My most recent release, WOMAN 99, is now out in paperback, and it's the story of a pampered young woman who feigns madness to rescue her beloved sister from a notorious insane asylum. It's not just her story, though, it's the story of all the women expelled from society who end up in this institution, and how they band together against a rigged system. My favorite review, from Publishers Weekly, says, "Though Charlotte narrates, Macallister also gives voice to a motley crew of women who, at the mercy of male whims, hide multitudes."
What's your writing process?
Oh, my process is a mess. I write sloppy, quick first drafts. Most of the real writing happens in revisions. I'd love it if I could skip straight to the fourth or fifth draft, but there's something about revisiting the plot, characters and settings over and over that helps me grow the novel into the right shape.
Are there themes you like to explore in your books?
The same themes seem to come up whether I intend them to or not! There's always at least one character in my novels going by a name that isn't really hers, creating or stealing a new identity. My female characters are always doing things society frowns on, and I love to explore how the women and men in their lives--parents, employers, romantic partners, other people in authority--either hinder or help those efforts. Power, love, ambition, regret. You know, the fun stuff.
Do you listen to music while you write?
Not usually, though I often listen to music right before I write: I have a theme song for each of my novels, and I play it as I sit down for a writing session to get into the right headspace. For WOMAN 99 it was Elvis Costello's "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea"; for my upcoming novel THE ARCTIC FURY, it's "Steady As She Goes" by The Raconteurs.
What's your favorite genre to read?
I love historical fiction and it still makes up the bulk of my reading, though I've been expanding my reading list lately to include fantasy and romance. Depending on what I'm writing and what's going on in the world, sometimes a different genre just feels like the right choice for that day or occasion.
What are you reading right now?
I always have a few books going at once. I'm reading The Paris Architect for my book club. I just started Writers and Lovers by Lily King -- I absolutely loved Euphoria and am excited she's got a new one out. Plus I also always have a romance on tap for when I wake up in the middle of the night and need a few minutes of soothing reading to get back to sleep. Right now that's Tessa Dare's A Week To Be Wicked, which is a total delight.
What's the next project and when can we expect it?
THE ARCTIC FURY is on tap next, and I'm really excited about it! It's due out from Sourcebooks in December 2020. It's a historical novel set in 1853, following 13 women who set out on a rescue mission into the frozen wastes of the Arctic and what happens when not all of them make it back. As you know, I have a soft spot for stories featuring women who may or may not have committed murder, but this is the first one I've written where I actually get to take readers through a murder trial. Extra fun!
Raised in the Midwest, Greer Macallister is a novelist, poet, short story writer, and playwright who earned her MFA in creative writing from American University. Her debut novel THE MAGICIAN'S LIE was a USA Today bestseller, an Indie Next pick, and a Target Book Club selection. It has been optioned for film by Jessica Chastain's Freckle Films. Her novel GIRL IN DISGUISE, also an Indie Next pick, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which called it “a well-told, superb story.” Her novel WOMAN 99 is out now from Sourcebooks in hardcover, paperback and e-book. A regular contributor to Writer Unboxed and the Chicago Review of Books, she lives with her family in Washington, DC.