AUDIO: Paula Hawkins talks about how she came up with ‘The Girl On The Train’

Best selling author Paula Hawkins was in Zimbabwe recently and we sneaked a moment out of her to talk to her about her her critically-acclaimed book The Girl On The Train.

Paul Hawkins

The Harare-born writer who moved to te United Kingdom at the age of 17 spoke to us on the side of a reception held for Petina Gappah at the British Embassy late last year.

On writing the book:

I wrote it in a year. I had been writing other books under a different a name. They didn’t do very well and I was very miserable and very depressed. And so I came up with this idea about this lonely alcoholic woman who sees something shocking on her train commute and she becomes embroiled in this mystery.

Was she the drunk alcoholic on the train?

I wasn’t having a drink on the train.I thought about this idea of seeing something on the train because I used to commute in London and my train broke down all the time. And you could see into peinto their living rooms and hoping something would happen. And nothing interesting ever happened and I wonder what would happen if something ever happened… The alcoholism thing, I just wanted someone with a memory problem and obviously drinking messes with your memory.

Did she think it would be a movie?

That’s not really how I write. It was a surprise to me that it was optioned so early and made so soon.

Listen to the interview in full in which part of her writing comes from her Zimbabwe background:

Click here if it won’t play