Podcast Episode 94: Mysteries & Thrillers 101 with Kimberly McCreight (Author of Friends Like These)

mysteries & thrillers


In Episode 94, Kimberly McCreight (author of Friends Like These) joins me to deep dive into the mysteries & thrillers genre (including the difference between a mystery and a thriller, how involved authors are in deciding their books’ titles, and what makes a great twist…and to talk about the inspiration behind her new novel.

This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link), through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).


  • A bit about Friends Like These including Kimberly’s inspiration for this story.
  • The difference between a mystery and a thriller.
  • How involved Kimberly and other authors are in determining which sub-genre their books will live in.
  • How involved Kimberly and other authors are in determining their books’ titles.
  • How Kimberly comes up with her titles and what makes a good title.
  • If manuscripts are ever submitted without a working tile.
  • How involved Kimberly and other authors are in determining their books’ jacket copy.
  • What makes a good twist / ending.
  • How Kimberly threads in her red herrings to lay the groundwork for a good twist.
  • How Kimberly keeps her twists fresh amid the sea of thrillers out there.
  • Whether Kimberly reads a lot within the thriller genre.
  • Where Kimberly gets her inspiration from (or, more accurately, doesn’t get her inspiration from).

Kimberly’s Book Recommendations [38:52]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T LOVE

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Last 5 Star Book(s) Kimberly Read [49:03]

Other Books Mentioned

Other Links

About Kimberly

Kimberly McCreight

Website | Instagram | Twitter

Kimberly McCreight is the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia, which was nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, and Alex Awards and was called Entertainment Weekly’s Favorite Book of the Year. Reconstructing Amelia has been optioned for film by HBO and Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films. Ms. McCreight’s second adult novel, Where They Found Her, was a USA Today bestseller and a Kirkus Best Mystery of the Year. 

She is also the author of The New York Times bestselling young adult trilogy The Outliers (The Outliers, The Scattering and The Collide), optioned for film by Lionsgate and Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard. Her next novel, an adult mystery set in Park Slope, is forthcoming in 2020.

Ms. McCreight attended Vassar College and graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two daughters.

Next Episode

Next week, Catherine from Gilmore Guide to Books will join me for a sneak peek of a new bonus series for patrons (airing September 22).

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