Lori Rader-Day Talks Thrillerfest, New Book, And Killing Off Characters

July 31, 2018 - 5:09 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- ​Under a Dark Sky, the lastest thriller from Lori Rader-Day hitting stores Tuesday, offers a “new twist on locked room murder mysteries” and is filled with several twists and turns, leaving readers on the edge of their seats.

“It’s a story of a young widow; she’s 34, so pretty young to be going through that. She finds paperwork in her husband’s effects that he got a reservation at a dark sky park for them, a romantic getaway, at a place where you go to see the nighttime sky in the way nature intended, right, it’s really dark there,” Rader-Day explained. “So she goes. She is afraid of the dark unfortunately but she wants to go and get over that and over him and back into life. Unfortunately, some bad things start to happen when she gets there.”

Stop right there: an adult afraid of the dark? Rader-Day explained that when she was reading an essay about an adult afraid of the dark, she understood the meaning behind this character trait, and decided to borrow it for her own story.

WCBS 880 Author Talks host Lisa Tschernkowitsch caught up Rader-Day last month at the 13th annual Thrillerfest, hosted by the International Thriller Writers,

When asked why she decided to venture into the world of thriller writing, Rader-Day explained that the genre found her.

“They chose me,” Rader-Day said. “I started writing a short story that got a little long and one of my – I was in a MFA program – teachers said I think this is a novel, keep writing. And when it got longer and longer it was apparently a crime novel which was unexpected to me, but there was a crime in it, and if there’s a crime in it apparently it’s a crime novel.”

And for the million dollar question: do thriller writers feel a “secret thrill” when killing off characters? Rader-Day, hesitant at first, admitted that there is a guilty pleasure in ending the lives of some characters. But, she assured that she doesn’t write about real people, and that “mystery writers are very sweet people.”

Be sure to watch the full interview above and if you're interested in more Thrillerfest authors, check out these bonus videos of WCBS 880 Author Talks interviews with authors Peter James and Sheena Kamal: