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Lisa Unger

32nd annual Key West Literary Seminar

THE DARK SIDE
Chapter One: January 9–12, 2014
Final Chapter: January 16–19, 2014

Lisa Unger is the bestselling author of eleven novels, which have been translated into twenty-six languages and have sold more than 1.5 million copies.  Her work has been hailed as “stellar” (USA Today), “sensational” (Publishers Weekly), “sophisticated” (New York Daily News), and with a “gripping narrative and evocative, muscular prose” (Associated Press).

Reading was Unger’s first love, and it wasn’t long before she realized that she had a strong desire to create stories.  But she never thought it was a viable career, mostly because her father told her so.  It was a nice hobby, not a real job, he said.  So, even though she spent most of her life studying writing and literature, winning awards and scholarships for her short stories and essays, when she graduated college she sought a real job.

She spent the next ten years climbing the corporate ladder in the publicity department of a New York publishing company. Eventually, she had an epiphany.  She knew that unless she got serious about her writing, there would come a day when she would say to herself: You know what? You never even tried.  And she couldn’t live with that.  So, she did the only thing writers really need to do.  She wrote, every day, no matter what. And she finally finished the novel she began at age nineteen.  She was twenty-nine years old.

Right around that time, she met her husband Jeffrey at Sloppy Joe’s in Key West.  Within six months, he had proposed, they had both quit their big corporate jobs, sold their homes, and moved to Florida.  Before she left the city, Unger sent her manuscript to her top-choice agents, and said a prayer.

Luckily, she was signed on by one of those agents. And within a few months, her agent secured a small two-book deal. It was a dream come true. But Unger knew that a publishing contract wasn’t an end to the journey.  It was time to roll up her sleeves and get to work.   She didn’t have a news-making advance or a lot of buzz, she just had her passion for her work, and a quality that makes up for almost any shortfall—sheer, never-say-die, tenacity.

Unger’s novels center around strong women who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances, and explore themes such as the power of a single choice, the corrosive nature of secrets and lies, dark family legacies, and the secrets we keep from each other and from ourselves.  She writes about crime because in exploring the dark side of human nature, she believes that she can delve deep into the human psyche, finding a greater understanding of what moves and motivates us.  A fierce curiosity about people—what makes us lie, steal, kill, what makes us heroes, what makes us betray each other, what makes us risk it all to protect and save another person—is what drives her novels.

Online Resources

lisaunger.com
On Twitter @lisaunger
Lisa Unger on Facebook

Selected Bibliography

In the Blood (2014)
Heartbroken (2012)
Darkness, My Old Friend (2011)
Fragile (2010)
Blackout (2008)
Beautiful Lies (2006)

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