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Karin Slaughter

The bestselling thriller writer talks about inspiration, gratitude, separating home and work life, and the key to happiness

The rise of nationalism inspired me to write my latest book, The Last Widow. Barack Obama conversely had a lot to do with the increase in far-right groups, as they were angry that the world didn’t cater to them any more and they wanted to have someone who looked like them in charge. They blamed women for the shift in a lot of ways, too.

I find it cathartic to write about crime and violence. A lot of people are drawn to the dark side of life and they don’t admit it, but it’s life. Many crime novels are about violence against women because it’s so prevalent. I’ve always been interested in how violence affects a community; I grew up near Atlanta during the time of the Atlanta child murders, and in the South [of the United States] there’s a strong tradition of storytelling. My father always told dark, twisted tales and I loved them.

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