Jan 27 • 30M

Interview: Jennifer Herrera, The Hunter

The Groundhog Day method and changing the world with mystery

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Appears in this episode

Caroline Donahue
Jennifer Herrera
Ever wondered how to write a mystery novel? Peek over my shoulder as I share my audio diary of writing the first book in a new series. Along the way, I'll share conversations with published mystery authors and their advice on what it takes to write a mystery readers can't put down.
Episode details

Welcome to another interview of the Oh! Murder podcast. This recording session was an absolute joy and neither of us wanted it to end. I’m so excited for you to meet Jennifer Herrera and join in on both the laugh fest and the deep topics we got into, from Jennifer’s intense writing process, the impact of the publishing industry on her choices in writing, and some of our favorite mystery influences.

Jennifer Herrera’s novel The Hunter came out with Putnam in January 2023.

I so hope you enjoy listening even half as much as we enjoyed recording.

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Transcript of Episode Five:

Caroline Donahue: Hi Jennifer. Thank you so much for coming on.

[00:02:03] Jennifer Herrera: Hi. Thank you for having me.

[00:02:06] Caroline Donahue: So I wanted to put a byline with the Hunter, which was, "twists are us". was And as I was reading, I was like, this is one of the twistiest things I've read in quite some time.

[00:02:19] Jennifer Herrera: Oh, thank you

[00:02:20] Caroline Donahue: one of the questions I had for you was, did you know everything that was going to happen from a fairly early stage of writing...

[00:02:31] Jennifer Herrera: mm-hmm.

[00:02:32] Caroline Donahue: or did you discover these... and, --sorry, it's a two-parter --. How did you keep track of them while the manuscript was in progress?

[00:02:41] Jennifer Herrera: Wow. Excellent questions. You know, I'm always impressed by all of those people who can plot out the entire book in advance.

[00:02:49] Caroline Donahue: Right?

[00:02:49] Jennifer Herrera: I don't understand how they do this. I mean, I do this and then I go to write the plot that I've crafted and it's terrible. I'm like, why? Why did I try to try to make these things go together? They don't. So what tends to happen is I'll write a little bit and I'll keep going until. I start to get really distracted and as soon as I start to get really distracted and have a hard time focusing, I'm like, oh no, I've messed up somewhere.

[00:03:16] So I'll go back to where I started to lose interest, and I'll just delete everything that came after it, and I do this over and over and over again. And that's how we end up with, a very twisty plot. Because first off, I've gotten rid of all of the obvious plots. They were all previous versions of this that didn't make it.

[00:03:36] And it sets you up to really think very, very deeply about what's happening because every. Every time I go to start, a new section, I start back at the beginning and I read from the beginning and go all the way through

[00:03:49] Caroline Donahue: of the entire book.

[00:03:50] Jennifer Herrera: Of the entire book, which is crazy, but it means I know every layer you could possibly excavate.

[00:03:57] So that, I'm able to just , pull out the patterns that I didn't even know were there, or, , ask myself questions like I'll write in the margins cause I'll print it out usually between rounds and I'll just have all these questions in the margins. Like, why was he wearing a suit in this scene?

[00:04:14] Or why did he say this one thing? And I'll create stories for why that had to have happened. And then it gives the sense from the reader as though, first off, that I'm a master choreography for, or something like that, right? Like that I've planned all of this in advance, but really I'm just connecting the dots that are already there.

[00:04:31] Caroline Donahue: Do you know what, if I had to name this method?

[00:04:36] Jennifer Herrera: Mm,

[00:04:37] Caroline Donahue: I'm so excited. I would call it the Groundhog Day method. right? .

[00:04:44] Jennifer Herrera: Wow. Yes.

[00:04:45] Caroline Donahue: Because if you think about it, yes, he lives that one day over and over again. So you're doing that in your book and you're getting all of the things out of the way, and then ultimately there's this beautiful story.

