🥳📚Happy Publication Day to The Liars’ Club, the latest psychological thriller by Jamie Lee Fry.
Jamie and I first worked together on her debut psychological thriller, The Pretty Ones, back in 2021, and it was an utter pleasure to work with such a talented author on so strong a manuscript. Therefore, when Jamie got in touch to say that she was almost finished her next novel, I couldn’t wait to jump on board.
It’s often said that although writing your first book is hard, the second one is the hardest. Of course, you’re a more experienced writer, but with that experience comes expectation and the pressure that goes with it. But with The Liars’ Club, Jamie Lee Fry has taken on the second-book challenge and delivered a gripping story with aplumb.
For fans of Spiderhead, Station Eleven, and The Circle, you won’t want to miss this twisting psychological thriller.
The Liars’ Club by Jamie Lee Fry
HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO KEEP YOUR SECRETS HIDDEN?
Max Jennings is broken and damaged.
He’s built a new life to protect himself.
Then Max meets the charismatic and handsome Ben Matthews, who offers him a life-changing experience; a club that will fix him.
And Max can’t help but be intrigued.
But soon, Max realizes this club comes at a high price.
And the premiums are murder.
Available now in ebook and paperback!
Jamie, welcome! The Liars’ Club is your second psychological thriller novel, isn’t it? Tell us a little more about it.
The Liars’ Club is my second psychological thriller novel. It has murder, deception, betrayal, and all that good stuff, but more importantly, it poses the question: how much of yourself are you willing to compromise to keep your darkest secrets hidden?
Max Jennings is broken and damaged, and with good reason. He’s built a life to protect himself. Then Max meets the charismatic and handsome Ben Matthews, who offers him a life-changing experience; a club that will fix him. But soon Max realizes this club isn’t the kind you pay for in money but the kind you pay for in loyalty and secrets.
This book, and your previous one, The Pretty Ones, is set in Portland, Oregon, your home town. What is it about writing so close to home that appeals to you?
My debut novel, The Pretty Ones, is set in both Iowa and Oregon.
I wanted to pay homage to my home state of Iowa and Oregon, my home for nearly a decade, so I featured both in the book.
The Liars’ Club is set in a fictional town of Clear River, Oregon, but it’s loosely based on Bend, Oregon. Bend is the perfect setting, with its small-town feel and secluded mountain trails. If you’ve ever been there, I think you’d agree with me. Plus, it’s always fun when local readers know exactly where I’m describing. The scene with Jenny on the bridge in The Pretty Ones is based on a real trail along the Deschutes River that I frequent often.
Who inspired you to start writing? Have your influences changed since then?
I don’t know if I have a specific person that inspired me, but I’ve always loved reading. When I was young, my dad consistently had a book in his hand. He didn’t watch much TV; instead, he read. So, I would read his old books, books that I probably shouldn’t have been reading at such a young age, like Stephen King novels, and though I didn’t always understand what I was reading, I loved the escape books brought me. I always thought I’d love to write like these authors, but who am I to do so? Then one day, I finally decided to stop doubting myself and do it, and the rest is history.
Why did you choose to write psychological thriller? What is it about the genre that appeals to you?
I’ve always had a love for psychological thrillers. I enjoy movies and books that keep me guessing until the very end. I want to be kept on my toes and always thinking. There’s something about trying to put the pieces together to unravel the story for myself that intrigues me. I love that feeling of reading or watching a plot unravel just to be twisted again. So, naturally, I was drawn to this genre and wanted to emulate it the best I could.
In the novel you write from multiple points of view; did you find one harder to write than the others? Do you have any routines to help switch from one ‘head’ to the other? And is it tricky to write from a perspective that isn’t your own, and how do you overcome that?
I have to be in the right headspace for each character I write. For me, it’s hard to switch heads once I get into the mindset of each character. The Pretty Ones was actually harder for me than The Liars’ Club. I loved my character Charlie in The Pretty Ones, but she really put me in a weird headspace. I’d have to take a long break before switching back to Jenny.
