How NY Times Bestselling Mystery Writer Tana French Writes


The New York Times bestselling crime novelist, Tana French, took a break to talk with me about her early training as an actress, her definition of creativity, and how to write through the tough times.

“I didn’t know if I could write a book. I’d written short stories and really galactically bad teenager poetry, but I’d never tried to write a book before.” — Tana French

The author has written eight mystery novels and is considered a master of suspense and the modern psychological thriller. Her work has been compared to writers including James Ellroy and Donna Tartt, and has been called “incandescent” by Stephen King, and “absolutely mesmerizing” by Gillian Flynn.

Her novels have sold over three million copies and won numerous awards, including the Edgar and Barry awards, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Mystery/Thriller, and the Irish Book Award for Crime Fiction.

Her latest bestseller, The Searcher, is her second stand-alone novel, and she was described by The Washington Post as “…the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years.”

Stay tuned for a clip from The Searcher audiobook at the break, “… excerpted courtesy [of] Penguin Random House Audio … read by Roger Clark.”

Please help us learn more about you by completing this short 7-question survey If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews. In this file Tana French and I discussed:

  • Her “galactically” bad poetry
  • The archaeological dig that inspired “In the Woods,” her Edgar-winning 2007 debut novel
  • How she came to riff on the Western genre in her latest
  • And why writers need to fight off the struggle of isolation

Show Notes:


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