Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Girl on the Train: how Paula Hawkins wrote ‘the new Gone Girl’

Paula Hawkins is leading the pack of female thriller authors emulating Gillian Flynn’s success. She explains how writing her book in a state of panic and dread did it no harm

Paula Hawkins
Paula Hawkins … ‘I’m conscious of the fact that there are too many dead women.’ Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

She was, she says, “starting to panic. I don’t have a partner so I take care of the mortgage by myself and I was thinking, ‘Oh God, I’m going to have to sell the house, or find a new career.’ I was not in a good place but it was a real spur to get The Girl on the Train right. I had to nail it and do it really well. It really concentrates the mind, that kind of thing. For the six months I was writing it, I didn’t really do anything else.” In order to survive, she’d had to borrow money from her father. “It was really terrible, I felt really awful about it. You really don’t need your children borrowing from you at that point in life.” A small laugh. “I can pay him back now.”


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