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Take Five: Catherine McKenzie and The Good Liar

Catherine McKenzie [1] isn’t just a WU contributor; she’s the bestselling author of eight novels, including Hidden and Fractured. She lives in Montreal, Canada where she’s a partner in a litigation boutique.

Her latest novel, The Good Liar, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly [2], and was called “a riveting thriller” by Entertainment Weekly [3]. It releases in just two days, on April 3rd. We’re thrilled she’s with us today to tell us more about it.

“With twists and turns, the lives of three women intersect in the most unexpected ways during the aftermath of a tragedy. Thought-provoking, suspenseful, and mysterious, The Good Liar is a true page-turner that explores the ways stories are connected and created, and what can be hidden underneath. This is a book you won’t be able to put down!” —Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger

Q1: What’s the premise of your new book?

CM: A building explodes on October 10 in downtown Chicago. The Good Liar picks up a year later and follows the lives of three women who have all been affected by the tragedy and who are all keeping secrets.

Q2: What would you like people to know about the story itself?

CM: It’s a suspense/thriller. There might be one good liar or there might more than one. 

Q3: What do your characters have to overcome in this story? What challenge do you set before them?

CM: The main challenge for each of these characters is keeping their secret (or secrets). They’re each looking to move on from the tragedy, but their connection – known and unknown – is keeping them from achieving that.

Q4: What unique challenges did this book pose for you, if any?

CM: There are a lot of threads in this story and it was a challenge making sure that enough was revealed to be fair to the reader without making the end (or the other twists) known. Also, creating three distinct women’s voices is always a challenge.

Q5: What has been the most rewarding aspect of having written this book?

CM: When I start writing I have a picture in my head about what the book should look like. Getting there is always the challenge because that picture is half formed and murky and sometimes buried in my subconscious. I think the book came as close to that picture as I could get, so that is satisfying.

Learn more about The Good Liar on Catherine’s website [1], explore the preview at the top of this post, and enjoy the book trailer, just below.

About [4]

Writer Unboxed began as a collaboration between Therese Walsh [5] and Kathleen Bolton [6] in 2006. Since then the site has grown to include ~50 regular contributors--including bestselling authors and industry leaders--and frequent guests. In 2014, the first Writer Unboxed UnConference (part UNtraditional conference, part intensive craft event, part networking affair) [7] was held in Salem, MA. Learn more about our 2019 event, ESCAPE TO WuNDERLAND, on Eventbrite. [8] In 2016, the Writer Unboxed team published a book with Writer's Digest. AUTHOR IN PROGRESS: A No-Holds-Barred Guide to What It Really Takes to Get Published [9] has been well-received by readers who seek help in overcoming the hurdles faced at every step of the novel-writing process--from setting goals, researching, and drafting to giving and receiving critiques, polishing prose, and seeking publication. James Scott Bell has said of the guide, "Nourishment for the writer's soul and motivation for the writer's heart." You can follow Writer Unboxed on Twitter [10], and join our thriving Facebook community [11].