Gillian Flynn | Author Exploration

I have been wanting to do some Author Explorations for awhile and have been craving some Gillian Flynn so I thought she was a good place to start! One of my favorite things is to fall in love with an authors writing and then read everything they have ever written. This is something that has been a slow progress because I love so many authors and many have lots of books. It is something I definitely want to work on in the future.

Who Is Gillian Flynn?

I am not going to pretend I know Flynn in any sort of way so this is the bio I pulled off of Goodreads!

Gillian Flynn is an American author and television critic for Entertainment Weekly. She has so far written three novels, Sharp Objects, for which she won the 2007 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller; Dark Places; and her best-selling third novel Gone Girl.

Her book has received wide praise, including from authors such as Stephen King. The dark plot revolves around a serial killer in a Missouri town, and the reporter who has returned from Chicago to cover the event. Themes include dysfunctional families,violence and self-harm.

In 2007 the novel was shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar for Best First Novel by an American Writer, Crime Writers’ Association Duncan Lawrie, CWA New Blood and Ian Fleming Steel Daggers, winning in the last two categories.

Flynn, who lives in Chicago, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated at the University of Kansas, and qualified for a Master’s degree from Northwestern University.

The Books

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows, a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan
Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas. She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn 

A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.

How They Should Be Read

The answer is there is no real order in which they must be read because they are all stand alone books, but I do have some suggestions. These books could be read in publication order. A lot of people always choose to read authors books in the order in which they were published. In my opinion this would be a good choice because Flynn’s first book was my favorite! I feel like the order I actually read them in was by popularity. I picked up Gone Girl right before the movie came out and got totally sucked into Flynn’s writing. I think if you are not a huge fan of mysteries and thrillers or unsure about Flynn you should pick up her short story The Grownup first just to get a feel for her writing. I do not think it is one of her best works in my opinion but gives you a feel of her writing.

Publication Order                       Order I Read Them                      If Unsure About Flynn

Sharp Objects                                 Gone Girl                                       The Grownup
Dark Places                                  Sharp Objects                                    Gone Girl 
Gone Girl                                      The Grownup                                  Sharp Objects
The Grownup                                 Dark Places                                     Dark Places 

My Thoughts

I do not read a lot of mystery or thriller books, but once I read Gone Girl I had to get my hands on the rest of her work. Flynn has a way of writing that keeps you completely in the dark and guessing the whole time, thinking you know what is going to happen until she completely throws a plot twist. Throughout each of the books I was on the edge of my seat. These books are definitely on the darker side too. They are dark and twisted, to the point where they make you question Flynn’s background. She is a mastermind with her writing and really puts a lot of effort into crafting her stories so that you only get small pieces of information at a time.

My favorite book was Sharp Objects and my least favorite was Dark Places but they are all really great books. They are such quick reads that completely suck you into them. There are even movies out for Gone Girl and Dark Places and I have heard mention of a movie for Sharp Objects!

For more information check out my reviews!
Gone Girl
Gone Girl | Movie Edition
Sharp Objects
The Grownup

Similar Reads 

If you are like me and fly through Flynn’s books and then need more like them, I have found a few that fill small parts of what I am missing in my life from the absence of more Gillian Flynn books.

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

You by Caroline Kepnes

Velocity by Dean Koontz

Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell | Author Interview

GARDEN OF THORNS BY AMBER MITCHELL 

Synopsis:

After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.

Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.

Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll take to her grave if she must.

INTERVIEW WITH AMBER 

– Top 5 Things readers need to know about the book.

  1. Rose is a flawed protagonist. She doesn’t necessarily have fighting skills but she is smart.
  2. The land of Delmar is a brutal world and the action in the story illustrates that.
  3. Trust isn’t easily earned but it is easily broken.
  4. Rayce is a genuine good guy and they can most definitely be sexy too!
  5. Even in the most dire situations, you can find true love.

 

– Who/What was your inspiration for becoming a writer? How long have you been writing?

I’m not sure there is really a “who”. I’ve enjoyed writing stories ever since I was young. My first “real” story was a play I wrote for my third grade class. It was about 20-pages long which at the time seemed like a whole novel. I can definitely say that my high school teacher (I had him for 11th and 12th grade) helped me decide that I could get published one day if I put in enough work and he spent so many hours reviewing the first chapter of my first novel which I rewrote maybe ten times. He was definitely instrumental in my growth to start taking my writing seriously.

– Which of your characters would you say you are most like?

I fall somewhere between Rose and Marin. I like to joke around a lot like Marin and though I don’t always show it, I’m actually an optimist. I wish for the best but the realist in me braces for the worst. Unfortunately, I’m plagued with Rose’s anxiety so I relate to her a lot when I write her. Sometimes I let fear hold me captive so it was really therapeutic to write a character who must find a way past her fears.

– If your book was to be turned into a movie who would you cast as your leads?

This one is tough. I kind of just want to cast Chris Pratt as every part so I get to see more Chris Pratt but I don’t think he’d fit a single character!

