Heather Gudenkauf

Heather Gudenkauf

Heather Gudenkauf is the critically acclaimed author of several novels, including the New York Times bestseller The Weight of Silence. She lives in Iowa with her family and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Lolo.

This Is How I Lied

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My review

Everyone has a secret they’ll do anything to hide. A twisty, evocative tale of the danger of secrets and the power the past has to lead us down deliciously dangerous paths. Immersive and richly atmospheric, This Is How I Lied intertwines page-turning suspense with characters that creep into your very bones.

Author’s Corner – Interview with Heather Gudenkauf

Thanks so much for being on Author’s Corner again! Writing thrillers and mysteries is pretty intense. What do you like to do after a day of writing intense scenes? What’s your favorite me-time treat?

After an intense day of writing, I’ll go for a long hike with my dog, Lolo. Being outside and out in nature revitalizes me and often while out on the trails, a sticky story point suddenly becomes clear.

What would you do if you weren’t a writer?

I’ve been involved with education for over twenty-five years, first as a classroom teacher and then in professional learning and curriculum development. If I wasn’t writing, I’d return to my education roots full time.

I’d also love to be able open a bookstore or I’d be happy just to work in one. Being surrounding by books all day long – bliss.

What was your favorite childhood book?

I adored (and still do) the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. As a child I would find a quiet corner of the house – not easy with five older brothers and sisters- and read for hours. I was also known for tossing all the toys out of our toy box and climbing inside with a copy of The Long Winter and a flashlight. I’d close the lid and disappear into the world of Laura, Mary, Carrie, Pa and Ma.

The person who helped me fall in love with reading is…

Definitely my parents. My mom and dad have always been big readers so we always had books around the house. They both worked and took care of a busy household so they didn’t have a lot of time to read out loud to us, but I saw the books stacked on their bedside table and on the bookshelves. I saw them reading in their scarce free moments. I think this speaks volumes – what a person chooses to do when there are only scraps of time. For my parents that was reading.

If you could recommend any other book(s) that you’ve read and loved recently, what would it be?

I’m reading a beautifully written psychological thriller by Julia Heaberlin called We Are All the Same in the Dark. It’s a novel that follows a police officer, Odette Tucker, in a small Texas town with a dark history. Odette is trying to solve the decade’s old disappearance of the town’s beauty queen when she discovers a mute, one-eyed young girl in a field of dandelions. It hits the shelves in August and I can’t wait to talk about it with other readers. Excellent!

If you could invite five people (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would they be and why?

In this time of social distancing, this is an easy one to answer. I would invite my mom and dad and my grown kids who live on their own. I miss them so much. We talk all the time but it’s not the same as being in the same room with them.

In normal times, I would choose the following:

  • Willa Cather – My Antonia is my favorite novel of all time. I’d love to visit with Willa about her novels and writing.
  • Jane Goodall – because monkeys!
  • Mother Theresa – she was such a kind, selfless woman, I’d like to get her perspective on the world today.
  • Katherine Swedensky – my great-grandmother. I want to know all about her history and her life that spanned a hundred years. I have so many questions.
  • Maya Angelou – I loved her writing and her wisdom.

How do you brainstorm new ideas?

I often get my ideas from the news. I’ll scan news articles and a tidbit will jump out at me. It can be the smallest detail but the idea will gradually bloom into a full story.

Writing This Is How I Lied

Let’s talk about This Is How I Lied. Can you tell my readers a little about it?

This is How I Lied tells the story Eve Knox and her last day on earth and the subsequent search for her killer. Twenty-five years ago, Eve’s odd little sister, Nola, and best friend, Maggie, discover her body in the caves near their neighbourhood. Though there are many suspects, the case goes cold and it isn’t until decades later a new clue emerges. Now a police detective and seven months pregnant, Maggie, still haunted by Eve’s death, starts digging into the case and more clues begin to emerge and danger behind every shadow.

Where did you come up with the idea for This Is How I Lied?

