Interview: Anne Buist talks Locked Ward

In our latest author interview, we talk with Anne Buist, author and psychiatrist. Anne recently published the fourth novel in the Natalie King Series, Locked Ward. The novel follows forensic psychiatrist Natalie, as she stays in the mother-baby unit of a private psychiatric unit – only to find herself in the centre of a murder case.

We chat about Anne’s previous and upcoming work, refugee mental health, the stigma of mental illness (particularly within the mental health profession), and more. The first half of the episode is spoiler-free!

Show Notes

About Locked Ward

Natalie King may be a psychiatrist, but that doesn’t mean she can persuade her baby to go to sleep. Sienna wants to party through the night—and lack of sleep is a major trigger for Natalie’s bipolar disorder. 

Sleep school at Southside private psych unit, however, turns out to have its own hazards. It’s bad enough that Natalie doesn’t really want to be there, that she wants to keep her professional status quiet and that she’s seen enough group therapy to be quite sure it’s not her thing. But then someone arrives who Natalie knows very well indeed—and not in a good way. 

Luckily she’s out of Southside by the time the murder happens. Unluckily, she knows everyone who’s involved, including the cops. They think they have an open-and-shut case. Natalie’s pretty sure they’ve locked the door on the wrong person. 

Released January 2023 with Text Publishing.

About the author

Professor Anne Buist is the Chair of Women’s Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, based at Austin Health, and has over 30 years clinical and research experience in perinatal psychiatry including being director of mother-baby units for much of this time. She continues to work with Protective Services and the legal system in cases of abuse, kidnapping, infanticide and murder. She teaches, supervises a perinatal outreach service and provides one off second opinions for management of perinatal disorders and opinions for the court on these matters but no longer takes on new patients. 

Anne’s bibliography includes the Natalie King series, a standalone psychological thriller titled The Long Shadow, and two books co-written with her husband, Graeme Simsion. 

Find Anne via her website.

Anne’s recommendations

Relevant mental health resources

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