For Rayce, I have a hard time seeing anyone else besides Godfrey Gao. He’s the perfect choice!

Rose has always been harder. I think it’s because I have a very specific picture in my head and no one quite fits it. Maybe someone like Chloe Grace Moretz? I’m not exactly happy with that choice but I’ve been thinking about this question forever and am never happy with it!

– Did you have to research anything for your book?

I did a lot of research into the ancient dynasties of China since Delmar is very loosely based off of them. Particularly the Song dynasty. I wanted to know about the crops they harvested, what they ate, what their daily lives looked like. For as much research as I did, only a tiny portion ended up making it into the book but it was important for me to understand the Delmar Empire and how it sustained itself.

– In 5 words how would you describe Garden of Thorns?

Exciting. Brutal. Romantic. Epic fantasy.

– What is your favorite book?

This question isn’t fair! I love so many books. A few of my favorite series are Harry Potter by JK Rowling (because, of course!), Poison Study series by Maria V Snyder and the Abhorsen trilogy by Nix Garth.

– What inspired the idea of the Garden?

It was actually a mixture of ideas. Whenever I would watch a movie and there would be a ballroom scene with girls in ball gowns, I would always think they looked like flowers when they twirled. That image stuck with me and I thought it would be really interesting to make a performance group of “dancing flowers”. I had this vision in my mind of a girl who was fierce, seething as she was dancing and desperate to escape that life and I wanted to know why. I didn’t actually start writing this book until a few years later and it must have been marinating in my head because the idea of the Garden sort of flowed onto the page logically from there.

– What’s on your playlist? Does the music go with your book?

I always write to music. Sometimes when a scene has a certain emotion, I can take the feeling of the music and inject it into the story. I switch back and forth between purely instrumental and songs with lyrics.

Though I have a lengthy playlist for Garden of Thorns, the two songs I listened to a lot through the editing process were “Mother Misery” by Letters from the Fire and “Outstretched Hands” by Starfield.

The first song captured Rose’s desperation at the ending of the book perfectly for me. The song describes a hopeless situation and yet, the singer still has so much hope.

The second song really captured all the questions Rose and Rayce have about each other. Their relationship to me has always been a question of whether they can rely on each other or if the world will get the best of them and this song represents that hesitance even though they want to be together.

 

Meet the Author: 

Website: ambermitchellbooks.com
Twitter : @amberinblunderl
Goodreads
Amazon

 

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria | Author Interview

In anticipation of Iron Cast being released October 11th 2016 ! Here is my interview with Destiny Soria!

Iron CastIRON CAST BY DESTINY SORIA

Synopsis:

 

It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths—whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art—captivate their audience. Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite. When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, they realize how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot, and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn.

 INTERVIEW WITH DESTINY

-Top 5 Things readers need to know about the book

  1. It’s set in Boston, just before the ratification of Prohibition in 1919.
  2. Corinne and Ada, the main characters, are BFFs whose hobbies include poetry, music, kicking ass, and taking names.
  3. The girls are up against a creepy asylum, a corrupt councilman, and a sinister government agency.
  4. The book is chock full of magic, mobsters, betrayal, and intrigue.
  5. Also socialists.

 

– Who/What was your inspiration for becoming a writer? How long have you been writing?

Stories have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My dad used to tell me bedtime stories every night when I was a kid. When I was seven or eight, I decided to try my hand at it and wrote a book called “Horses of All Kinds” (complete with illustrations and staple binding). I’ve been writing ever since.

 

– Which of your characters would you say you are most like?

I guess I probably have the most in common with Corinne, in that I also love poetry, am quite short, and am a perpetual smartass.

 

– If your book was to be turned into a movie who would you cast as your leads?

I think Jasmin Savoy Brown would make a lovely Ada. And Zoey Deutch has the perfect amount of sass to be Corinne.

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– Did you have to research anything for your book?

So. Much. Research. I am also not the best at keeping myself focused, so a lot of the research time was spent falling into rabbit holes of Youtube videos of old Model T’s and looking at pretty flapper dresses.

 

– In 5 words how would you describe Iron Cast?

An excess of witty banter.

 

– If your characters were in the hunger games who’d win? Which Hogwarts house would your main character be in?

Is it cheating to say that Corinne and Ada would probably pull a Katniss/Peeta at the very end with the berries? Also Corinne is a Slytherin and Ada is a Gryffindor. Hurray for unlikely friendships!

 

– What’s on your playlist? Does the music go with your book?

There’s a pretty bizarre mix of 1920s tunes, Metric, Bastille, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, and even some TSwift. When it comes to creating a writing playlist, I usually pick songs that remind me of characters or capture the “feel” of the story. One of these days I’ll probably make it public, so stay tuned! (See what I did there?)