Just like with many of my novels, I got the idea from the news. I’ve been fascinated by how modern technology is being used to close decades old cold cases. I thought it would be interesting to explore how this might play out in a small town where the inhabitants (and the guilty party) believed the truth behind the crime would never be discovered.

Describe This Is How I Lied in three words.

Dark, twisty, emotional

What actress/actor would you cast to play Maggie, Eve and NOla?

Oh, this is a hard question!  For Eve I can see Kaitlyn Dever from Unbelievable. She would be perfect. For adult Maggie I picture Keri Russell from Felicity and The Americans and for adult Nola, I see Amy Adams – they’d be fabulous.

Was the ending planned from the beginning or did it evolve as you wrote it?

This project completely evolved from what I envisioned when I started to what came to be the final book. That ending poked its head up near the end of revisions and seemed to be the perfect resolution to the novel.

What do you think readers will love about This Is How I Lied?

I hope readers love the characters in the novel. They are complex, human sometimes loveable and oftentimes not. I also hope readers enjoy the wild ride this book will take them on.

I love how exhilarating each of your books is and was completely engrossed in This Is How I Lied from page one. Did you plot it before you sat down and wrote it or are you more of a pantser?

Thank you so much! I approach each of my novels with the goal of being a plotter. I make notes, outline thoughts but ultimately the characters take over and do what they want to anyway. Thankfully, I have a brilliant editor who is able to see through the weeds and pull out the best parts of my plots and keep me on the right path

What I really found stunning about This Is How I Lied are the characters of Maggie and Nola. Maggie being pregnant added so much depth to her character, and Nola, wow! She really just leapt off the page! How do you create characters who are so life-like?

I really attempt to give my characters rich backstories. Often these don’t make into the story, but by fully developing their personalities and histories, it helps keep me in tune with them as I write. Knowing the characters’ likes and dislikes, their foibles and strengths helps me to honestly and accurately determine their motivations and the decisions they make as they move through the novel.

What’s next for Heather?

Are you working on a new book? Can you tell my readers a little about it, a blurb, potential release date, etc? Where did you get the idea?

I just finished my next novel! I know there is plenty of editing ahead of me so I can’t say too much but the main characters are stranded in a blizzard with no electricity or cell service and evil is lurking close by.

Get In Touch

Heather loves connecting with readers. You can get in touch with her at:

Website | Instagram | TwitterFacebook

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120 Reviews for Heather Gudenkauf

    Looks good. Love all your books

      Thank you so much!

    This is how I lied sounds like a great book i cant wait to read it ,this book sounds mysterious and very interesting. great interview !!

      Thank you- it’s always so much fun to chat with Christina.

    I love these interviews. Especially the question which 5 people would you invite to a dinner party. Such a fun interview. I have never read anything by her and am really looking forward to reading this.

      Thank you so much, Hope! It means so much to me that you’re enjoying these interviews! 🙂

      Thank you so much Hope! I look forward to hearing what you think!

    I love Heather. Read all her other books! Can’t wait to read this one as well!!

      Thank you, Jeanne! This means a lot to me!

    You had me at darky, twisty, and emotional!

    Thanks for the book recommendation. I just added it to my list on Amazon. And THIS IS HOW I LIED was fantastic! Scary good!

      Thank you, Vickie! I’m so happy you enjoyed This is How I Lied!

    I’ve added this to my TBR list.

      Thank you, Suzanne! I hope you love it!

    Sounds great. And I love to hear of authors from my home state!

      Thanks, Alicia! Go Hawks!

    This sounds very intriguing and can’t wait to read it. I’ve always loved her books. The characters never disappoint.

      Thank you, Wendy! I hope you enjoy it.

    Sounds like a book going in my tbr pile #1 lol it sounds very intriguing with lots of twists just like i like…

      Thank you, Staci! I hope you love it!

    Can’t wait to read your book! Sounds very intriguing! You would be a new author for me!

      Thanks, Kathleen! I can’t wait to hear what you think!

    Thanks for the recommendation! This book sounds great and I loved reading the interview!

    Great interview as always, and two of my favorite authors!❤️

      Thank you, Christopher! 🙂

      Thank you, Christopher!