[00:04:58] Jennifer Herrera: Wow. Well, it was very bleak to think of every day of writing is a groundhog day, but also very accurate. I'm not going to lie.

[00:05:05] Caroline Donahue: Right?

[00:05:06] Jennifer Herrera: Uh, yeah, you're right. But the, and I think that I like it because one of the things that helps me do is maintain confidence in the book. I don't know how you feel when you're writing, but sometimes I'll be like, is this any good?

[00:05:19] Am I sure about this? And I'll sort of like get down on myself, but if I worked through the first 10 pages, 40 times it's pretty good at that point. And so I feel really good about myself moving forward from that point. I think, oh, at least I could do that really well. Those 40 pages are wonderful.

[00:05:36] And even if everything else that's after is crap, like I can get there because I've done it before and here's the proof. So it it builds me up a little bit.

[00:05:46] Caroline Donahue: I am so delighted to hear this method.

[00:05:50] Jennifer Herrera: What are other people's methods?

[00:05:53] Caroline Donahue: I don't think there is a normal is the thing, first of all to not worry about that.

[00:05:58] But I've heard so many different ones. I just haven't heard this one. I have heard reading up to that point. Mm-hmm. , I think Jasper Fforde, as I recall does that. Mm. But the thought of exorcising yourself of all of the other plots, and I think it's the just deleting, do you copy and paste it somewhere else, or you just delete it and it's gone forever?


[00:06:20] Jennifer Herrera: I do copy and paste it, and then I never open those documents again. because a lot of times too, what I find is that it creates this depth of character because I've already seen this character go through six other versions of this Groundhog Day, as you've put it. Wow. I'm never going to be able to not think about this as Groundhog Day, but I've already seen like this character go through six other versions of her life at this point, so I know her so well. Wow.

[00:06:50] Caroline Donahue: I love it, because this also brings up something that I think is really important and that I see a lot of writers, students and listeners who ask questions about the process. Mm-hmm. , Who, let's say you have a couple of different options for something, which would definitely have come up in your book

[00:07:11] Jennifer Herrera: Yes.

[00:07:13] Caroline Donahue: How could this have happened? We have this in the beginning. We've got three bodies at the bottom of a waterfall, mm-hmm. , how could they get there? We could probably come up with 20 just spitballing here if you hadn't written the book yet.

[00:07:24] Jennifer Herrera: Yes, exactly. And most obvious is they fell down the waterfall.

[00:07:28] Caroline Donahue: Exactly.

[00:07:29] Jennifer Herrera: But if maybe that didn't happen, then how? How can you come up with more creative ways? for them to end up in that place.

[00:07:36] Caroline Donahue: Exactly. And so let's say you've got your list of creative ways. Mm-hmm. , what I see happening all the time, and I don't know if you felt pressure in this way also, is this feeling that we have to decide mm-hmm.

[00:07:48] which one is the best one in advance. Mm-hmm. . And that we can't keep writing until we know the best reason for them...

[00:07:56] Jennifer Herrera: wow.

[00:07:57] Caroline Donahue: ...to end up in the bottom of the waterfall. And to me this is like going to a store and not letting yourself try anything on, but feeling like you just have to know which thing is going to fit you the best.

[00:08:07] Jennifer Herrera: Wow. Yeah, that would be so much pressure. I don't think I've ever thought of it that way. In part because I think I get, I just get bored so easily. I don't know if I've always been this way or if it's being on social media or if it's just life right now and having a smartphone. I didn't have a smartphone until I was what like, 25, 26, something like that.

[00:08:28] That it's so hard for me to maintain my attention span that if I knew exactly what was going to happen, like how they ended up at the bottom of the waterfall from the beginning, I feel like I would just be too bored and I would be like, ah, what's the point of writing this?

[00:08:44] Caroline Donahue: Exactly. I think that's the danger of outlining too much. So you kept track of it by rereading it.

