Feature Image Credit: @breakfastwrachel
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn’s adult fiction debut, The Girls Are All So Nice Here, has made her an author to watch in our book. This twisty, dark, surprising thriller has been getting some major buzz since coming out in March. Entertainment Weekly called it a “page-turner,” while Chandler Baker (New York Times best-selling author of Whisper Network) said that the final chapter left her “breathless,” and it’s even been optioned for television by AMC.
I wanted to go deeper with this author and understand more about her inspiration, experiences, and the hardest part of writing The Girls Are All So Nice Here. And don’t miss out on her picks for our Ten Book Challenge: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn’s Book-It List, where she divulges the book she recommends to everyone, her favorite reads, and what she’d like to see adapted to the big screen.
Tell us about your new book in 3 sentences
The Girls Are All So Nice Here is a darker, more disturbing Mean Girls meets I Know What You Did Last Summer set on a college campus. It’s a deep dive into toxic friendship, desire, obsession, and ambition. It explores what girls are capable of when society pits them against each other, and the lengths they’ll take to get what they think they’re owed.
Where did you get the idea for this book?
I love anything set on a college campus, and the insular, almost claustrophobic framework that setting provides. It’s a time fraught with uncertainty in a young woman’s life, and comes with so much pressure—both external and internal— to reinvent oneself and align with the right friend group. I thought those elements would make a very dynamic breeding ground for a psychological thriller, particularly the question of what happens when someone puts her energy into the absolute wrong people.
What is your favorite thing about this book?
The way it portrays the insecurities that come with starting college, and the pressures that come with rebranding yourself at different times in your life.
Three emotions readers should/will experience when reading this book
Suspicion, unease, a creeping sense of dread…
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
I don’t plot my books ahead of time, so the biggest challenge was writing myself into a few corners and not knowing what happened next. I trusted my instincts and didn’t let myself give up on the story, even when I wasn’t happy with how my thoughts translated onto the page. I reminded myself that it could (and would) be corrected with revision.
Take us into the research /prep part. In a nutshell, what did that look like for this book?
I researched the Wesleyan campus in great detail. I’ve never been there in person, so I knew I had to get the setting and vibe right. That took a lot of research and speaking with alumni, who were so helpful with providing information!
Why do you write books?
I can’t not write books. I don’t feel like myself unless I have at least one creative project on the go. A day that begins with a writing session undoubtedly puts me in a good mood, regardless of the quality of the writing. Just the knowledge that I’ve created something that wasn’t there before is the best feeling.
I am drawn to books that….
Probe into women’s experiences and investigate societal pressures in a thought-provoking and meaningful way. I love complicated female characters in all of their messy complexity.
I want readers to be drawn to my books because …..
Of their fusion of suspense and social commentary.