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'Most women are amateur psychiatrists'

15 June 2015

‘It's so much more interesting to write a repellent character than a sweet, saintly one. But I also believe that the human mind is such a complex thing that we can be extraordinarily pleasant while the most terrible things are going on in our heads. A good example is the couple who have decided to divorce but haven't told their friends yet. And they have been at each other's throats for a year and can't stand the sight of each other...

I think most women are amateur psychiatrists. We're brought up to be like that. We think much more about the whys than most men do: ‘Why has someone done that?' And that is an advantage in writing crime novels.'

Minette Walters, author of The Cellar, in the Guardian