 


Meet the Author: 

aibeiaiaaabecj3vkjpa-jsf1qeic3zjyxjkx3bob3rvkigxzjzlyjy2y2jlnwy0m2ezmwm2owe2ndc1odfkntbhnmqwogi4nju5maf5e_8imirdymvpz-lt2lmogdl95aEmail: destinysoriawrites@gmail.com
Website: destinysoria.com
Twitter & Instagram: @thedestinysoria
Facebook: facebook.com/dlsoria
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28169297-iron-cast
Preorder: https://amzn.com/1419721925

 

Hexed by Michelle Krys [Author Interview]

In anticipation of Hexed being released June 10th 2014! Here is my interview with Michelle Krys and Hexed Giveaway!

Hexed_cover_7_30_13 HEXED BY MICHELLE KRYS

Synopsis:

If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won’t stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn’t want to be her?  

Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the dusty old family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But it’s when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie’s world that she learns her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn’t get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that’s seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she’s a witch too.          

Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie’s about to uncover the many dark truths about her life—and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid. [Goodreads] [My Review of Hexed]


 

 INTERVIEW WITH MICHELLE

1.Who/What was your inspiration for becoming a writer? How long have you been writing?

         Writing a book is something I’ve always wanted to do, but it wasn’t until I was on a yearlong maternity leave almost five years ago that I finally gave it a shot. My son slept through the night and took amazing three to four hour naps during the day, and I found myself with all this free time on my hands. I realized that if I was ever going to write that book, this was my big chance.  

         I spent my free time that year writing and editing my first novel. Like many first novels, it sucked, but I’d learned a ton and had so much fun in the process, so I poured all of that passion and excitement into my next novel—Hexed.                                                  

I’m so glad I finally gave writing a book a try!

2. What was your motivation/inspiration to base Hexed on witches and witchcraft?

          I’ve always loved witches, but I got the idea for Hexed from my sister. One day she told me about an adult historical novel she wanted to write, which she’d planned to call “The Witch Hunter’s Bible”. I loved the title and it gave me all these ideas for a YA novel I could write, so when she later decided to ditch the adult historical and write something else entirely, I asked her if I could use the title for my project. She agreed, and Hexed was born! (The title obviously changed during the editorial process. Both hold a special place in my heart!)

3. Do you have any favorite witchy things (books/movies/etc) ? 

 The Craft is by far my favorite witch movie. I was in the fifth grade when it first came out and was so obsessed with it that I started a witchcraft club with some friends, which convened nightly in my bedroom. We called ourselves The Hallow Hunters. (Go ahead and laugh!)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my favorite witchy TV show (Willow!!!), but I also loved Charmed and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

 As for books, HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins is a favorite. It’s so voicey and fun!

4. How long have you been working on Hexed? Did you always mean for there to be more one than one book? How many books do you plan to have in the series?

         The first draft of Hexed too roughly 4 months to write, but editing and polishing it took the better part of two years. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read that book!

         At the moment, there will be two books in the HEXED series, with the sequel coming out sometime in 2015, but I would love to write more if there was ever a demand. I don’t feel quite done with Indie and Co. yet!

5. Which of your characters from Hexed would you say you are most like?

         I’d have to say Indie. While I was never a cheerleader and I definitely wasn’t popular in high school, we do share the same dry, sarcastic sense of humor and general life attitude.

6. If your book was to be turned into a movie who would you cast as your leads?

         That’s so hard! Hexed is really carried by Indie’s sense of humor, so whoever played her would need to have really great comedic timing, first and foremost. But if I were going by appearance alone, Gabriella Wilde looks just like the Indie I see in my head.  

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7. Did you have to research anything for Hexed? 

          During the editorial process, my editor noted a few things that didn’t seem overly L.A-like in the book. I’d never been, so my sister and I went down for an emergency trip to check things out. It was the most fun I’ve ever had doing research!

8. In 5 words how would you describe Hexed?

 The Craft meets Bring it On. (Six—I cheated!)

9. In my opinion, I would say that Indigo isn’t the typical heroine. What was your inspiration for this character? 

           A lot of witch books feature quiet, outcast, introverted girls, and I thought it would be fun to subvert that stereotype in HEXED. I asked myself what the exact opposite of quiet and outcast was, and the answer was popular, extroverted cheerleader. Thus, Indie was born.

[ I would again like to thank Michelle Krys for allowing me to ask her questions and taking the time to them! Check out her Debut novel Hexed! ]


MEET THE AUTHOR

michelle krys final 4x6

Michelle Krys lives with her husband and son in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. She works part-time as a NICU nurse and spends her free time writing books for teens. Michelle is probably not a witch, though she did belong to a witchcraft club in the fifth grade and “levitated” people in her bedroom, so that may be up for debate. Hexed is her first novel. Visit her at michellekrys.com or follow @MichelleKrys on Twitter.

 


 

GIVEAWAY

I WILL BE GIVING AWAY ONE HARDBACK COPY OF HEXED BY MICHELLE KRYS 

RULES: 

  • Must live in the US
  • Must be 13+ with guardian permission or over 18 years of age
  • Must be willing to give me your mailing address
  • Must actually complete the items in the Rafflecopter or your submissions will be disqualified.

Giveaway will run from June 4th until June 23rd! Good Luck! 

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