From the USA Today-bestselling author of Beautiful Little Fools, Jillian Cantor's The Fiction Writer follows a writer hired by a handsome billionaire to write about his family history with Daphne du Maurier and finds herself drawn into a tangled web of obsession, marital secrets, and stolen manuscripts. 

Death, infidelity, toxic relationships.

The once-rising literary star Olivia Fitzgerald is down on her luck. Her most recent novel—a retelling of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca—was a flop, her boyfriend of nine years just dumped her and she’s battling a bad case of writer’s block. So when her agent calls her with a high-paying ghostwriting opportunity, Olivia is all too willing to sign the NDA.

At first, the write-for-hire job seems too good to be true. All she has to do is interview Henry “Ash” Asherwood, a reclusive mega billionaire, twice named People’s Sexiest Man Alive, who wants her help in writing a book that reveals a shocking secret about his late grandmother and Daphne du Maurier. But when Olivia arrives at his Malibu estate, nothing is as it seems. The more Olivia digs into his grandmother’s past, the more questions she has—and before she knows it, she’s trapped in a gothic mystery of her own.

With as many twists and turns as the California coast, The Fiction Writer is a page-turner that explores the boundaries of creative freedom and whose stories we have the right to tell.

Don't just take our word for it...

“A sultry and mesmerizing novel that transforms the iconic Malibu coastline into the perfect gothic backdrop, The Fiction Writer will have the reader second guessing everything they thought they knew about the fictional Asherwood family as well as the real-life Daphne du Maurier.”
– Katy Hays, New York Times bestselling author of The Cloisters

“Juicy, suspenseful, and irresistible, The Fiction Writer is a thrilling examination of the fine line between telling and retelling, and the impossibility of claiming ownership to any story. Daphne du Maurier herself would stay up late into the night, turning pages to discover all the delicious and surprising twists in this wonderfully inventive novel.”
– Nina de Gramont, New York Times Bestselling author of The Christie Affair

“Sexy, sinister and smart. I stayed up all night to finish this addictive novel. It’s compulsive and clever, deeply atmospheric and also asks insightful questions about the nature of storytelling and creativity.”
– Natasha Solomon, New York Times bestselling author of Fair Rosaline

Taste the very first page

Last night I dreamt I went to Malibu again.

I stood barefoot on the sand, the cool water nipping at my ankles. And there, high above me, perched on the edge of that magnificent cliff, his stunning house sat as it once had, alive, whole. It had ten bedrooms and was on three private cliffside acres, with a lap pool, a tennis court, and a garden blooming flush with pink-and-white bougainvillea. But from the beach down below all I could see was its long wall of privacy-tinted glass windows, slanting out toward the sea.

He could see me here, out on the beach. I was certain he could, even in my dream.

He was still behind those windows, watching my every step. Though I couldn’t see him. The glass was one-way. But I imagined him there behind the glass so vividly, it had to be real.

Until it wasn’t. Until the heat from the flames would shatter all the windows, break them apart, send smoke spewing from the piano room, down the cliff, evaporating in wisps into the lonely Pacific.

But in my dream, the flames hadn’t existed yet. Or, maybe…