[00:08:50] Jennifer Herrera: By rereading. And so I have, it's been funny because it's it's an audio book now. Rebecca Lowman reads it. I love her so much. She did the Laura Dave book Everything You Never Told Me. She did a Gillian Flynn book. Oh, Sharp Objects. She did an Amor Towles book, Rules of Civility. I love her so much, and so she's reading my words, which is amazing and so surreal, but I've memorized these words, and so it's the craziest feeling like she's in my head now. Like when, because I, yeah, I know it all by heart. At least I would say the first, probably third of the book, I know by heart. So now the voice in my head as I like, think about this character is her voice, . It's bananas.

[00:09:34] Caroline Donahue: So you don't have a file of notes or like a board on the wall with a bunch of pictures and string pointing at each other to keep track of the plot.

[00:09:43] Jennifer Herrera: That sounds lovely and very aesthetically pleasing and would maybe give me this sense of control. No, not typically. Sometimes I'll do an after plot, so after it's written I'll go through and remind myself of the notes I hit in each section, because sometimes even if I haven't memorized, the spacing isn't always, I don't always remember the spacing like she learned about this, and then how many chapters till she learned about the next thing.

[00:10:11] Because one of the things that I think is really interesting as somebody, again, who doesn't have the best attention span, is that in order to keep me interested as a reader, I need to move between different layers constantly. So if if she's working on the suspicious deaths,

[00:10:28] In one chapter, then the next chapter maybe has to be her relating to a family member or her dealing with something else that she doesn't want to deal with, so that you get the sense of. After each scene you're given this light cliff hanger, not the annoying kind.

[00:10:45] But something that gives you a sense of suspense in the sense of, oh, a question you have that is unanswered and then you keep hopping between unanswered questions and getting just a little bit more information and getting a new question that comes up. Something like that.

[00:10:59] Caroline Donahue: Yeah. That was the reason for my thinking of, it's like twists are us, because every layer in here has twists happening. A lot of times I'll read a thriller or a mystery or suspense and there will be twists say in the main plot of the case,

[00:11:15] Jennifer Herrera: right?

[00:11:15] Caroline Donahue: But there's just stuff happening all over the place in terms of the B plot and the characters and the character motivation and what they believe about the world and I had this image of you spinning a bunch of plates while you were writing and trying to keep them all up. I was like, wow this is a lot for a brain to hold and it makes sense that you would do it that way to, to keep it clear.

[00:11:41] Jennifer Herrera: One of the things that I think that is really fun about this genre in particular is the sense of, A puzzle that you're solving and as the author, you get to be, you get to solve a puzzle too. It may not be the case that you can solve it , right. Because it's like you're putting together all these pieces and you're like, I hope they can come together. I hope they can come together. Whereas like a reader, you know that the author has already solved it in advance, there is a solution. And I think that's the scary part about being an author. It's wow, can I solve this? But I think that is what makes it fun too. So you talk about all these these pieces in the air. It was a fun game for me as I was writing to think, can I make everything come together in the end?

[00:12:25] And if you can't, then you take out a thread, it's not the end of the world. Or you leave a couple loose threads at the end, just so the reader keeps thinking about your book after, after they're done reading. But yeah, it was a lot, I guess to keep in my head.

[00:12:40] But luckily with my Groundhog Day method,

[00:12:45] Caroline Donahue: TM. Uhhuh,

[00:12:47] Jennifer Herrera: that's right.

[00:12:50] Caroline Donahue: I was also interested because you operate both as an author and all authors are also readers, at least in my experience.

[00:12:58] Jennifer Herrera: Mm-hmm. . Absolutely.

[00:12:58] Caroline Donahue: But you have absolutely a third piece of the puzzle, which is that you are an agent and represent books.

[00:13:04] So I'm wondering if there's anything about that experience that set you up in a different way to write this novel because you're seeing lots of people trying to solve puzzles all the time.

[00:13:14] Jennifer Herrera: Yes.

[00:13:14] Caroline Donahue: When you look through and then sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. So how did that inform your process of writing the novel yourself?

[00:13:24] Jennifer Herrera: I think that I'm very aware of the difference between wanting to write a book for yourself that maybe your mom wants to read. And writing a book for other people and for a marketplace, and I'm very aware how you have to be so informed as to what, not only what books are being published, but what books are selling really well, because publishing's an inherently conservative industry so that they don't make big leaps. It's very, very hard for them to publish something that it sounds too new to them. If they don't know how to say, if you like X, then you'll like y. If they can't complete that sentence, or if they don't say, ah when I was reading this, it reminded me of "fill in the blank". If they can't complete those sentences, no matter how good your book is, they won't buy it.

[00:14:21] And the reason for that is how how the industry itself works. We have so many books being published a year that there's no way that your reps, like the reps who go to bookstores Can't read every single one and so they rely on shorthand. They rely on things like blurbs from famous people and then shorthand of if you liked X, then you'll like y. And so if they can't have those little pieces, they don't know how to sell the book, and so then bookstores never carry them. And that I think is the piece that a lot of authors aren't really aware of.

[00:14:56] They think I want to write a book and I want to have read all of these books from the seventies, or all of these books from the sixties, or I want to write for a different time. But publishing doesn't work like that. If you want to write, I think anyway the biggest thing that being an agent has changed is this awareness of if you want to write as a career, then you need to not only read all of the time, which you know most of us are doing anyway, but you need to read books that are selling really well and that are selling really well now.

[00:15:27] Caroline Donahue: Yep. What was your fill in the blank for your book as you were thinking about what you wanted to write or what you ultimately wrote?

[00:15:37] Jennifer Herrera: Yeah I fell in love with Tana of French. Mm-hmm. , I don't know, do you, did you read any of her books?

[00:15:44] Caroline Donahue: She's been on the, she's been on the Secret Library. Um, I love,

[00:15:48] Jennifer Herrera: How did I miss that?

[00:15:49] Caroline Donahue: She's great. The searcher, I really loved

[00:15:51] Jennifer Herrera: The Searcher. Amazing. What made you love The Searcher the most?

[00:15:56] Caroline Donahue: I think there was something about, I really like a story where an outsider comes into a society that's quite closed and mysterious. In a way The Hunter has that as well in that she's returning to a place that was very familiar and now feels very closed. Mm-hmm. , I don't know. I could say a lot more about that. But then with this, with the searcher, it was about this Amer, oh, so many parallels actually. American disillusioned with the police force moving to a different place and yet getting sucked into solving something.

[00:16:36] Despite him trying to stop himself. Mm-hmm. So there's a little difference there, whether the solving was voluntary at first or not. That's, but there was something about the dec scenes of him settling into that house. And the things mm-hmm. , the crows outside and how smart they were.

[00:16:52] And I just really felt like I was there.

[00:16:54] Jennifer Herrera: I forgot they were crows. Were they crows? .

[00:16:57] Caroline Donahue: Yeah. There were these very smart crews.

[00:16:58] Jennifer Herrera: Yes, I remember. I remember.

[00:17:00] Caroline Donahue: Felt ominous and wonderful.

[00:17:02] Jennifer Herrera: Yeah. It was the opening scene too.

[00:17:04] Caroline Donahue: Uhhuh .

[00:17:04] Jennifer Herrera: It was the opening scene. So I love it when she does that, when she sets the stage like that.

[00:17:08] And they also had these scenes with this kid, right? This kid where he was

[00:17:12] Caroline Donahue: finishing the furniture. Uhhuh, .

[00:17:14] Jennifer Herrera: Wow. I love The Likeness. Have you ever read this one? Uhhuh, ?

[00:17:19] Caroline Donahue: I don't know if I have. Again,

[00:17:21] Jennifer Herrera: it's, I think the most, like gothic again, I,

[00:17:23] Caroline Donahue: if I saw the cover, I would know .

[00:17:25] Jennifer Herrera: I have, I think I have three versions of it here

[00:17:28] Caroline Donahue: oh my, wow.

[00:17:29] Jennifer Herrera: So if I were wearing real pants right now, I would stand up and show it to you..

[00:17:33] Caroline Donahue: is it in the series? .

[00:17:35] Jennifer Herrera: It's one of the second book she ever wrote.

[00:17:37] Caroline Donahue: Okay. Okay.

[00:17:39] Jennifer Herrera: And it in the beginning it feels very much like Rebecca, you like the opening scene of Rebecca where you you meet Mandalay, Mandalay and you have the sense that something horrible happened here, but it's also a very beautiful place.

[00:17:52] And then it quickly moves into this very, like The Secret History type of plot.

[00:17:57] Caroline Donahue: Yeah. Oh, so good.

[00:17:59] Jennifer Herrera: Which is so well done. It's everything that I wanted The Secret History to be. She made, and then she gave us this beautiful murder to also solve along the way. So I think it was one of those books where when I was writing my book, I really used Tana French as a touchstone because I think she does a really good job of giving you this sense of this very strong characters and this very literary world. But she gives you this knowable structure within that . We have a death, we have a detective, we have a solution, and maybe everybody's not happy with the solution at the end.

[00:18:31] Maybe we feel ambiguity, but we have that solution. And then underneath there's this undercurrent of. The detective's real life that keeps coming in and like interfering with the case or helping with the case or just building this person out as a real human being so that you feel by the end of the book that that you're almost more invested in their personal world and their personal growth than you are in the solving of the mystery itself.

[00:19:00] It feels like the mystery is a vehicle for something else, and so she's one of those authors. I think was probably the first crime fiction novelist I just fell in love with and I devoured everything she wrote. And then just tried to analyze it, like, how does she do this? How does she make me feel so much, make me think so much at the same time.

[00:19:20] Caroline Donahue: I love it. Yeah, she's, she's really great.

[00:19:23] Jennifer Herrera: I can't believe she was on the show and I missed it.

[00:19:26] Caroline Donahue: It's still there.

[00:19:27] Jennifer Herrera: Thank God, thank God for the internet and its forever memory.

[00:19:31] Caroline Donahue: It's still there. It's still there. Don't worry.

[00:19:34] Jennifer Herrera: Always. Was she wonderful to talk to?

[00:19:36] Caroline Donahue: She's she is. She really is.

[00:19:38] Jennifer Herrera: I just needed a fan girl moment.

[00:19:39] Caroline Donahue: I think that the thing that I love about her approach mm-hmm. , and I could see maybe this happened as you were writing yours, is that. , she uses all of her talent as an actress. To inhabit the characters.

[00:19:54] Jennifer Herrera: Yes.

[00:19:56] Caroline Donahue: There's a sense of the characters being fully alive because she has lived inside of them.


[00:20:02] Jennifer Herrera: Yeah. I feel that too. When I was a kid, I really wanted to be an actress. That was my first desire in the world. And I told my entire family who were like, in Cleveland, right? They were like, what are you talking about? That I was going to be an actress. I was going to move to New York City and so in my twenties, I did move to New York City. All of my aunts and uncles, and there are many of them, came back to me and they said, ah, you always said you live in New York. They were so thrilled for me. They were so thrilled. Oh, but I think there is something, right with having that acting bug and bringing it out in fiction because . One of the things that I've the ways that I've come to think about writing and what it means to be a writer, because I do feel like anybody can be a writer is that you have to be the sort of person who just falls in love with everyone you meet, right? You fall in love with them so deeply that you want to know everything about them, and you want to know what it is to live in their skin.

[00:20:53] And you want to know what it is to see the world as they see it, and then know what it is to come into conflict with other people. You also love.

[00:21:03] Caroline Donahue: I can really see that in your book as well, because all of these characters are very complicated and they all have really, I don't know how to describe it. I'm trying to be protective of those who haven't yet read it.

