Oline Cogdill

ungerlisa_authorTry as we might, it is impossible to fit in everything discussed during an interview into a profile for Mystery Scene.

If we did, we would only have one profile in the magazine with little room for anything else.

So the blog has become invaluable in giving readers a little more insight into the authors we feature.

My interview with Lisa Unger that graces the cover of the latest issue of Mystery Scene is pretty complete.

But there was one thing we talked about that I just could not seem to fit into the interview.

And, believe me, I tried.

Like most authors, Unger says she has been inspired by other authors. The author who stands out above the others is Truman Capote.

“I have been such an avid reader all my life and have been swept away by so many different kinds of work.

"But the place where I first fell in love with the prose was Truman Capote’s short stories like Other Voices, Other Rooms and Music for Chameleons. Those are amazing collections of stories,” Unger said during our interview.

But Capote’s In Cold Blood rates even higher for Unger.

ungerlisa_heartbrokenIn Cold Blood is probably one of the most influential books for me. [That's where] I realized you could write about very dark, horrible things and do it with tremendous compassion and breathless beauty,” said Unger whose latest novel is Heartbroken. Her other novels include Fragile and Black Out.

“Capote has vivid, searing character portraits of these very disturbed individuals. He shows full pictures of those people without glorifying or condoning or exploiting who these people were.

"It really gave me permission to be who I wanted to be and to write about what I wanted to write about. “

Unger also credits Daphne du Maurier’s famous novel Rebecca with inspiration.

Rebecca was my first big, gothic thriller. It’s a very purple, big story.

"But it has a theme of the ordinary girl caught in extreme circumstances and she has to extradite herself from it. That’s a theme that runs through my books.

"That book was a big wow moment for me.”