8 Great Questions: Lisa Gardner

The author sounds off on the book she evangelizes to everyone and shocks us with the word that slithers through a sentence.

Lisa Gardner is an unquestionable master of the thriller, and her latest, Look For Me, is no exception. As Lisa’s newest brain-twisting story unfolds, she brings us into the home of a family of five, now a crime scene: four of the family are savagely murdered, and one—a 16-year-old girl—has gone missing. Was she lucky to have escaped? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister? Only through Lisa’s expert eye and tightly hewn storytelling can we discover the truth.

Recently, we spoke with Lisa about her dream book club packed with rule-breaking authors, her abiding love for all things Harry Potter, and the surprising bit of grammar she resolutely omits from her own writing.

Featured image: Lorenzo Gritti

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What’s the book on your bedside table?

Under My Skin by Lisa Unger.

What’s the one book you tell everyone to read?

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. One of those heartwarming novels with something for everyone, and you can’t help but feel lighter and happier for having read it—though you immediately miss the characters.

Name three characters from literature or authors (dead or alive) that you’d want in your ideal book club?

I would love Stephen King, Sarah J. Maas, and Nora Roberts in a book club. Each are masters, and all are credited with defining the rules of their genres, while they’ve also taken great pride in breaking them. Plus, they're brilliant. I could listen to them talk all day.

What word do you love and why? What word do you hate and why?

Sinister. I love the word sinister, mostly because it sounds so sinister. But you have to use it sparingly; that much slithering in a sentence can be too much. I hate prepositions. I skip over them when reading, leave them out when writing. I’m pretty sure my publisher has a copy editor who does nothing but fill in all my missing prepositions. But I never miss them, so what’s the point?

What’s the one book you love to give as a gift and to whom do you give it?

Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield. It’s a riveting account of the battle of Thermopylae, where 300 Spartans held the pass to save the rest of Greece from invasion. In addition to being an addictive page-turner, it delves into the nature of courage and has the kind of characters and scenes that stay with you long after the book is done.

What’s the one book that never fails to delight or inspire you?

If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Thrillers. Great characters, action-oriented plots, unforeseen twists. The nature of the genre guarantees that the reader will never be bored.

What’s the last book you read on a long flight?

Gregg Hurwitz’s HellbentI love the Orphan X series!

LISA GARDNER is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty novels, including Look For Me, Right Behind You, Find Her, Crash & Burn, Fear Nothing, Touch & Go, Catch Me, and The Neighbor, which won the International Thriller of the Year Award. She lives with her family in New England.
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