Author Sally Thorne on her book's Hollywood adaptation and what's next | HerCanberra

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Author Sally Thorne on her book’s Hollywood adaptation and what’s next

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It’s a massive achievement to have a book published—let alone three.

But a Hollywood movie adaptation of one of those books? That’s the mind-boggling reality of Sally Thorne, the Canberra-based contemporary romance author whose film adaptation of celebrated The Hating Game came out earlier this year.

We caught up with Sally to chat all things The Hating Game, what’s next for her and what other authors should be on our radar.

The first thing fans are dying to know—how is The Hating Game film? How do you feel it captures the spark of Lucy and Joshua?

The film is great and I couldn’t be happier with it. The casting is a dream— Lucy Hale captures Lucy Hutton’s sweet, dorky people-pleasing, and Austin Stowell is her towering, imposing counterpart. What I like about his take on Joshua Templeman is that he puts a lot of humour and playfulness into the role- always with a straight face, of course. Their office warfare is just ridiculously funny. They have great chemistry, too, which is what gives the movie its edge.

What was it like seeing your characters come to life on the big screen?

Overwhelmingly wonderful! Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d one day be sitting in that cinema, seeing ‘Based on the novel by Sally Thorne’ on the screen. I made sure to sit through the entire credits to see the list of people who were involved, and perhaps that was the part that made me most emotional. People worked in their own dream jobs, because of my book. That made me proud.

The last time you spoke with HC was almost a year ago and so much has happened since then, including the release of Second First Impressions and The Hating Game film—how were those big milestones and what else have you packed into that time?

Like many Canberrans living through the pandemic, my time has passed in a blur of being mostly at home, experiencing things through Zoom, and wearing very comfortable clothes.

Luckily, I had started writing a novel on the side in 2020 just for fun, which turned out to be the final manuscript I handed in last year. It’s a big departure from THE HATING GAME— it’s called ANGELIKA FRANKENSTEIN MAKES HER MATCH, and the title says it all, really!

Victor Frankenstein’s spoiled, lonely sister Angelika asks for his help to create a husband from scratch. He wakes with amnesia and demands she help him find his old life. It’s historical, strange, romantic, and sweet. Many authors have been writing out-of-the-box books during the pandemic, and my publisher didn’t bat an eyelid. It’s out in September in the US, date to be confirmed for Australia.

The chemistry between your protagonists (and sometimes their antagonists!) is what makes your books so enthralling. What advice would you give to budding novelists wanting to create that chemistry on the page without becoming cliché?

I hate to use a cliché now, but show, don’t tell. That’s the one thing editors will always write on your manuscript if you don’t. Find creative ways, using the senses, to convey what a particular moment feels like. If you write what you most enjoy reading, then the reader will enjoy it too.

Your novels have garnered praise from the likes of Emily Henry and Beth O’Leary—what books are you loving at the moment, both within your genre and otherwise?

My auto-buy authors are Christina Lauren, T. Gephart, Tessa Bailey, Emily Henry, and Marian Keyes. I also love Nora Roberts and JR Ward.

If you like a sunshine/grumpy dynamic in your romance novels, there are two releases I suggest you pre-order: MY BIGGEST BREAK by T. Gephart. Will a wannabe broadway actress, used to cheerfully steamrolling her way through life, find her match in a no-nonsense producer? Next, THE SOULMATE EQUATION by Christina Lauren. Can DNA testing tell Jess who your soulmate is? Yes, and it’s that surly hot guy at the café! They are out in March and May respectively.

What will 2022 hold for you and what are you currently working on?

I wish it would hold some travel, but it’s not looking promising! I’m always working on a book, and have started my next one, but after the excitement of the movie release I am letting myself take it slow to become reinspired, and to smell the roses in my garden.

Find out more about Sally at

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