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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Interview: Liane Moriarty talks about Nine Perfect Strangers

Liane Moriarty is the author of seven internationally bestselling novels, including the No. 1 New York Times bestsellers The Husband's Secret, Big Little Lies and Truly Madly Guilty. Her books have been read by more than ten million people worldwide.

Big Little Lies has been adapted into an Emmy award winning HBO series, starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, who have both also optioned the film rights to Truly Madly Guilty. Liane Moriarty talks to NZ Booklovers.

Tell us a little about Nine Perfect Strangers.

It’s the story of nine perfect strangers who meet at a remote boutique health resort where they are taking part in a ten day retreat. They’re hoping for weight loss and stress relief, mindfulness and meditation but it ends up a rather different experience than what they imagined.

What inspired you to write this book?

I had for a long time been making a joke about setting my next book on a tropical island, and needing to do a lot of research to get it right. After a while, I thought, ‘Actually why not do that?’ But then somehow – and I can’t actually remember how it happened – but my island resort turned into a health resort.

What research was involved?

I did spend some time at a health resort where I bravely gave up coffee for five days. These are the sacrifices I make for my art.

What was your routine or process when writing this book?

I don’t have an especially interesting or rigid routine. I just treat it like a normal job, albeit one that I can do in my pyjamas. I just get up each day, go to my desk and write. If I get stuck I go for a walk. That’s about it! Coffee. That’s the only thing that doesn’t change. There must be coffee before I can write.

If a soundtrack was made to accompany this book, name a song or two you would include.

I can see clearly now by Johnny Nash and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by the Beatles.

If your book was made into a movie, who would you like to see playing the lead characters?

I’m thrilled to tell you that the television and movie rights have already been bought by Nicole Kidman and it’s her intention to play one of the lead characters!

What did you enjoy the most about writing this novel?

Finishing it. The last week, when I can actually see the end in sight, is such a euphoric time for me.

What did you do to celebrate finishing this book?

I went out to dinner with my family and had one or two or possibly three bellinis (my favourite cocktail, which is also the favourite cocktail of one of the main characters in Nine Perfect Strangers.)

What is the favourite book you have read so far this year and why?

It’s very hard choose but I will say The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve because I thought it was just beautiful, and it made me cry, and I can’t believe that we won’t ever read another book by Anita.

What’s next on the agenda for you?

I wrote a novella for the second season of the HBO series Big Little Lies (the first season was based on my novel) so I am very excited about that. After all the tours are finished for Nine Perfect Strangers, I will start thinking about the next book. Maybe I’ll go on a tropical island holiday to get me inspired.


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