fox is a thrill to read. She’s a New York Times bestseller with James Patterson and their Harriet Blue series, and her next book Gone by Midnight, the next book in the Crimson Lake series, will be out on March 10.
We know the wait is tough, but we’re making it easier with some fun facts to pass the time about mystery-writing superstar Candice Fox.
She’s Spent Christmas at a Prison
No, not as an inmate. When she was young, her dad worked as a parole officer at the local prison, and every year they had a company Christmas party there. The food was prepared by the inmates, who were then put in lockdown for the night. Then the kids would go on tour where they saw the exercise yard, the mental ward, inmates in their cells, and collections of confiscated shivs. She’s sure they’ve stopped doing that by now, though…
Her Mother Took Care of a *Lot* of Children During Candice’s Childhood
In addition to her five siblings, there were usually six foster kids living with Candice and her family at any given time. From her experiences living with them, she heard various dark stories of what her foster siblings had gone through giving her a different perspective into how grim the world could be – a view that was probably further enforced by the fact that a favorite family outing spot was the local cemetery, where the kids could run and play but it wasn’t too crowded for their mom to keep an eye on them.
She Got Into Crime Early
Too early, some might say. Candice recalls picking up her first true crime book, called Killer Kids, at the age of seven. When she first met her future collaborator James Patterson, she mentioned that she’d been a fan since she read his book Kiss the Girls when she was twelve years old. A shocked Patterson replied that her mother really should have hidden away the crime books better.
She Describes Her Mother as a “Functional Hoarder”
One of Candice’s mother’s favorite pastimes was, and still is, looking through piles of what other people are throwing out to see what can be taken home. When she was growing up, the whole family would ride around in a minivan with their mom and go “scabbing,” as they called it. Some of her mom’s most memorable finds were a huge disco ball, five (at least) pairs of mannequin arms, a giant papier-mâché flamingo, a life-sized mannequin in a full bridal outfit, and three sheds full of hubcaps.
Her First Computer Was a Piece of Trash
Literally – it came from one of her mom’s scabbing outings. Candice began asking her mother for her own laptop so she could remove her writing from the family computer and keep her siblings from reading it and making fun of it as only siblings can do. Not long after, her mom proudly brought back an old, bulky laptop with a green screen that had to be plugged in at all times. It was no longer cutting-edge, but Candice was thrilled to be able to keep her writing private.
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