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Dread becomes her

To Gillian Flynn, dread is "that sense that you've got a rope around your middle and it's pulling you toward something." That's what the author of "Sharp Objects," "Dark Places" and the breakout hit "Gone Girl" wants you to feel while reading her work, rather than old-fashioned fear. "To me, dread is always the more potent feeling that I like to talk about," she said in a phone conversation from her Ukrainian Village home, where she lives with her husband and son. Here are five quick hits with Flynn.

Which "Gone Girl" character--Nick or Amy--she empathizes with more:

Both at different points in the novel. We agreed that at some point, all women have thought about getting the type of revenge Amy exacts on Nick. We're just not exactly crazy enough to go through with it.

How much influence she's had over the film version of 'Gone Girl':

Flynn adapted her book into the script, but wasn't involved in the casting process, though she said she was happy with the choices of Ben Affleck as Nick and Rosamund Pike as Amy. She's also ventured to Missouri to visit the movie's set.

The impetus that really made "Gone Girl" take off:

Flynn has no idea, but suspects the book mostly grew through word-of-mouth. She recalls sitting in her backyard with her husband on the Fourth of July last year and toasting that the novel had hit No. 1.

Her favorite Chicago author of the year:

Marcus Sakey, author of "Brilliance." While on a trip to Paris, Flynn said she would fantasize about being able to return to her hotel room and continue reading. Now that's the definition of a can't-put-it-down novel.

Where she hangs out in Chicago:

Flynn said you can find her and husband Brett Nolan at Innertown Pub. She's also a fan of taking a mid-day break to walk around her neighborhood and by the lake to clear her head during writing.

About her next book:

What, you think she was going to give away any secrets? Flynn took the entire month of November off to rejuvenate, but now that December has rolled around, she's back to writing in her basement office. She told me she's got the first sentence of her novel in her head, and hopes to write more about Chicago this time.

 

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