I Love It When You Lie is one of those books you just can’t put down. Author Kristen Bird expertly weaves between the narratives of the three Williams sisters and their sister-in-law Stephanie, and throughout the book, the reader has the unique opportunity to see the story unfold through the four characters’ unique perspectives.
I had the amazing opportunity to chat with Kristen prior to today’s official release of her sophomore novel, and I hope you will enjoy this inside look and consider picking up a copy of this book for yourself.
When did you first come up with the idea for your sophomore novel, I Love It When You Lie?
Back in 2020 before I’d even finished my first novel, I had one single image in mind for my next project: three sisters with their arms entwined as they stood over a fresh grave. I have three siblings–two sisters and a brother–and we are spread out across fourteen years. I knew that I wanted the characters in my novel to mirror my own family of origin and the bond we share.
You like to write in local coffee shops. How does that environment inspire you?
I think the bustle of strangers around me helps fuel my creativity. Occasionally, I’ll catch snip-its of conversations that intrigue me, and I’ll do a bit of spying to hear what’s going on in their lives. I’m not someone who needs silence while I write, though I do prefer not to be interrupted to answer questions or have lengthy conversations, so hearing the hum of conversation in the background is steadying for me.
Do you tend to thoroughly plot your novels in advance, or do you wait and see where the characters take you?
For the first 20-30K words, I’m getting to know my characters. At that point, I can step back and plot a vague outline, but it’s never more than “X character meets Y character at this place and Z happens.” I have to write my way into a full story, but I admire–and envy–those who can outline in detail!
Tell me about your research process.
Because I’m a discovery writer, I research as I go, looking up terms and situational details as needed. I’ll occasionally text a friend or family member a question about a job, hobby, or interest in which they specialize. For example, my mom is a postpartum nurse, so I was texting her about how to steal a baby from a small-town hospital. Hopefully, no one ever reads those! For this novel, I grew up in the area where the novel is set, so I could see the scenes pretty clearly in my mind.
Of the three Williams sisters (Tara, June, and Clementine) which one most closely mirrors your own personality?
I think Tara’s loyalty and fierce protectiveness is akin to my own. She’s also the oldest of three sisters, like me, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to take care of her family.
What was the hardest scene to write?
The hardest scenes to write about were the anguish that June experiences from infertility and the lengths to which she will go in order to have a child. My husband and I struggled through infertility years ago, and that was one of the most difficult journeys of my life. We now have three beautiful children that I’m so grateful for.
The book goes between the points of view of the three Williams sisters and their sister-in-law Stephanie. How difficult was it to shift between each POV?
I love shifting points of view because it lets me step into a new character. The most trouble I had, however, was in deciding which voice would best move the character forward for each scene.
Who are some of your favorite fellow authors?
So, so many! Ashley Winstead, Samantha Downing, Heather Chavez, Allison Buccola, Jennifer Fawcet, and Olivia Day (novel forthcoming) are amazing thriller writers! I also love Lisa Jewell, Ruth Ware, Barbara Kingsolver, Blake Crouch, Kate Morton, Kate Atkinson, and Brit Bennett.
Are you currently working on your next novel and if so, can we get a sneak peek?
I am working on my next suspense novel, but the manuscript isn’t ready for eyes other than those of my editor yet! Watch It Burn is set in the Texas hill country. A high-profile woman drowns in two inches of water, and exactly one year later her small town burns to the ground. Three childhood friends are determined to find out what happened and get revenge as needed (as one does ;)).