The Inspiration Behind We Were Liars with E. Lockhart Transcript
I’m E. Lockhart, I wrote We Were Liars, which is part of the Zoella Book Club Exclusive to WHSmith.
We Were Liars is set on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. And the island is owned by one family, the Sinclair family. There’s a patriarch and he has three beautiful grown daughters, like the princesses in a fairytale, and then there are a bunch of grandchildren.
I got the idea to write about an island that was owned by one family because my own family has a very modest little house on Martha’s Vineyard island, and every summer I used to go there. And my mother and I would get on the ferry, it’s about a 45 minute ride, and the ferry ride goes past these little private islands. And I would see a house on an island, and I would say “mommy, who lives there?”. She would say, “rich people”.
So from a very young age I would imagine what the lives of the people who owned such islands were like. And when I came to write We Were Liars I started with a setting. And then I followed through and I imagined this family, and the lives of the teenagers in the family who have grown up summer after summer connecting with each other all summer long and then going back to their ordinary lives.
The heroine of We Were Liars is named Cadence Sinclair-Eastman and she is the heiress to the family’s wealth, but also to their expectations and to their secrets. She falls in love with a boy who’s been summering with their family but who is an insider. His name is Gat Patil. And when they fall in love it sets into motion a whole long crazy story involving amnesia and all kinds of family difficulties that come bubbling up to the surface.