Although she cannot remember a time when she didn't want to be a writer, Unger, best known for her book Beautiful Lies, does remember the first book that got her in a thriller type of mind-set. "It was Rebecca (by Daphne du Maurier). I fell in love with that style, the character-driven thriller,'' she said. Unger, a New England native who now divides her time between New York and Florida, spent most of July making appearances for her newest release, Heartbroken, a thriller that deals with a family with complex relationships and destructive secrets.
What's on your nightstand?
I always have multiple books going. I'm more into nonfiction than fiction. I'm reading Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer. It's a really fascinating book that looks at everything when it comes to creativity, from psychology to neuroscience. It's fascinating. Everyone from Bob Dylan to folks at Pixar to people who invented the Swiffer. It's been enlightening. I don't have a lot of perspective on my own creative process. For example, he wrote about Bob Dylan and how at a certain point in his career, he thought he was finished. He felt like he was done with his creative side, worn down by the fame side, and he moved to Woodstock. While he was there, he wrote the song Like a Rolling Stone. He took a break and it came back to him.
So the author recommends vacations?
Absolutely he does. Get outside. Get away from the day to day, stop for a little while looking in the same closet, the same shower. He explains how that is important to the creative mind.
I'm also reading What Every BODY Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People by Joe Navarro. It's about reading people's body language. I was researching body language, what certain gestures meant. In my research I came across his book. In order to fully communicate it's best to be in front of the person.
And the last book I am reading is the fourth book in the Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin (A Feast for Crows). He is a master storyteller. His characters are living, breathing, and every voice is authentic. The whole universe that he has created in his books is awe inspiring.
Who is your favorite character in the series?
Jon Snow. What's different about the books than the television series is that you see the characters as children. In the TV series they are grown up. Jon Snow's evolution from a child to someone who has to take control of the situation, to see him survive and thrive and become a leader is an interesting journey.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.