Liz Nugent – Q&A


Today I’m pleased to welcome Liz Nugent to the blog. Liz is the author of Unravelling Oliver (you can read my review of Unravelling Oliver here). Her latest novel, Lying in Wait is published by Penguin Ireland on 14 July 2016. You can read my review of Lying in Wait here.

Liz kindly answered a few of my questions.


1. Tell us a little about Lying in Wait.  

It’s a story of an obsessional, sociopathic mother, a son who wants to cut the umbilical cord and a courageous young woman determined to find the truth.

2. Where did the inspiration come from for the book? 

A man once told me that he strongly suspected his father had murdered a prostitute in the 1960s. He had no evidence or no way of proving it. He never had the courage to challenge his father and went to his grave wondering. I decided to explore what that might be like.

3. Are you a plan, plan, plan writer or do you sit down and see where the words take you? 

I have a really broad outline in mind but that often changes in the process of developing the story. Characters become real to me and sometimes refuse to do what is asked of them, so I listen and let them tell me!

4. Both Lying in Wait and your first novel, Unravelling Oliver open with a crime. In Lying in Wait we see the after effects of the act and in Unravelling Oliver, what leads to a heinous crime. What do you think makes the whydunnit so appealing to readers and how much fun is it write ? 

Oh God, I wish it was fun! I’m not saying I cry at my desk, but like any job, it is work and some days go more smoothly than others! I think the whydunnit tag was first applied to Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and it was a book I loved. I am very curious about people and their motivations. I’d rather know why the murderer committed the act than how he went about it or how he covered it up. Although I have no background in it, I am fascinated by psychology. I guess readers are interested too.

5. What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all?  

I switch off very easily. As soon as I close the laptop, I am no longer in the world of my characters.  I love to go for a nice meal with friends but I really enjoy live theatre and I try and go at least once per fortnight. My big vice is TV drama series. I’ve watched them all from The Sopranos and Six Feet Under, The West Wing, Breaking Bad, Dexter, The Wire, Peaky Blinders, Happy Valley, Love Hate, Borgen, The Bridge, The Killing, 1864, Mad Men, The Good Wife, Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, Better Call Saul etc. Oh, that is quite embarrassing when I look at that list, but they have been very enjoyable hours for the most part!

6. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be? 

The City of Bohane by Kevin Barry. 

7. I like to end my Q&A’s with the same question so here we go. During the Q&As and interviews you’ve done before what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer? 

I think because I write predominantly dark stories, nobody ever asks me about the humour in my books, and I worry that they just don’t get it? Sorry, it’s my question to the readers really. My editor always tells me to pull back on the humour and it breaks my heart to cut those bits! 

About the book


“From the award-winning author of the No 1 bestseller, Unravelling Oliver

‘My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.’

Lydia Fitzsimons lives in the perfect house with her adoring husband and beloved son. There is just one thing Lydia yearns for to make her perfect life complete, though the last thing she expects is that pursuing it will lead to murder. However, needs must – because nothing can stop this mother from getting what she wants …

This is a dark, twisty and utterly gripping domestic noir that you won’t be able to put down from the author hailed as Ireland’s answer to Gillian Flynn.”



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