Last year, I read Final Girls, by Riley Sager, for the first time and I was OBSESSED! I talked about my love for this book HERE and HERE. If you are a fan of the mystery/thriller genre, or just a fan of an extremely well-developed narrative, you’ll want to add this one to your TBR pile! Between the intricate characters, the pacing and the well-developed plot, Final Girls is the perfectly bingeable! And, lucky for us, Final Girls is out in PAPERBACK TODAY!! YAY!
To celebrate the novel’s paperback release, Riley Sager answered a few questions from the #cjsreads crew! This novel was a 5 star read from all three of us!
Keep reading to check out what Sager had to say to me about reading book reviews, which literary character he resonates with and what the best piece of advice he ever received was! Then, head on over to Chandra and Jessica‘s blog to see the rest of the Q&A!
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I used to read reviews. Right before FINAL GIRLS came out, I was constantly seeking out early reviews. I cheered at the good ones and shrugged off the not-so-good ones. Then I got a bad review in a major newspaper that shall not be named. (OK, it was USA Today.) When I asked my agent and editor if I should read it, both said, “Noooo, absolutely not.” So I didn’t. I have no desire to. After that, I stopped reading reviews altogether. I don’t see the need. I know how much work I put into each book. I know what my intentions are and why certain choices were made. I tried my best, and that’s all that matters. If people love it, that’s great. If they don’t, well, there’s nothing I can do about it. On the flip side, I do love hearing from readers. Those emails and tweets have gotten me through some rough writing days.
If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?
While I was revising FINAL GIRLS, I worked as a library assistant in the children’s section of my local library. I loved it. You have no idea how great it was to go into work each day and see kids excited about reading. I’m talking running-into-the-library excited. It was awesome. There is no better feeling than putting a book into a child’s hand knowing that they’ll enjoy reading it. So that’s what I’d do—be a children’s librarian.
What’s one piece of advice you have received that has always resonated with you?
More than twenty years ago, when I first started thinking about possibly writing a book, I bought Lawrence Block’s WRITING THE NOVEL. It’s been ages since I’ve leafed through it, but I remember him talking about writing every day, even if you don’t feel like it and the words just aren’t flowing. But then he added a caveat: Sometimes you just need to give up and go to the movies. And while that sounds defeatist, it’s not. It truly helps. I see no use in figuratively (and sometimes literally) beating my head against my laptop to churn out a few hundred words that will be rewritten anyway. So I walk away. I go to the movies. Or for a walk. Or clean the house. More often than not, that’s when I figure out how to solve whatever particular problem I’m facing. Which is exactly Lawrence Block’s point. That man is a genius.
What literary character is most like you?
Nick in THE GREAT GATSBY. I’m from Pennsylvania. My family is solidly working class. They’re good, decent folks with a lot of common sense. Yet I’m also fascinated by the elite. These people live in an entirely different universe than the one I grew up in. So I would definitely fall under Gatsby’s spell, dive headfirst into that world, make bad choices and then come out the other side repelled and disillusioned.