Q&A with Caroline kepnes

Last week I reviewed the brilliantly disturbing You and I was left compelled to find out more. Through the wonders of twitter I contacted Caroline to see if she would mind answering some questions and here are her answers.

1.first tell me about you ? interests and dislikes?

I interviewed Parker Posey for my college paper. (She is so talented and I am forever in awe of Waiting for Guffman.) Anyhow, she said something so smart that stayed with me, that if I asked her the same questions tomorrow, she would say something else, and she would be telling the truth. I relate to that so much. What’s on my mind right now: I love a good spicy chicken sandwich. I feel like Dirty Dancing should be on TV every Sunday. I love movies with prominent music. Boogie Nights, ah. I am passionate about Cape Cod and LA, my homes, my friends, family, the beaches (prefer Atlantic over Pacific, hands down). I feel blessed to have such incredible friends and family. This was something defining about Joe for me, that he had absentee parents, no close friends. I liked writing about someone who felt closer to a character in a movie than most people in his immediate world. Finally, I am horribly stubborn, but I am also wonderfully stubborn.

2.are you a big reader?if so have you always been ?

yes. I was so envious of my older brother because he could read. I was so determined and excited to join the reading world. My first was Dr. Seuss’ Hop on Pop. And later, Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret? Reading is so calming and riling at once, you know? That’s the magic of it. If I’m upset about something and I pick up a book, it’s like aah. And yet, there’s nothing like that heart attack you get from a novel, whether you’re reading slow or fast, whether it’s a page turner or a slow burner. I love to mix it up. I read song lyrics a lot too.And news, I love local news. Anywhere I go, I want a newspaper.

3.what authors do you enjoy ?

Charles Bukowski, Charles Dickens, Truman Capote, Paula Fox, Jonathan Franzen, Stephen King, Toni Morrison, Lucinda Rosenfeld. And I’ve been rereading Ann Petry. The Street was a powerful teleport to Harlem in the 1940s. That book made me want to write. The ending is just one of my favorite chunks of writing in the world. And I love dialogue in film as well. Quentin Tarantino, Woody Allen and Nora Ephron are three screenwriters who I admire. Death Proof! Deconstructing Harry! You’ve Got Mail! That would be a dream triple-billing in a movie theater to me

4.where did you get your inspiration for you ?

My friend’s husband once asked what was worse, losing someone suddenly or losing someone after a long illness. And my friend and I were like, neither. There are so many different kinds of hell! And for me, the worst hell, by far, the one you have to be really aware of when you’re dealing with loss, it’s the hell of having no one to start. We open with Joe very lonely, adjusted to hell in a way. I loved that he was deriving all his human contact from this job, where there are clear boundaries. The first line is so important to me. I love doors. And I love the tragedy implied by him seeing her walk in. We know that anyone who walks into a store is going to leave. That’s how it works. Joe, he’s so lonely, he wants someone to come in and just stay and be his life. He’s so doomed! And that inspires me, to challenge that doom. Also, I read Lolita while working at a bookstore several years ago. But I never locked anyone in the basement.

5.where did Joe come from ?

I was thinking about this a few days ago and I dug up an email from the day I started Joe’s voice. I was in a coffee shop in West Hollywood looking outside, annoyed by two girls who were rolling their eyes over a man who was clearly disheveled, harmless, probably homeless. And there was this shiny loud guy doing that performance talking where he was looking around to see if he had an audience. I was in a bad mood. I was like, I hate all of you. And then I took my rage back to the obsessive story I was trying to tell. Thinking of him as someone who would share a lot of my pet peeves, this was exciting. I love the part of him that gets annoyed with rude people and loves Hannah and Her Sisters. Alas, he gets too annoyed and misreads a lot of Hannah. That’s life for you.

