Zibby Mag

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Author Spotlight: Gillian McAllister

Friday, October 07, 2022

photo by @kyreeeeeeen

Book jacket biographies don’t tell us nearly enough about the authors we love. That’s why Zibby Mag launched the Author Spotlight, giving readers an inside look at the lives and work of your favorite writers.

This week we’re spotlighting Gillian McAlister, author of the new thriller, Wrong Place Wrong Time!

1. What inspired you to write Wrong Place Wrong Time?

I watched Russian Doll and suddenly thought to myself, why has nobody written a time loop thriller novel where a crime has to be stopped? (I’m sure somebody has, but I couldn’t think of any recent ones!). From there, the idea percolated and morphed into sending my protagonist Jen backward in time, rather than repeating the same day, which felt much more readable to me, not to mention interesting.

2. What books are on your nightstand right now?

Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid—I’m starting it tonight in the bath and I cannot wait! I’m also reading Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin.

3. Where is your go-to place to write?

Our kitchen table—right in the hub of the house. I think being surrounded by noise (and mess… and pets…) turns off the part of my brain that likes to task-switch a lot.

4. What is your favorite Indie bookstore?

There’s a lovely one called Goldsboro Books in London on a street so old it looks straight out of Harry Potter!

5. What are three books you’d recommend readers start after Wrong Place Wrong Time?

  1. Haven’t They Grown by Sophie Hannah if you like high concept,

  2. The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell if you like a character-led thriller,

  3. The Searcher by Tana French because she taught me a lot about how to be the writer I am today.

6. What would people be surprised to learn about you?

Ha! Interesting question! I have a reputation I think amongst fellow authors and in publishing for being organized and hardworking but I am actually a very chaotic person. Very messy, often late, and very often surprised by events in my own calendar. Just ask my husband!