Bestselling author Shari Lapena on the eerie inspiration behind her newest thriller Someone We Know 3 years ago

Bestselling author Shari Lapena on the eerie inspiration behind her newest thriller Someone We Know

"I'm so sorry. My son has been getting into people's houses. He's broken into yours."

Olivia Sharpe's world has been turned upside down.


She never, ever thought her son, Raleigh, would be the kind of person to break into people's houses - but when she finds out what he's done, she knows one thing for certain: she has to make things right.

So she decides to write an anonymous letter to the owner's of each of the homes, telling them what has happened - setting into motion a chain of events that has disastrous consequences for the neighbourhood.

And thus begins Shari Lapena's new thriller, Someone We Know. 

The Canadian author told Her about her inspiration behind her latest thriller, her typical writing process and what drew her into the thriller genre.


On the inspiration behind the book, she said:

"I saw something on the internet about a teenage boy in the United States who’d had his wifi cut off by parents because he was spending too much time on the web.

"So, he broke into the neighbour’s house to borrow wifi. [The story] got me thinking about what a boy with hacking abilities would do [in a similar scenario], and what he would find - and how his mum would feel if she found out he had been breaking into their house.

"And, of course, I write thrillers so there had to be a body in there."

Lapena also spoke about her process behind writing Someone We Know - and how it compared to 2018's An Unwanted Guest. 


She explained:

"I never plan [ahead in a novel] and I don’t know what’s going to happen. I usually start with a couple of characters who I think may be the killer, then I add other ones - and twists, and turns - along as the story takes place.

"[Someone We Know] is more like my original stories [The Couple Next Door, A Stranger In TheHouse].

"It was harder to write An Unexpected Guest because I’m not a planner - I’d have to go back and change things, details. This one was more wide open, more my original styles."

The author, who first wrote literary fiction before making the move to thrillers, also revealed what drew her to the genre - and why she thinks thrillers have become so popular.


She added:

"For me, I'm very curious about people. And I think a crime story gives you huge scope to look at everything people experience. 

"[As for why thrillers are so popular], I think it's just the psychology of it all. I think people are interested in psychology; why people do what they do. And we're all just trying to understand the world around us."

A good book can do just about anything; from taking you on a wild and fantastical adventure to making you feel like an all-knowing super sleuth (if you figure out the killer twist).

But what's good to read? Each week, #Bookmarked will help you out - with an insight into the best novels hitting shelves right now and other faves that everyone needs to read at least once in their lives.