Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'The Girl on the Train' Author Paula Hawkins Dives into Thriller 'Into the Water'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'The Girl on the Train' Author Paula Hawkins Dives into Thriller 'Into the Water'

Article excerpt

'The Girl on the Train' author dives into new thriller


TORONTO - Paula Hawkins scored a literary smash out of the gates after her debut thriller "The Girl on the Train" sold 19 million copies and was adapted into a box office-topping hit film starring Emily Blunt.

Prior to the release of her followup novel "Into the Water," Hawkins was already bracing for the intensified scrutiny that accompanies newfound fame.

"People kept asking me: 'Do you feel under pressure?'" the British author said during a recent visit to Toronto. "(I tried) to set that aside and think: 'OK, I've got this idea. This is my story. You write the best book you can at this point in time -- that's what you're focusing on.'

"I knew coming into this book that there would be a lot of attention on it, and I also knew it wasn't going to be loved by everyone."

"Into the Water" (Doubleday Canada) dives into both familiar and fresh territory as mystery swirls around the death of a single mother whose body is found in the bottom of the river running through a small town.

Hawkins said creating a story with water as a focal point offered the chance to explore the many symbols -- both soothing and sinister -- that it carries.

"Having a house by the water is seen as a desirable thing. It's beautiful, it's calming, it's wonderful to look at. But, of course, it's also dangerous and it conceals what's underneath," she said.

"It's a great medium for an author to use something like a river, which is always changing but always the same. It can link lots of things; it can divide people."

In a similar vein to "The Girl on the Train," her latest work revisits the literary device of the unreliable narrator but on a grander scale with about 10 characters inhabiting those roles.

"I hadn't intended on having quite so many points of view at the beginning of the story. But it became clear to me because I'd created this cast of characters where everyone's keeping secrets, and I needed the reader to hear from lots of different points of view," said Hawkins. …

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