Woman’s Day (Australia)
5 minutes with... EVE THOMSON
As a partner at law firm Johnson Winter Slattery, Adelaide’s Eve knows her way around a legal thriller!
You’ve written a story around defamation – why do you think this novel is so timely?
Defamation is having a bit of a moment, maybe because we all now have power to damage someone’s reputation with the push of a button. Reputation and image are also more valuable than ever in the age of social media. In some ways the law is still catching up, and so defamation court cases can make for intriguing stuff.
I also think it’s timely to have a professional woman as the central character. Romola Cross (the lead in She Too) experiences the uncertainties and crises that we all do from time to time. Not every lawyer is a take-no-prisoners whipcracker like you see on TV. To me it was important that Romola was something different to that.
Is based on real life experiences you’ve had as a lawyer?
The scenario, the case and the characters are all completely made up, but some of the moments along the way are inspired by either things I’ve seen or heard, or characteristics in people I’ve come across in the legal profession. The everyday practice of law also involves a lot of reading and dry procedural matters, so I’ve tried to glam it up for readers by focusing more on the relationship and reputational issues that can be at play in a defamation suit and in being a lawyer, as opposed to the technical legalities.
What celebrity legal case intrigues you the most right now?
There have been a multitude of interesting celebrity legal cases over recent years, and the prepublication lawyer in me doesn’t want to comment on any cases that are still ongoing before the courts. I will be reading along with everyone else to see where the Bruce Lehrmann and Linda Reynolds claims land, and also the Ben Roberts-smith judgment,
which is yet to be delivered.
Which one from the past had you hooked?
Taking off my lawyer hat, you can’t go past Johnny [Depp] vs Amber [Heard] for pure entertainment value. A case would never be run like that in Australia – it was fun to watch from afar and marvel at the antics.
How have shows like affected the legal landscape?
I don’t believe any reports about MAFS, or shows like it, have made their way into the courts yet. But good luck to any judge having to get to the bottom of the truth in the context of a MAFS episode!
You were on the same writing course as Jane Harper – has her success in books inspired you?
I love Jane Harper’s work so much. The story of how she wrote The Dry motivated me to apply for the same novelwriting course as her, and I can only dream of having a fraction of her success.
You’ve been lucky enough to sign a two-book deal – have you made a start on your next book?
Yes I have! I’ll be picking up again with Romola as she takes on another case. I’m very happy to be diving back into her world, and having fun dreaming up the twists and turns of her next client – who will be very different from her influential, rich, clients in She Too.
Will you stick to thrillers? Are they your favourite genre of story?
I read all sorts of genres, but I love a good page-turner with a strong plot, and thrillers tend to have that. At least for now, I’m planning to stick with stories about the drama, intrigue and crazy relationships behind the scenes in the law.