Guest blog tour – Dianne Bates

Today I welcome prolific Australian author, Dianne Bates to my blog to talk about her latest book, the riveting, spine-chilling The Girl in the Basement.

The Girl in the Basement front new sml

How can you be a sweet innocent teen-age girl one moment, a terrified ten-year-old boy the next, then a psychological killer?

1. Describe your book in five words or less

Psychopath kidnaps teenage girl.

2. How did the idea for your book come to you?

The Girl in the Basement is based on the real-life discovery in 1987 of a Polaroid photograph picked up by a shopper in a Florida (US) car park. It showed a girl around twenty, and a boy around ten who were both bound and gagged and who appeared to be in the back of a van. Disturbed by the photo, the finder took it to police. Hundreds of stories with the picture were run in national media, including a TV program, Missing People. This resulted in the parents of both children contacting police. The boy was said to be Michael Henley, who had gone missing from a camping trip 17 months earlier. The girl, identified as Tara Callico, had disappeared 75 miles away a year earlier while out cycling. Both Michael and Tara were from New Mexico but were unrelated. For their parents, it was the first inkling of what had happened to them.

I remember being very distressed by the story and often wondered if either of the victims were ever found. As it turned out, there were numerous unconfirmed sightings of Tara in 1988 and 1989, mostly in the southern half of the United States. However, she has never been found, alive or dead. Remains found in the Zuni Mountains in June 1990 were eventually identified as Michael’s. It is believed he died of natural causes. Thus the identity of the boy in the photo is still unknown.

3. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

No, I just want readers who enjoy crime fiction to love The Girl in the Basement.

4. Why did you choose to write in this genre?

The idea I ran with (above) only really suited a psychological thriller.

5. Does the life of your main character parallel with yours in any way?

Only insofar as when I was a child I felt trapped because I lived constantly with abuse in a dysfunctional family.

Thank you Dianne for telling us about your fabulous new book. It draws you in from the first page and keeps you guessing – the hallmark of a great thriller!

Books are available from any bookstore in Australia, many online stores as a paperback (including Amazon) and eBook, and from

Follow Dianne Bates’ blog tour and find out how she did it in her thriller The Girl in the Basement. . Comment on any of the blogs and go in the draw to win a free copy of the book.

Monday July 1st. Review

Tuesday July 2nd  Interview

Wed July 3rd Interview

Thurs July 4th Interview

Fri July 5th Review

Sat July 6th Interview

Sun July 7th Review

Monday July 8th Interview

Tuesday July 9th Interview

Tuesday July 9th Interview

Wed July 10th Interview

Wed July 11th Interview

Thursday July 12th

8 thoughts on “Guest blog tour – Dianne Bates

  1. Alison Reynolds says:

    Excellent question, Teena.
    Di, did you get spooked writing this?
    I know once I wrote a story and could only write it when someone else in the house.

  2. Alison Reynolds says:

    Definitely spine chilling Chris. It’s fascinating to read the book after reading about the inspiration.
    It gives an added insight.

  3. Teena Raffa-Mulligan says:

    It’s always fascinating to learn the inspiration behind a novel and I can certainly understand why the news article caught hold of your imagination, Di. I always wonder when I read a psychological thriller whether the author got spooked writing the story as much I do reading it…perhaps you can answer that question during your blog tour.

  4. christinemareebell says:

    A great premise and a spine chilling read! Thanks Di and Alison.

    I can’t wait to have Di visit From Hook to Book on Thursday to share some of her writing process and how she got into three starkly different viewpoints, including both kidnapper and victims.

    Best wishes for great success to both author and book.


  5. Dimity Powell says:

    This sounds absolutely gripping Alison and Di. I am looking forward to sinking my teeth into this one for sure.

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