In The Liars’ Club, I enjoyed writing from a male perspective. It was interesting putting myself in their shoes but also a lot of fun. All my characters are damaged, and their vices make them fascinating. Kade was my favorite for that reason.
Do you like to plan the action of your novels (plotter) or do you just let them write themselves (pantser!)?
I would say I’m 90% Panster and 10% Plotter. In each story I write, I have an idea of the beginning and the ending, but everything in between is fair game. I create these wonderful characters who come alive on the page, and sometimes they go rogue and have their own idea of where the story should go, and I let it happen. I love the discovery process of writing. It’s a beautiful thing. I applaud the plotters and their ability to map out an entire novel, it’s an amazing ability, but my brain just doesn’t work that way.
As a self-published author, what would you say was the biggest learning curve in the publishing process?
I would say timing is the biggest learning curve in self-publishing. Figuring out each step and when to do it can be a challenge. You don’t have someone standing over you telling you it’s time to do each step. A lot of research goes into figuring out your timeline, and one misstep can challenge your publication date. Timing is everything!
Writing a novel is both an exhausting and inspiring experience. Do you have any plans to put pen to paper again soon?
I’m switching things up with my next novel. I’m currently working on a young adult supernatural thriller. But don’t worry, I will return to the world of psychological thrillers. I have a lot of ideas running rampant in my brain, and eventually, they will need to get out.
Do you have any writing tips to share?
If something isn’t working, walk away and take a break. Don’t force it. Usually, when I step away from a scene that isn’t working and take a walk, it works itself out.
What is your writing process like? Do you have a routine? A favourite place to write?
I try to write every day. I’m the most creative when I roll out of bed, so I try to get my words on the page as soon as possible each day. I usually write in my office, but if I feel blocked, I will move my entire setup outside for fresh inspiration.
Also most important question. Favourite writing snack!
I never realized it until you asked this question, but I don’t eat while I write. Wow, is that crazy? But I always have a cup of coffee next to me!
The Liars’ Club is published today! And I’m delighted to share an exclusive extract with you below.
I knew from the first second that I saw your face I couldn’t be myself with you. I knew you wouldn’t like the real me, and quite frankly, I’m not even sure I like the real me. But I’m working on it. That’s why I have to pretend.
Aww, sweetie, don’t give me that look—that you-are-sick-in- the-head kind of look. That’s not very nice of you. Although, I do know that expression all too well. This isn’t my first time, sweetheart. Go ahead, squirm all you want—I enjoy watching you struggle. I can’t explain it. It’s my malfunction. I simply can’t help myself, and this is my favorite part: the moment of realization that you’re screwed, there’s no way out. The way your eyes flicker as you replay every misstep that led you to this very moment.
That look excites me. Thrills me.
The reason I can’t stop.
I crave it, over and over. . .
You don’t want to be caught off guard like the last time. I don’t blame you. You weren’t expecting it. There was no way you could have known. I’m getting good at what I do, you see. I play the part well.
You’re probably wondering if I’m going to kill you right now. And the answer to that question is no. I want to, but I have to wait. What? Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t hear you through your duct- taped mouth. Your moans do excite me, though. Your tiny body is quivering and I’m sorry for that, but just a little longer now, my
dear. It’s all part of the game—the mindfuck.
Do you know I chose you because of your profile picture? You
were virtually begging for someone to treat you like this. But right now, you’re a fucking mess with your cheeks all red and splotchy and your mascara running down your face.
See, sweetie, you made me do this. You made me choose you for the game. You were my pawn. And guess what, babe? I believe I won, but that means. . . Well, my dear, that means you lost.
Already hooked? Of course, grab your copy of The Liars’ Club here.
About the Author
Jamie Lee Fry is an adventure blogger turned psychological-thriller writer. She released her debut novel, The Pretty Ones, in 2021. When she’s not hunched over her desk creating thrilling stories, she’s exploring the forests of Oregon with her husband, Jeremy. She has two Papillons, Daphne and Dexter, that go everywhere with her, including stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking. Jamie never says no to a good adventure, as long as mountains and waterfalls are involved. Jamie also enjoys a strong cup of coffee, baking, and documenting life with her camera.