'Creative writing research offers a unique opportunity to draw together threads of inquiry from the realms of the creative, the practical and the critical (Kroll and Harper 2013). This article explores a writer’s interrogation of this process and how it was applied to creating representations of a murderous mother in a crime fiction narrative. Crime fiction provides a natural space for intersections of the creative, practical and critical due to the genre’s tendency towards social critique (Moore 2006) and the opportunity it offers to question the representations and cultural assumptions that surround us. This article aims to unpack these intersections and ask how common representations of the murderous mother can be deconstructed, challenged and repositioned through first separating, and then realigning, critical and creative processes. (Publication abstract)'