“Lundrigan’s skillfully balanced blend of psychological thriller and haunting coming-of-age story is infused with creepy, small-town atmospheric suspense.… [Her] writing is both elegant and darkly humorous, delivering bareknuckle social commentary that will appeal to fans of Gillian Glynn, Karin Fossum, and Laura Lippman.”
The Substitute (House of Anansi, Spiderline) Now Available!
Whenever I’m working with a character, the question I always want answered is Why? No matter how ugly an action might appear on the surface, I want to understand my character’s reasons or motivation. If I had to boil down my drive to write (and sometimes, it’s a slog!), it is this never-ending need to slip into someone else’s consciousness and to grasp their perspective.
After The Widow Tree was published in 2013, I took a short break from writing. I felt drained of ideas. The sensation reminded me of that head-struck feeling after sitting for an intense exam. Only it refused to fade. Gradually, though, I began developing ideas about a particular person. This individual did something with such precision and apparent callousness, I started to listen more carefully and make notes. Why did you do that? How did you become that way? I began writing in first person, as I wanted to move through that troubling world and explore. This person is, I feel, the most complicated individual I have ever tacked down to paper.
People have asked me: Where do your ideas come from? In the past, I used to attempt a sensible response, but now I admit, it’s difficult to explain. I genuinely feel these characters are completely distinct from my thoughts and my experiences. They come from my imagination, of course, but they are also disconnected from me. I never impose judgment. Instead I strive to remain a passive, but very curious observer. I ask a question, and I see what happens.
The name of my latest novel is The Substitute. It’s dark and creepy. Some horrible things happen, but so much of it is rooted in love — the desire to love, and the desire to be loved. One of the main characters is a substitute teacher, but the title also refers to substituting one person for another, one face for another. In this novel, there is so much hidden, both between characters, and even from themselves. Do we ever really know each other? Do we ever really know ourselves?
If you would like to read an excerpt from the first chapter of The Substitute, please click here. And feel free to read samples of my previous novels: Unraveling Arva, Thaw, The Seary Line, Glass Boys, and The Widow Tree.
If you have any questions or comments, drop me a note through my contact page.