 6.strangly I felt sympathy and warmth towards him ,was that your goal and how did you manage that?
Oh yes. I felt sympathy constantly, at every stage, so it’s wonderful to hear that that comes through to you. I can’t write if I don’t feel warmth. I mean, I can start out from a negative place–those irritating girls at the coffee shop–but for me, writing is cathartic because the point is that you start writing, and suddenly, you have these characters, you know why they are projecting. Everybody has issues. And for me always being Joe’s head, I am relating his logic, why he’s doing why he’s doing what he’s doing. I never thought of him as a hateful person. I always would go back to his 9/11 experience, how it symbolizes his relationship to society. He can’t seem to be a part of things. He is always on the outside looking in, even when he is in a cage.
7 how on earth did you manage to portray such a dark disturbed atmosphere through words .?
I hope I learned a lot from In Cold Blood and American Psycho and The Shining and Misery. And most recently, I was blown away and egged on by Stwart O’Nan’s novel, Emily, Alone. In that book, you are literally in this widow’s head. You can smell her kitchen, see her basement. That book, that book! It was the last book I read before I wrote You. It captivated me because it was an out-of-body escape into another person’s consciousness. I was inspired to see if I could pull that off in my own way. Emily is nothing like Joe–she doesn’t murder anyone, she has a pet–but she is overwhelmed by her very active internal life. She struggles with her thoughts. My favorite atmospheres are the ones inside our minds. I also learned a lot from Mike White’s brilliant series Enlightened. Watching that show was a lot like reading Emily Alone.
8.desribe a writing day and environment ?
Every day I wake up and have this inane debate over where to get coffee, whether I will drive or walk, whether I will bring my computer or leave it at home. It’s the first procrastination of the day, but it’s a fun one, a dire one. I mean, who can do anything without coffee? At home. I like the TV on. It’s a good barometer of my focus. I love when it hits me I am so into what I’m writing that some show I don’t like is on TV and I didn’t realize it.
9. through writing you have you changed opinion on real life stalkers ?
I didn’t really come into this book with an opinion. I have always been alarmed and petrified by home invasion and stalking. It was exciting to write, to try and understand what might compel someone to do these things, how that would feel, to wake up every day and want to read someone’s private email, someone you love. Also, I am very interested in the way we live now, on top of each other in so many dimensions. The technology that allows us to know when someone “read” a text is perverse to me. I think stalking feels culturally relevant because it’s almost encouraged in our modern climate. First comes following, then comes friending etc. That said there is nothing new about obsession, murder. People sometimes do terrible things, always have, always will. I started writing about obsessive, misfit characters a long time ago.
10.is book 2 in the process ? do you have any info on it?
Yes. I don’t want to say anything about it while I’m in the middle of it, but it feels like a living thing. A living thing that I will go back to working on in just a few minutes. I hope.
 A big thank you to Caroline for being on my blog today and if you are intrigued about You heres my review https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/book-review-you-by-caroline-kepnes/


Bringing the Keep Fit movement vividly to life in 1940s’ London, Pam Evans’ family saga will inspire and enthral anyone who has ever dared to dream of a better life.

In the middle of a party to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935, Mollie Fisher’s good-for-nothing husband walks out on his wife and baby girl. Luckily, Mollie has a loving family to turn to for help. Mollie’s mother, Marge, is delighted to look after baby Esme while Mollie goes out to work. Meanwhile, her nan, Nora, encourages Mollie to join a local keep fit class, which opens her eyes to a whole new world.

Determined to better herself, Mollie qualifies as a fitness instructor and starts to run her own classes for the local community, where she befriends a group of women she would never have known existed. But with the outbreak of the Second World War and the ever-present danger of losing her loved ones in the London bombings, it takes courage for Mollie to stand on her own two feet…

Thank you to Bookbridgr for sending me a copy to review .This is the first of this authors books I have read .

This is a heartwarming story of family life during the war and one womans goal to turn her life around for her daughter and their future .

There are some great characters who each have their own stories to tell .Molly is a great lead character with great ambition and a positive role model for her daughter .

I made the mistake of reading another book half way through this one which was a completely different genre s that did affect my reading experience of this .

This is a pleasant tale of love loss friendship and hope,but not a book to get your teeth into .

This is published on 23rd October .


Gone Girl meets Fatal Attraction in Caroline Kepnes’ You, a chilling account of the twisted psychology behind unrelenting passion. When aspiring writer Guinevere Beck strides into the bookstore where Joe works he is instantly smitten. Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: tough, razor-smart and sexier than his wildest dreams. He’d kill to have her. Soon Beck can’t resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom made for her. When a string of macabre incidents tears her world apart there is only one person she can turn to. But there’s more to Joe than Beck realises and much more to Beck than her perfect facade. The obsessive relationship quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences…A chilling account of unrelenting, terrifying deceit, Caroline Kepnes’ You is a thriller more perversely clever and dangerously twisted than any YOU have ever read.

A huge thank you to Helen at Simon and Schuster for sending me a coy to review .

I had heard great reviews and the cover really excited me ,it was also recommended by people from the book world!!

This gets under your skin in such a unique intrusive way,when I finished it this evening I tweeted how I felt dirty and disturbed  .

You get right into Joes head …what is appealing about that ?? well I studied psychology and criminology and its bloody fascinating .