    Loved the twists and turn throughout the novel could not put it down

      I’m so happy to hear this! Thank you!

    This books sounds really intriguing and so very good!!!

    Sounds like an interesting book!

    I have this one on my TBR. Excited to get a copy and read it. This book is right up my alley. So thankful there are writers like Heather and you, Christina.

      Thank you, Sandy! I hope you enjoy it.

    I love all of Heather’s books, can’t wait to read this one!

      Thank you so much, Kay!

    It is always interesting to hear writers describe their writing process, especially the writers you like. Love the part when the outcome is far different than what she first imagined.

    Nice interview. You are both on my top list of favorite aurhors.

      Thank you so much, Maribel! 🙂

      Thank you, Maribel! Christina is at the top of my list too!

    The synopsis of THIS IS HOW I LIED sounds intriguing!! The interview is very insightful about the author and her book! Thank you.

      Thank you so much! Interviewing authors is one of my favorite things. 🙂

    I can’t wait to read This Is How I Lied! I have read most of Heather Gudenkaufs books and look forward to this one as well!!

    This sounds amazing!

    Love heather gudenkauf’s books

      She’s one of my all time favorite authors! 🙂

    Sounds like one of those books that you stay up late to finish because you just have to know what happens.

    This sounds really good.
    Putting on my tbr .

      Thank you, I hope you love it!

    Cant wait to read “This is how I lied “. Great interview!

      Thank you, Dawn! I hope you love it!

    Sounds like a very good turn paging book. Can’t wait to read it.

      Thank you, Shawna!

    What an awesome interview. You are a new author to me and I would love to read/review this book. The storyline sounds very intriguing! Thanks for the chance to win.

      Thank you, Jaimie!

    Sounds like a good one! Nice interview as well.

      Thank you so much! 🙂

    Sounds like a good one ☝️

    Added to my to read list

    Definitely adding to my TBR list!!!

    Looking forward to reading this book. Sounds like a page turner! Great interview.

      Thank you, Tena~ I hope you love it!

    Thank you for interviewing Ms. Gudenkauf. I can’t wait to read this new one! Going to get that Julia Heaberlin book in the interim…

      …Ack! Pub date August 11. Added to TBR.

        This Is How I Lied came out this week!

      I love Heather’s books! 🙂

    Absolute same with my Mom, any free me-time she had was spent curled up with a book and one Saturday a month was spent at the public library so I definitely got my reading love from her! Great interview, really looking forward to this one.

      That sounds like my family, too. We spent so many days at the public library. 🙂

      Thank you, Rhonda! The library has such good memories for me.

    What a great review. Just added to my Wishlist. Can’t wait to read this exciting thriller ❤️

      I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the review! 🙂

      Thank you! I hope you love it!

    I want to read This is How I Lied now!! I had it on my reading list already

      Thank you, Chrissy! I hope you love it!

    Wonderful interview. Your novel sounds good. Adding it to my TBR list!

    I love reading author insights into their writing process. I love a good mystery and would love to read This is How I Lied.

      Thank you, Rhonda!

    Reading This is How I Lied now and LOVING it! 💕

      I’m so happy to hear this! Thank you Julie.

    Your great at interviews! Thank you both for this look into what sounds like an amazing book and a wonderful author!

      Thank you so much, Christine! I love interviewing different authors! 🙂

    Looks amazing!! I will def be putting this on my list to read!

      Thank you, Minnie! I hope you love it.

    This sounds like my kind of read. Adding it to my list.

    This sounds like a great read!

      Thank you, Stephanie!

    I loved the interview. You covered parts of her personal life and informe us on how she writes and lets the characters guide her and tell the story. Her book sounds wonderful.

      Thank you so much, Donna! I love it when readers enjoy these interviews. 🙂

    Looks awesome – congrats!!

    This sounds great, the genre I enjoy

    Can’t wait to read this one!!❤️

    I really like cold case stories and this sounds like a good one. Congratulations

    Sounds like a book I would enjoy reading.

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