ioulia-greenhouse-tests-8652Foto: Mattias Graham

I am really glad you’ve accepted my interview. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.
Thank you for having me!

Can you tell us a bit more about how you became a writer?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I fell in love with stories at a young age, and it didn’t take me long to start writing my own. I continued to read widely and tried writing all across genres before settling into crime fiction. I was halfway though my bachelor’s degree (in creative writing, naturally—how original of me) when I wrote my first crime novel, the book that would become my debut. By the time I graduated, I had my book deal with Grand Central Publishing! Now, almost three years later, my second book is coming out. It’s been an incredible journey and I’m so grateful for everything.

Was it difficult for the first book to find a publisher?
Ha—my first book didn’t find one! GIRL LAST SEEN, my debut, probably wasn’t even my tenth book. I went through a lot of manuscripts over the years. Some I barely finished, others I rewrote and edited painstakingly and sent to agents and editors, with varying results. I had a literary agent for over a year before I wrote GIRL LAST SEEN, but no editor bites. But once I wrote and queried the book that would be my debut, it was relatively smooth sailing. Only a few months to get an agent, and then just under a month to find an editor. Craft is important, but timing also means a lot.

Could you describe literature in three words?
Ocean of possibilities.

Is there a book you would never read? Why?
I like to think no, I’m open to everything. But of course, I’m not only a writer, but also a reader, and as such, I’m subject to the same prejudices, conscious or not, that all readers have when picking a book. A lot of little things (that are trivial, when you think about it) influence my choices and make the difference between the book I’ll pick up and buy versus one my gaze will barely skim. And those initial instincts have been wrong so many times! Often, I’ve given in at the urging of friends and ended up loving a book I never thought I’d even like. I try to learn from that and keep an open mind.

What’s your favorite book?
My all-time-favorite is THE MAGUS by John Fowles. It’s a classic British novel, and I think it’s one of the foundations of the psychological thriller as we know it today.

Favorite quote?
“Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.” –Shakespeare.

EBooks or paper print?
Ebooks are great to bring on vacation, and it’s hard to ruin them when reading in the bathtub (unless you drop your e-reader in!). But in the end, paper! I love the smell.

What inspires you?
True crime, for sure. Books I read, shows I watch, definitely. But sometimes, the oddest things set off the muse. My current work in progress is inspired by a newspaper article that has nothing to do with crime or crime fiction. I like to find the dark potential in things. It’s not always the healthiest way of thinking in real life, but it’s great for inspiration!

Imagine you were given the opportunity to meet a book character in real life. Who would that be?
Please explain.
Hmm. That’s an interesting question. There are a few of them, but I’m not sure I’d survive the encounter. Hannibal Lecter? Amazing Amy? The little vampire from Let the Right One In? Um, maybe I should pass. I’m going to go with Lisbeth Salander. We’d get a beer and then chill at a local goth night or death metal concert.

What’s your worst nightmare?
I probably shouldn’t say what it is in an interview. If this were a book, it would be the sort of thing that comes back to bite me at a crucial point in the plot, when I least expect it.

The best decision of your life was?
Signing with Rachel Ekstrom Courage, my literary agent. It changed my life, literally.

I can’t wait to read your next book. Are you currently working on a project? Is there any release date to reveal?
My second book, WHAT MY SISTER KNEW is released on June 19th, also from Grand Central Publishing. It’s about the dark secrets that bind a pair of twins. Expect darkness, betrayal, backstabbing, and lots of feels!

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