Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling, award-winning author of sixteen novels. Her new release UNDER MY SKIN is named one of the most anticipated and top thrillers of fall 2018 by BookBub, Bookish, Library Journal, Booklist, PopSugar and CrimeReads.
Her books are published in twenty-six languages worldwide, have sold millions of copies and have been voted “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, Amazon, Indie Booksellers, Goodreads and Sun Sentinel to name a few.
Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR and Travel+Leisure Magazine. Lisa Unger lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with her husband, daughter and labradoodle.
Why Psychological Suspense? by Lisa Unger
I’m not sure that I chose to write crime fiction or psychological suspense any more than I chose to write in the first place. I don’t remember a time before I defined myself as a writer. Likewise, I don’t remember a time before my thoughts and imaginings tended toward the dark side. As a young reader, I gravitated to the work of Stephen King, V.C. Andrews, as well as novels like WUTHERING HEIGHTS, JANE EYRE, REBECCA – big sweeping stories in popular fiction as well as classic literature which explored the nether and mysterious aspects of human nature and relationships.
When I discovered Truman Capote’s short stories, I fell in love with his language. And then when, too young I think, I read IN COLD BLOOD, I discovered that a writer might explore the deepest, ugliest aspects of crime and psychology, but might also do so with depth, insight and tremendous beauty.
When we write about crime, delve deep into trauma, and the psychology of our characters and their relationships, we are really writing about human nature in the crucible of terrible circumstance. The darker moments in our lives reveal our truths. I have a deep and abiding curiosity about human nature, what makes us who we are, what turns some people into heroes, others into monsters. I explore the questions of nature vs. nurture, the impact of our experiences on our lives, the difference small choices can make in our destiny.
The human mind is the ultimate mystery. We know less about our brains than we do about space, so much is undiscovered about how we perceive and interpret, consciousness itself. Perception, the mingling of dreams and memories, the effects of addiction on our awareness were fascinations that lead to the writing of UNDER MY SKIN.
The canvas of psychological suspense is the perfect place to explore these ideas. Poppy Lang, the novel’s main character is a young woman torn apart by grief, addled by sleep deprivation and substance abuse. She suffered a nervous breakdown after the unsolved murder of her husband, and now a year later she starts to believe she’s being followed. But her dream life and waking life are mingling in startling ways, and when she starts seeing a strange man in the shadows of her life – she can’t be sure if he’s real or not. As she starts to suspect that her terrible dreams are actually memories, her fragile grip starts to unravel completely.
I think of myself as a spelunker, shimmying into the tight, dark spaces of the human psyche. I don’t remember choosing this type of fiction. I just know that all my curiosity is about people and why they do what they do. I want to know what is the dark form in the window, what is making that noise in the attic. And I’m willing to creep into the darkness to find out.
I have teamed with the publishers for giving away a paperback copy of Lisa Unger’s recent release, ‘Under My Skin’ . It’s open Internationally until 26th of October (EST). Huge thanks to HQ for sponsoring the giveaway.
To enter, click the link below. WordPress somehow won’t show the widget! 😦
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