Emily Liebert is the author of the new psychological suspense novel Pretty Revenge. Her other books include Some Women and Those Secrets We Keep. She lives in Westport, Connecticut.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Pretty Revenge, and for your characters Kerrie and Jordana?
A: I was inspired by the idea of revenge and wanted to explore what could happen when, after two decades, a woman has the opportunity to ruin the life of another woman who wronged her when they were growing up. In my past novels, there have been characters who were based on friends and family members or, at the very least, characteristics of those people. But, with this book, the characters are pure fiction. I knew that the two protagonists had to be very different, but also share something, like their storied pasts.
Q: This is your first psychological suspense novel--was your writing process any different from your work on your women's fiction novels?
A: It was much more challenging. With psychological suspense, you need to make sure the plot is constantly moving and that you’re continually surprising your readers, which isn’t easy to do. Also, I wrote Pretty Revenge without an outline, which was the first time I’d ever done that, and I do not recommend it. With my next novel, which is also psychological suspense, I wrote a 30-page outline and that made the process much smoother. I should also say that, while this book is labeled as psychological suspense, it still has plenty of Women’s Fiction elements, so I think my faithful readers will be happy.
Q: You tell the story in chapters that alternate between Kerrie and Jordana's points of view. Did you write the novel in the order it appears, or did you focus more on one character before turning to the other?
A: It’s funny, I’ve been asked this question a lot with this book. I always write my novels from start to finish, and I’m not sure I could do it any other way.
Q: What are some of your favorite books?
A: House of Wonder by Sarah Healy, Summer Sisters by Judy Blume, and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m in edits on my next, as-yet-titled, novel which is also a thriller and will come out Summer 2020.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: Look out for some exciting TV/film news soon for all of my books!
--Interview with Deborah Kalb