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J P Pomare


Psychologist Margot Scott has a picture-perfect life: a nice house in the suburbs, a husband, two children and a successful career. On a warm spring morning Margot approaches one of her clients on a busy train platform. He is looking down at his phone, with his duffel bag in hand as the train approaches. That's when she slams into his back and he falls in front of the train. Margot's clients all lie to her, but one lie cost her family and freedom.

gr sat down with author J P POMARE to find out more about Tell Me Lies, his latest thriller.


The premise of Tell Me Lies is such an instantly intriguing one. What inspired it?

I think it was mostly inspired by speaking with psychologists and learning about anti-social behavioural disorder. I also took inspiration in the form I wrote it for, being an audio book first. I thought about how I could make the narrative work to the strengths of the format by using lots of dialogue and centring it around a psychologist’s practice. 

Tell Me Lies by J P PomareTell Me Lies delves deeper into the ‘psychological’ aspect of psychological thrillers, with a lot to say about conditions such as antisocial personality disorder, and the professional conduct of psychologists. What research did you to do capture these topics accurately? 

I spoke a great deal with a number of psychologists including two clinical psychologists who have helped me a lot with my previous novels. I also read a little about cases where psychologists have crossed professional boundaries

When it comes to depicting real-life mental illnesses and psychological conditions, do you think a writer has a duty of care to not be exploitative and/or disrespectful of such conditions? How should one go about doing so? 

I do think there is a duty of care. I also think it’s important to consider why a mental illness or psychological condition is part of the story – why did you want to write about it? It’s important to speak with psychologists and others who possess the insights into the particular condition, including, if possible, those who live with the condition.

Margot is a bit of an unreliable (and at times unlikeable) narrator. How do you balance writing a narrator that is flawed but not too flawed, to keep readers hooked?

Well you can’t always please everybody, that’s one thing I would say. And given what we learn about Margot along the way, it was important for me to make her consistent to what we later learn about her. I’d like to think that when people finish reading Tell Me Lies, they may not like Margot and may not even trust her, but they will hopefully understand her.

 Tell Me Lies dropped as an Audiobook back in March, and we’re only just now getting the print version. How was this experience of a different release cycle for you? Do you think you’ll do it again?

It’s been interesting seeing the different ways it has been received. When I wrote this I had no idea it was going to end up as a book, it was written for audio first and the twists and much of the narrative was designed to work with that format. It’s also much more commercial and fast paced than my other work so I’m interested to see what readers of my previous novels think about it. I may do it again, the landscape of publishing is changing all the time and sometimes to make a career out of it you need to adapt.

This is your third book in as many years – how have you kept up the momentum? (Has writing gotten easier or harder with each book?

It’s not gotten any easier, and it feels like I haven’t stopped working for the last five years. (I’d written a few drafts of In The Clearing even before Call Me Evie came out.) So now it feels like it is all catching up on me. The key has been to make sure I’m always looking to what I can work on next, or between edits. It may not be sustainable for the long term but for now it’s still working.

Tell Me Lies by J P Pomare 
is published by Hachette.





In the Clearing by J P Pomare       Call me Evie by J P Pomare

        In the Clearing                         Call Me Evie