Monday, September 3, 2012
Blog Tour: Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman Author Interview
Sure! The book is about Rachel and Alice, who are identical twins. Throughout their lives,
they’ve always had an intense bond – it’s so strong that it even manifests itself physically
sometimes. (When one of them is injured, their twin suffers a similar injury, even if they haven’t
been harmed in any way.) When Alice disappears, nobody thinks much of it because she has a
history of running away. But her sister knows better – she knows Alice is in serious trouble, and
that she’s the only one who might be able to save her.
2. What were the easiest and hardest things to write about in Beautiful Lies?
Characterization is always the easiest part of writing a book for me. I absolutely love creating
characters with very detailed pasts and specific, unique personalities. It’s very important to me
that each of them is three-dimensional, even if they play only a small role in the book. Since
that’s the part I enjoy the most, it’s definitely the easiest for me to come up with. Plotting is
much, much more difficult for me. I think I have a tendency to make things too complicated. I
think that the best books are the ones that can be described well with a single sentence. There
are really only so many stories out there, but there are so many different ways to tell them. I
need to work on simplicity.
3. How much research did you have to do for this book?
I did a good bit of research on twins and twin phenomenon, but overall it was a very small part
of the writing process. I’m not wild about research.
4. Are any of the characters in this book inspired by real people or real events?
Yes! The twins are based on my husband’s sisters, who are both redheads. And a lot of the
family history was inspired by my own family. There are a few people on my mom’s side –
particularly my great-grandmother – who supposedly had extrasensory “gifts.” I’m pretty
skeptical about things like that, but I have to admit, there’s so much about emotion and
perception that is just baffling. It was so much fun to dig into those old stories and examine
5. What initially gave you the idea for this book?
It was actually something I witnessed a few years ago. I was spending the night at my parents’
house when my mom woke up in the middle of the night in terrible pain on her right side,
particularly her hip. She was in such agony that we were about to take her to the hospital
(around 3 in the morning), even though she hadn’t been injured in any way that she knew of.
Just as we were getting ready to put her in the car, the phone rang. It was my grandma. She
was already at the hospital, with my grandfather (my mother’s dad). He’d fallen down the stairs
in the middle of the night and broken his right hip. I was there to witness this whole scene
play out, and I know that nobody is exaggerating what happened. It was so chilling, especially
because, as soon as she learned about her dad’s injury, my mom’s pain disappeared.
6. Were there any scenes that you really liked that didn’t make it in the final copy?
Not really. I’ve said in other interviews that the ending was initially much vaguer than it is in
the final version. To be honest, while I liked it quite a bit, I understand how it would have been
unsatisfying to many readers. I was initially reluctant to change it, but then I thought about
who these books are actually for. They’re not for me; they’re for my audience. I didn’t want to
shove an unsatisfying ending down people’s throats just because I liked it a little more. And in
the end, I was very happy with how everything worked out – the ending that’s in the final copy
feels right to me.