Ask to… Lisa Unger

lisa ungerLisa Unger is an award-winning New York Times and internationally bestselling author. Her novels have sold more than 1.5 million copies and have been translated into twenty-six different languages. Her writing is hailed as “stellar” (USA Today), “sensational” (Publishers Weekly) and “sophisticated” (New York Daily News) with “gripping narrative and evocative, muscular prose” (Associated Press).

I have read her book Heartbroken in Dutch. My review is in Dutch.Verdronken-hart-600

1. How did you get the idea for this book to have an island play an important role?
There were two locations that served as inspiration for the island and the story itself in HEARTBROKEN.  I visited an island owned by my family in Canada.  And I spent some time in Alaska, vacationing at a place called the Katchemak Bay Wilderness Lodge. Both of these places possessed a wild natural beauty. But I also sensed a kind of primal darkness.  These isolated settings, combined with the family dynamics that played out there, were the first germs for HEARTBROKEN.

2. Which of the female characters comes closest to yourself and why?
I don’t consider myself to be like any of the characters in HEARTBROKEN or any of my books. Each of my characters feels like a real and unique person whom I have met, rather than someone I have created.  But of course, they are all compilations of my imagination, my experiences, my observations, and theories on why people do the things they do.  But no character is modeled on any one person, and none of them is me precisely – though part of me lives in all of them.

3. How do you carry out the research for your book?
I generally take a three-pronged approach to research. Most of my research starts with the Internet — that’s where all my initial questions get answered.  If I need more, I’ll move on to books written on my particular subject matter.  And after that, I will find an expert willing to speak to me and answer my questions.  It is possible to put too much research into your novels, but it is not possible to know too much about your subject matter.  You have to know a great deal to make even the simplest things ring true.

4. What kind of books do you like to read?
I read widely within and without the crime fiction genre.  I am a non-fiction junkie, and read everything from psychology textbooks to books on science and history.  Some of my favorite authorsin crime fiction are Karin Slaughter, Laura Lippman, Kate Atkinson, Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane – to name only a few. I am currently reading the The Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin, as well as Harlan Coben’s SIX YEARS.

Lisa, thank you so much for taking time to answers my questions.

©Plien 2013

pictures from Internet

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