Interview with Pintip Dunn!

1. What made you include sensitive subjects like suicide, bullying, and pedophilia on your book, The Darkest Lie? What do you think would be the impact of it to your readers?
Honestly, I didn’t set out to write about these topics. They grew organically out of my concept of writing a story about a girl who was grieving her mother’s death — but whose feelings were complicated by the scandal that surrounded that death. In addition, I’ve worked as a counselor for a crisis hotline and wanted to include that setting in my plot. I suppose those topics also flow naturally from such a setting. When I was writing the book, my focus was on telling the story that was the truest to CeCe’s character. My hope is that the story will resonate with readers, as such topics are prevalent in our world today.
  1. After reading your book, I noticed that you have a soft spot for family. You really love your family, do you? If you are going to thank your family for one thing, what would it be?

This is such a lovely question! Yes, I love my family very much. They are, in fact, the most important thing in the world to me. I would thank them for the unconditional love they’ve given me my entire life.

  1. What made you write The Darkest Lie? I think it is completely different from Forget Tomorrow, did you have any difficulty in changing genres?

I wrote The Darkest Lie because I wanted to try a new genre. I agree that the two books are different, but I hope that my readers will see the same complexity of emotion in both novels. I actually did not have difficulty changing genres. It was different, to be sure, but I found it challenging and fun. I love alternating between the two genres now. I think it helps keep my writing fresh.

  1. What is your inspiration for writing The Darkest Lie? Any difficulties in writing the book?

I wanted to write a novel about a girl grieving the loss of her mother. My own mother passed away when I was five years old, and I have felt her loss like a hole in my heart my entire life. I wanted to explore that grief, especially when it has been complicated by the anger and confusion that comes along with a scandalous death. (Just to be clear, my own mother’s death was completely scandal-free!) The writing of the book was not difficult, but in some ways, the subject matter feels a little riskier to me. So, I think there is more difficulty for me in putting this book out in the world to be judged (compared to Forget Tomorrow).

  1. If you will be given a chance to have a date with anyone, dead, fictional or alive, who will it be and why?

If I weren’t happily married with three kids…then I would love to go on a date with the fictional Bellamy Blake, from the tv show “The 100.” I am completely obsessed with this show, and I have a huge crush on Bellamy. He will do anything to protect his sister. (Gee, wonder why this quality appeals to me?)  He’s asked to make really difficult moral decisions, and he’s conflicted about what is right or wrong. Plus, he’s really cute. 😀

  1. What books do you love to read when you are in a book slump?

If I’m in a book slump, I love to read my tried-and-true authors and preferably something light and funny. A Kristan Higgins book never fails me!

  1. Random Question: Top 5 Favorite Foods!!

Ha, I love this question because I’m a total foodie.

salmon toro sashimi

seared foie gras

roasted bone marrow

raw oysters

kir royale of mojito (can I put a drink? If we’re talking my absolute favs, I have to put a drink!)

8. What made you pursue the path to be an author?

I’ve wanted to be an author ever since I was six years old. I didn’t pursue the path; I think it pursued me. I went to law school, got my degree, and was a practicing attorney — but the need to write just wouldn’t let me go.

  1. Share a happy memory of yours when you were a child!

I was perhaps three or four, and I adored roasted chestnuts. There were some cooling on a tray on our kitchen counter. “I want that,” I said to my mom. “What?” my mom asked. “That!” I cried, not quite remembering their name, and for some reason, not pointing, either. “What?” my mom asked again. “That, that!” I repeated.

Well, we went through several more rounds of this, and I ended up clinging to my mom’s neck and crying. Not once did she lose her patience. She painstakingly figured out what I wanted through the process of elimination, and I ended up with my chestnuts, after all.

This is one of the five or six very clear memories I have of my mother.

  1. What is your favorite quote from your book, The Darkest Lie? And why?

“My mother was chaos and passion, devastation and joy. My dad used to say you could reach deep into her eyes and pull out a song. Well, her eyes are closed now, and I’m not sure there’ll be any music in my life, ever again.”

I love this quote because it gets right at the core of the book: CeCe’s grief for her mom.

  1. What does your name, “Pintip”, mean?

It is a Thai name and it means “harp in the heavens.” “Pin” is an ancient Thai harp, and “tip” means heavenly.

  1. Name 5 books and authors that influenced you as a person.

The following are the books that have influenced me most as a writer:

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

The Host, Stephenie Meyer

Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card

Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

Harry Potter, JK Rowling

  1. If you are going to define what love is, what will be your own version of it?

To me, romantic love is someone who will inspire you to be the best possible version of yourself.

Family love, to me, is unconditional. I will continue to love the person no matter what he or she does or doesn’t do.

  1. How do you plot the events, clues, codes and messages on The Darkest Lie? Was it like spur in the moment and you continue on typing the story or you plot it chapter by chapter?

I had a pretty complete outline of the events in the story, but most of the clues came to me while I was actually writing the story. I just went with it, and after I was done writing, I had to go back and layer in the details that would result in those clues making sense.

  1. What do you do in your daily life if you are not writing?

I take care of and play with my kids. I work out on the elliptical machine in my gym while watching one of my reality shows (Top Chef, Survivor, Amazing Race or The Bachelor/Bachelorette). I go out to fabulous restaurants with my husband and friends. And I read!

Lastly, any message to your readers and readers-to-be?

Thank you so much for reading my books! It means the world to me to be able to share my stories.

Super big thanks to Rafael for this interview and blog tour! Simply put, you are the best!


Pintip Dunn.jpg

When her first-grade teacher asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, Pintip replied, “An author.” Although she has pursued other interests over the years, this dream has never wavered.

Pintip graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.


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