Before reading this I would think no way could I relate or sympathise with a stalker ?? But I found myself warming to him wanting things to work for him and I really didn’t like  Beck .

Through Joes obsessive ways we get a deep insight into beck because we follow his obsession with her and we see her personal emails and txts and she is annoying and disrespectful .

This is disturbing ,dark and incredibly tense ,incredibly cleverly written .

A book that will stay with you in a very dark way . A fantastic read !


When George Mottershead moved to the village of Upton-by-Chester in 1930 to realise his dream of opening a zoo without bars, his four-year-old daughter June had no idea how extraordinary her life would become. Soon her best friend was a chimpanzee called Mary, lion cubs and parrots were vying for her attention in the kitchen, and finding a bear tucked up in bed was no more unusual than talking to a tapir about granny’s lemon curd. Pelican, penguin or polar bear – for June, they were simply family.

The early years were not without their obstacles for the Mottersheads. They were shunned by the local community, bankruptcy threatened and then World War Two began. Nightly bombing raids turned the dream into a nightmare and finding food for the animals became a constant challenge. Yet George’s resilience, resourcefulness and tenacity eventually paid off. Now over 80 years since June first set foot in the echoing house, Chester Zoo has achieved worldwide renown.

Here, in her enthralling memoir, June Mottershead chronicles the heartbreak, the humour, the trials and triumphs, above all the characters, both human and animal, who shaped her childhood.

Thank you to Bookbridgr and headline for kindly sending me a copy to review it really made my week .

Me and the kids have been really enjoying this series and most weeks I have cried .So to read the actual story was a privilege .

It was great to have a even more personal insight into the history and lives of those living at the zoo and how it was built .

I have never visited Chester zoo but love animals and I think every child has had a dream of living with lots of animals .

Junes family may not have had lots of wealth and greatly struggled but they filled their hearts and homes with added family in the form of animals .

In this book there are many great tales of these animals and the close bonds made .

A really enjoyable interesting book which accompanies the tv series really well .

Bad head

This post will probably sound very erratic but I need to get it out .

I feel shit today both emotionally and physically .

We have all cried tonight even Estelle . Im really feeling thrown by the changes of lynx moving school which is to be expected but I hate this inner turmoil feeling of unsettled .

I feel the last few days its like the events of recent years have hit me .

Leaving lee ,starting again ,moving over and over again ,new schools,court case ,domestic abuse ,family breakdown,lynxs diagnosis , losing friends etc etc .

I feel sick anxious and guilty .

I feel I have screwed my kids up.

I have got social services coming tommorw and im terrified ,but I requested the contact because I was at breaking point . But what happens if they feel im not up to the job which is how I feel most days .

I have days I feel I cant breathe ,I have no support or break from my kids .

All I see ar my kids and all they see is me ,they have no one to turn to or talk to so when things get tough its so intense .

Lynx doesn’t want to do anything go anywhere which  leaves Estelle missing out .

She has started to worry about me almost like shes responsible of me….this is wrong .

My kids have witnessed so much and we are still finding our feet .

We have minimum furniture ,our house needs so much doing so still doesn’t look homely which is another guilt .

I have demands of all of this and theres one of me ….

I never wanted this for my kids , they have a crap dad who pays no maintance ,no grandarents my side  ,friends come and go  .

Im meahnt to b going out for few drinks on sat first time in months and the first time left with babysitter in nearly a year and both kids have shown their upset im going and where im poorly I feel like not bothering .

Lynx didn’t have good day soo have the worry of him settling in new school ,was I right in moving him ?

Im waiting for important letters to come and lynx is seeing cahms soon.

I miss how things used to be .I used to get head space ,I used to have a social life ,we used to be able to go to cinema do fun things as a family .Now its always tears and panic attacks .

I don’t know how or when this happened .Think its been a year of change and has really thrown me so god knows how the kids feel .

Everything is hard and I need a few days /weeks to adjust my head,cry ,sleep and get over this cold .


Today was lynxs first day of his new school after months of that travelling to and from school which was taking about 3 hours of my day .This was leaving both me and lynx exhausted.

So it was fantastic when a place came u for a local school .

However with that comes change and I think today hit me and made me lose my bearings as so much has changed this year and always leaves me feeing unsettled . I have been going to that school since Estelle was 7 so its really an end of a era . Tis week will be a huge adjustment for both of us .

Lynx has took it all so well im incredibly proud of him and I really hope this is a start of something new and positive .

I was really happy when we viewed the school 🙂

The idea is I can do more now I have more hours bt for the next few days as I have been poorly im going to enjoy extra few hours to be lazy and just get head around the changes .


