Lisa Unger is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author. With books published in twenty-six languages and millions of copies sold worldwide, she is widely regarded as a master of suspense. Her new release is Confessions On The 7:45.
Confessions On The 7:45
Selena Murphy is commuting home from her job in the city when the train stalls out on the tracks. She strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat, and their connection is fast and easy. The woman introduces herself as Martha and confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again.
But days later, Selena’s nanny disappears. And soon Selena begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover.
Author’s Corner – Interview with Lisa Unger
Thank you so much for being on Author’s Corner again! Where do you get your writing ideas from? Do you keep notes throughout the day, or just start at the beginning and go?
The idea for a novel can come from anywhere. It might be a news story, a line of poetry, a photograph – in one case it was even a piece of junk mail. Usually when this happens, I find myself obsessed with a particular topic or subject matter and start researching it. The best way I can describe it is that if all the research connects with something else going on inside me, I start to hear a voice or voices. And I follow those voices through the narrative.
Outside of writing, what do you like to do? How do you relax after a day of intense thriller writing?
I practice yoga and meditate. I love spending time in nature, so lots of beach walks, hiking when I can, kayaking. Time with family and friends has become so special during the pandemic, so we really value the things we can do together – mostly outdoors.
What was the very first thing—ever—that you remember writing?
Lots of really bad, angsty poetry.
As a thriller author, what scares you? Do you ever find yourself scared by what you’ve written, or is it usually external things?
If I’m scared of something, I’m writing about it. The page is where I metabolize all my fears and demons – external and internal. I’m never frightened by what I write. In fact, I feel braver after writing because, in a sense, I’ve wrestled my fears onto the page and therefore have conquered them. At least for the moment!
Who is your favorite crime hero or detective?
Hands down: Batman. Formed in trauma, he is dark, layered, tortured and always walking that very thin line between hero and villain.
What are some of the book(s) that you’ve read and loved recently?
Turn Of The Key by Ruth Ware was smart and textured with a bruiser of an ending. To Tell You The Truth by Gilly Macmillan was unsettling and completely riveting, diving deep into one of my favorite topics: imaginary friends. Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby was gorgeous, gritty, human, and moving.
If you could invite five people (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would they be and why?
I wish I could tap my friend Kate White to answer this question because she is the queen of dinner parties. But off the top of my head: Oprah Winfrey because she uses her power for good. Stephen King because he is my all-time favorite writer. Charlotte, Emily, and Ann Bronte because they defied convention to be true to themselves.
Thinking back over all the books you’ve written, which character do you identify with most, and why?
Ha, there is no way to answer that question. Each character holds a special place in my heart, and represents what I was dealing with, trying to understand, afraid of, hopeful for, or wrestling at the time of its writing.
Writing Confessions On The 7:45
Let’s talk about your book Confessions On The 7:45. Can you tell my readers a little about it? Where the idea for it came from?
After an awful day, young mom Selena Murphy meets a mysterious stranger during her commute home. The beautiful young woman strikes up a conversation with a confession, leading Selena to share a dark secret of her own. Afterwards, Selena is embarrassed. As she goes back to her life, she hopes she’ll never see the stranger from the train ever again. But, of course, she will.
How did you first meet your main character, Selena? Did she appear to you fully-formed, or did she grow and evolve as you wrote?
All characters appear fully formed, and then evolve as I write. Like any relationship, my characters reveal themselves in layers. So I think of them as people that I meet, and get to know on the page. They come fully formed, but I have to discover all the things they’re hiding.
One of my favorite things about your work is how well-researched the psychology of your characters is. Can you tell us a little about how that character psychology shows up in Confessions On The 7:45?
The key to writing authentic characters is empathy, feeling compassion for each person on the page – no matter how damaged or twisted she might be. My research into human psychology is multi-fold, but the biggest part is just living, learning, paying attention. Each character in Confessions is essentially wearing a mask – we all do. And beneath the masks are layers of secrets and lies – lies they’re telling to each other and to themselves. Sifting through those layers of self and character psyche, trying to uncover the truth, is one of the main things that drive my fiction.
Describe Confessions On The 7:45 in three words.
Layered, dark, mysterious. Haha – like Batman!
What do you think readers will love about Confessions On The 7:45?
Hmm, I wouldn’t presume to say. I hope they’ll be up all night reading because they’re gripped by the plot, but that they’ll still be thinking about the characters after the book is closed.
What’s next for Lisa Unger?
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?
Nice try! I never talk about my next project until it’s getting ready to hit the shelves. But I will say I am editing the next manuscript and – stay tuned!
Get In Touch
Lisa loves connecting with readers. You can get in touch with her at: