Confessions on the 7:45 is Tampa Bay novelist Lisa Unger’s 18th thriller, and it’s taut, suspenseful and riveting. Not that readers would expect anything less from the New York Times bestselling author of The Stranger Inside, Under My Skin and In the Blood.
Wednesday on The Catalyst Sessions, Unger talked about Confessions, which begins with a chance encounter on a commuter train and encompasses a wide, wicked world of lies, deceit and the ultimate confidence game.
Selena Murphy, her husband Graham, the mysterious Anne, Pop and Pearl first existed as characters in the writer’s mind. The characters, and who they are, always arrive before the plot. Unger does not outline her stories, waiting instead for the characters to “tell” her where they’re going and what they’re up to.
“This is my driving force, through all of my novels, me trying to answer the questions that I have about people,” Unger said, admitting that she maybe should have majored in psychology.
“This, I think, is in many ways why I write. Because I’m just deeply, deeply curious. What makes us who we are.”
Of course, significant research into the whys and wherefores of “the con” went into the creation of Confessions, too.
Unger also talked about her writing disciplines – she works between the wee hours and noon nearly every day. “That’s my golden block of creativity, which is not to say I don’t write at other times, or that I’m always at my desk by 5 (a.m.),” she explained.
“Or, if I’m writing on deadline, I might be writing until it’s time for dinner, to make dinner, to get called to dinner or whatever. That’s the schedule of a professional writer. You write.”
Today on The Catalyst Sessions: From freeFall Theatre, musical director Michael Raabe and director of community relations Matthew McGee talk about the “drive-in” production of War of the Worlds, opening Friday.
Streaming at 7 p.m. weekdays on the Catalyst Facebook page. All episodes are archived on our YouTube channel.