Ahead of the autumn film release of her blockbuster The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins talks about what inspired her to write her novel, what she has been working on since the book first hit the shelves and why she has taken a back seat in the production of the film
I was interested in this idea of memory loss. It was the first thing I landed on and one of the things that makes you lose your memory is drinking too much. I was interested in the way in which not remembering your actions skews your sense of guilt and responsibility and makes you vulnerable. It makes you easy to manipulate, it destroys your sense of self. There were just all these things, plus it's a useful device in the thriller, to not remember something you've seen. So it just seemed there was all this potential that you could bring up with someone who has those sorts of problems.
When I wrote The Girl on the Train, nobody knew who I was, and that’s quite a comfortable position to be writing in. My book will have a very different feel in some ways, and similar in others. I’d like to carry over some of that air of paranoia but it’s got a much larger cast of characters, and will be a less claustrophobic book, I think.
As for the movie, I don’t know anything about writing for film. I know some people are very good at adapting their work but I think it would be an extremely risky thing to do for me – and in any case I want to get on with writing another novel!
Watch The Girl on the Train 2016 film trailer:
THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER.
YOU DON'T KNOW HER. BUT SHE KNOWS YOU.
Rear Window meets Gone Girl, in this exceptional and startling psychological thriller
'Gripping, enthralling - a top-notch thriller and a compulsive read'
S J WATSON, bestselling author of Before I Go To Sleep
Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.
Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.
Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…