Interview with MQ Webb, Author of How to Spot a Psychopath

05 May 2022

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write How to Spot a Psychopath?

I knew I wanted to write a psychological book about a practitioner, and the types of experiences he encounters. At the time there was a bunch of buzz about introverts in the world and the power of choosing not to talk, and it got me thinking about situations where people would be unlikely to be able to remain quiet, such as to clear their name. I really wanted to tell an insidious story about the ways people are isolated. Predators don’t always have sharp teeth, and the reality of what is happening can come down to perception.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of How to Spot a Psychopath, what would they be?

Love this question. I have a Spotify playlist for the changing moods of the book. Oscar – Fix you (Coldplay), Jess – Jungle (Emma Louise), and Holly – Fly Away (Lenny Kravitz).

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

That very much depends. I tend to go through ‘reading seasons’ where I might read a lot of one genre like psychological / domestic thrillers, but then change to fantasy, horror or women’s fiction. I always go back to thrillers and suspense though.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Sooo many. But at the top of the pile, there’s The IT Girl by Ruth Ware. I just finished The Baby Shower by SE Lynes and I just couldn’t put it down it was such a compulsive read.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

The scene where Jess decides to talk openly to Oscar. It was a real turning point in their relationship, and it was fun exploring how Jess was dealing with a very difficult situation.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

The place I do my best writing is with my laptop on a sofa pillow on the sofa. I think it’s because it’s such a comfortable place of reading, and it puts me in that writing mood.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

I saw a Ted Talk by Jia Jang about feeling fear and taking a risk anyway. It was a catalyst for really taking the plunge with writing and getting the book written and out there. (Jia Jiang: What I learned from 100 days of rejection)

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

We’ve all encountered someone who has tried to manipulate us, get us out of the way, or played games with us, but that shouldn’t shut you down, or stop you from being who you are.


MQ Webb is the author of the new book How to Spot a Psychopath

Connect with MQ Webb

Author Site



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