Busty babe Holly Hagan has had viewers of Geordie Shore glued to their screens ever since her arrival in the first series. Fed up with her dead end job at a call centre, and with dreams of being a star one day, Holly applied for a new reality TV show. She couldn’t know it was to catapult her into fame and make her one of the most recognisable faces on British TV. Fame and fortune, though, came at a price – the road from the call centre to the celebrity circuit has been far from smooth. For the first time, Holly is lifting the lid on the perks and perils she’s faced ever since her topless hot tub antics shocked the nation. Holly owes her success to a very simple change of look, which involved both a new bottle of red hair dye and a new found confidence. Ever since then, audiences have been in stitches as they watch Holly (and her flame-red hair) flirt her way around Newcastle’s famed ‘Diamond Strip’ and places further afield such as Magaluf, Cancun and Australia. In this action-packed, revealing, funny and sometimes heart-breaking memoir, Holly recounts her life in and out of the limelight with brutal honesty – from her childhood days when she was badly bullied, her shocking take on sex and dating, her liaison with bad-boy musician Frankie Cocozza and what really goes on behind-the-scenes on the UK’s biggest reality TV show  Filled with genuinely touching stories and inside accounts of what they don’t show you on TV, Holly has laid herself bare, first physically and now emotionally. If you think you know all there is to know about Holly from Geordie Shore, think again.

Thank you  to John Blake publishers for sending me a copy to review ,this is the first book they have sent .

I love autobiographies and must admit I havnt read one for while so made a nice change getting stuck into this . This is also the first one ive reviewed .

Geordie shore is a guilty pleasure ,cant help but get hooked . I find its perfect escapism from reality .

Theres a few of the cast members with books out and look forward to reading those .We form opinions on these people but have to remember we are only shown what the media wants us to see .

This book gives a sensitive insight into Hollys early days especially how she was raised In  a single parent family and as a single parent myself it was really heartwarming to hear her tales and how happy she was with her mum .

Holly struggled at school at the hands of bullies and this had and still has a huge impact on her .

She openly discusses her body issues and insecurities which once in media spotlight left her feeling vulnerable and exposed .

Her start in Geordie shore wasn’t plain sailing and I have always felt for her in how James mucked her about ,its always come across how sensitive she is in the show and this book just adds to my opinion of her .

She several times says how she regrets some of her decisions and how she is in no way a role model ! I commend her for this .

It sounds like she’s got her head screwed on business wise and family is very important to her .Its brilliant how she now has the opportunity to give back to her family like they did for her .

I whizzed through this and really enjoyed it 🙂

September book wrap up :)

Cant believe we are saying goodbye to September …that means its the final stretch to xmas then!!

So heres what I have read this month;

1.Honeymoon hotel by Hester Browne .sent by the book bar to review https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/book-review-the-honeymoon-hotel-by-hester-browne/

2.The bed I made by Lucie whitehouse ..purchased

3.what would mary berry do by Claire sandy …library book

4.Breaking the silence by Diane Chamberlain …library book  https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/book-review-breaking-the-silence-by-diane-chamberlain/

5.The silent sister by diane chamberian ..competition prize and review to follow

6.Virgin by Radhika Sanghani ..sent by mills and boon to review ….https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/book-review-virgin-by-radhika-sanghina/

7.Away from you by Kay Langdale .sent by Bookbridgr to review https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/book-review-away-from-you-by-kay-langdale/

8.The manifesto on How to be interesting by Holly Bourne..Estelles book /..https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/book-review-the-manifesto-on-how-to-be-interesting-by-holly-bourne/

9.Trust in Me by sophie McKenzie own book https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/book-review-trsust-in-me-by-sophie-mckensie/

10.One breath away by Heather Gudenkauf …Library book

11.The lie of you by Jane Lythell ..own book https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/book-review-the-lie-of-you-by-jane-lythell/

12.The school gate survival guide by Kerry fisher own book https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/book-review-the-school-gate-survival-guide-by-kerry-fisher/

13.Necessary lies by diane chamberlain ..library

14.After by Anna todd sent to review for The hotbed https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/blog-tour-and-review-of-after-by-anna-todd/

15.Left neglected by Lisa Genova ..library book

16.The broken by Tamar cohen …own book /…https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/book-review-the-broken-by-tamar-cohen/

17.Someone elses wedding by Tamar cohen..library book

18.pieces of you by Ella Harper..own book …https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/book-review-pieces-of-you-by-ella-harper/

19.The story of you  by Katy Regan …library book https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/book-review-the-story-of-you-by-katy-regan/