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Much More Than A Thriller: Ingrid Alexandra on what inspired her debut novel The New Girl

October 24, 2018

About the author:

Ingrid Alexandra is based in Sydney. Her work has previously been long-listed for The Ampersand Prize and while living in London, Ingrid had the privilege of being mentored by the Guardian First Novel Award shortlisted and Nestle Prize-winning author Daren King. The New Girl is her first psychological thriller novel.

Purchase a copy of The New Girl here

Read our review of The New Girl here

My inspiration is largely drawn from my own experience, but please don’t take that to mean my stories are autobiographical! I suppose we all go through phases in life and, for me, it’s important to write about the things that influence or inspire me at a certain time, and that can be something I’ve seen or heard, something from the past or something I am working through on a personal level. Usually, it’s a concept that strikes first, and then, once I’ve processed it and feel excited enough about it, I’ll cobble together a skeleton of a story and then flesh it out at a later stage. If I lose interest, another idea or work in progress might pull me back to it – I suppose it depends on whatever is ‘speaking to me’ at the time. But I have to feel quite intensely about something, and for a sustained period, to turn it in to a novel.

I can be inspired by completely random things, and I’ve heard other writers say this as well, such as something I see on the news, something I’ve read or something I’ve overheard in line at the supermarket. I read extensively (in the name of research, of course!) and draw inspiration from many great authors.

Inspiration for THE NEW GIRL (originally called BLANK SPACES) came primarily from experience and observation spanning a lifetime, really. And on top of that, the fascination I’ve always had with human behaviour – what can possess seemingly ordinary people to commit extraordinary acts. It fascinates me the way human brains can work both for and against us. The way our memories are subjective by their very nature. Enter the unreliable narrator, and a generation of thrillers!


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