Lisa Unger will appear at The Big Book Getaway’s Mystery & Suspense at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center on Saturday, September 27th, at 7:00 p.m. Other participants will include Tess Gerritsen, John Searles, Alafair Burke, David Handler and Hank Phillippi Ryan (moderator). Tickets are $45/each and can be purchased online; the price includes a signature vodka martini and light hors d’oeuvres. The Kate is located at 300 Main St. in Old Saybrook.
Today, Hartford Books Examiner welcomes Lisa Unger.
Ms. Unger is a New York Times and international bestselling author; her most recent book, In the Blood (Pocket Books, $7.99), is now available in paperback. Accolades include selections as an International Thriller Writers “Best Novel” finalist, a Florida Book Award winner, a Bookspan “International Book of the Month”, a Prix Polar International Award finalist, and a Target “Emerging Author.” Her novels have been named top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Walmart Book Club, Harper’s Bazaar, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Washington Life, Publishers Weekly, New York Daily News, Indie Next and Amazon (Top Ten Thriller of the Year). More than 1.8 copies of her titles have been sold in 26 languages. Ms. Unger’s next work, Crazy Love You, will be out in February of 2015.
Upon initial publication, In the Blood received affirmation from critics and contemporaries alike. Karin Slaughter praised, “Reading In the Blood is like grabbing a live wire … A shocking, unputdownable thriller.” Further, Publishers Weekly awarded the title a starred review, noting, “[A] gripping novel of psychological suspense . . . [with a] tense, surprise-laden plot,” while Library Journal enthused, “Unger’s latest offering is full of engaging twists and turns . . . Skillfully keeps the reader guessing . . . Fans of mystery and psychological suspense . . . will be delighted with this imaginative story.”
From the publisher:
Liar, liar, pants on fire . . .
College senior Lana Granger has told so many lies about her past that the truth seems like a distant, cloudy nightmare. But she meets her match when she begins babysitting for a volatile, manipulative eleven-year-old boy. Soon after Lana takes the job, her close friend Beck mysteriously disappears. Lana instantly begins fabricating stories – to friends, to police, to herself. Why doesn’t her account jibe with those of eye-witnesses? Lana will do anything to bury the truth about that night … and about her life. But someone else knows her secrets. And he’s dying to tell.
As darkly startling and finely crafted as her blockbuster bestseller Beautiful Lies, Lisa Unger’s masterful new psychological thriller is packed with no-holds-barred raw power.
Now, Lisa Unger reveals a few pages from the book of her life …
1) As a child, did you wear your literary lust loud and proud or were you a closet bibliophile?
I have always been an avid reader, raised by avid readers. So books have been a huge part of my life as long as I can remember. My family moved a lot when I was young. So I never really felt like I belonged anywhere — except inside the pages of a book.
2) What book(s) were you likely to be caught keeping company with under the covers?
I read everything I could get my hands on — the darker, the scarier, the more epic, the better. I was reading authors like Stephen King, V.C. Andrews and Sidney Sheldon at an inappropriately young age. Later, I fell in love with the classics, devouring stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Jane Austen. I also loved J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Heinlein, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Truman Capote, and so many more. I was a literary omnivore (still am), never discriminating across genre. I love a big, character rich story with great writing – whether I found that in general fiction, crime fiction, science fiction or fantasy I was a happy girl.
3) What are you reading currently & what is your initial impression?
I just finished The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It was transcendent, an absolutely perfect reading experience. I am bereft that it’s over, as if I’ve lost a friend.
4) What one book do you always recommend when asked?
There are two books that I recommend more than any others. On Writing by Stephen King is simply a great book about the craft and business of being a writer. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott is another favorite of mine about the writing life; I find inspiration whenever I open it.
5) Which of your own books would you suggest to readers & why?
I like to think that my most recent book is my best work. So I always suggest that people start there. Then go back to the beginning, of course, and read them all!
6) Is there a book or author that readers would be surprised to know you’ve read and liked?
I’m a huge Game of Thrones geek. I don’t know if that’s surprising because millions of people are. Martin’s novels are brilliantly written, epic, stories populated by living, breathing characters. The books are simply awe-inspiring and I love getting lost in the world he created.
7) Who is the one author that would, or did, make you weak in the knees upon meeting?
Earlier this year, I spoke at the Key West Literary Seminar and had the very great honor of meeting Judy Blume. She graciously hosted a party in her home, and she was so warm, kind and welcoming. It was a true thrill to meet someone I have so admired. Her stories are indelible in my memory as an early reader, and her writing career is so storied and multifaceted. I was as giddy and nervous as a tween at a Justin Bieber concert!
8) Has there been an “I’ve made it” moment in your career?
Oh, I don’t want one of those! What happens when you’ve “made it?” Does it mean you stop growing as a writer, stop striving towards dreams and goals? And then what? I’m not sure I want to feel like I’ve “made it.” I want to feel like I’m “making it!”
9) What is your greatest literary ambition?
Every day I sit down at my keyboard and think: Today, I can be a better writer than I was yesterday. That’s my greatest ambition, to keep getting better at what I do.
10) Fill in the blank: Hartford Books Examiner is _____.
So wonderful to invite me to answer these questions!
With thanks to Lisa Unger for her generosity of time and thought.