[00:21:18] They have really big challenges in life and some of them have different ways of handling them. Other, they have flaws. Even those with the exception of one, I can think of , even those who make really terrible mistakes or do things that are harmful to other people, you can't, actually even that one you can understand why they did it.


[00:21:42] Jennifer Herrera: Yeah.

[00:21:42] Caroline Donahue: And you can say, I really hope I'm not the kind of person who would do this. But I understand why this person under those circumstances did that.

[00:21:50] Jennifer Herrera: Yes. And I think that's true. Because everybody has a story they tell themselves about why they did what they did. And in most of those stories, they think of themselves as the hero, not necessarily the villain, or at least that they hop between the two.

[00:22:05] And one of the things that someone said to me in my writers group when we were talking about heroes and villains and all of that is they gave the insight that the villain is just another version of the hero. Which is something that has boggled my mind and is so interesting to me.

[00:22:20] The sense that like when we are reading these stories, we're reading about fighting against our worst. Selves so that the villain is just somebody who's made the choices that maybe at some point we wanted to make or that the scared, desperate version of ourselves would have made but didn't and so there's something very cathartic about the sense of at the end of a book kind of conquering your demons.

[00:22:47] Caroline Donahue: I think that's why we have. I don't know. I'm so biased because I'm such a fiction junkie. . I read a lot of nonfiction too, but I read, I think last year I looked at it, it was 80 to 90% fiction. Wow. And like 20% non-fiction. But I think that there is something like you learn just as much about life, if not more, by inhabiting somebody else's life.

[00:23:07] Jennifer Herrera: Yes. Yes.

[00:23:07] Caroline Donahue: And trying it on and seeing, yes, what I like to go in this direction, how does this feel? What is this like? And I, I can't give that up. You don't necessarily, maybe in a good biography you get it. Or an autobiography.

[00:23:20] Jennifer Herrera: I think somebody said something to me. So I work a lot in nonfiction for my day job. But somebody said to me something that has always stuck with me, which is that when people read non-fiction, they already have their minds made up about something.

[00:23:33] I am probably not going to read a Fox News analyst's take on the world, they're not going to change my mind. Non-fiction doesn't change your mind because you go into it already having a certain belief system that doesn't get altered, but fiction can change your mind. Like fiction, you can actually build these emotional residences.

[00:23:53] This type of compassion. These plots, like this happens in the Hunter a lot. They talk about a civil asset forfeiture. They talk about. They a me, I guess I talked about it. .

[00:24:04] Caroline Donahue: I know . I'm like, who is, who is this they?

[00:24:07] Jennifer Herrera: I'm so interested in talking about other people's books. So I'm so used to it that I have to remind myself that, oh, I did this one. But there are these topics that if you had read a non-fiction book about it, you would've thought. , oh, this is somebody shoving their opinions down my throat. Whereas if it's part of the setting or these facts about the world, and you as the reader get to come to your own judgments about them you have the opportunity, I think, to give somebody the sense as though they've had experiences that they haven't had.

[00:24:39] So that because of those experiences, maybe they're able to see the world in a more nuanced way.

[00:24:45] Caroline Donahue: There was this quote, I don't know why I had this feeling this was going to come up probably because you do talk about social related issues in the book with the main character's feeling about being in the police, her somewhat complex relationship with her husband, who's also a police, higher up in the management and so on. But also other things about the town and all of that. But somebody. And I want to say it's Patricia Highsmith, but I cannot be 100% confident, said something to the effect of they loved writing mystery because it's a much better way to share thoughts about worldview or approaches to the world because yeah, everybody's in it for the case and the story, but what you show along the way does have the potential to really open someone's eyes to the way it is for some people in the world. because it's not, like you said, a political commentary on issue x.

[00:25:47] Jennifer Herrera: The only thing that is a challenge for me, is the sense of normally at the end of a book, especially procedural where you have a detective or somebody solving a crime you have somebody who committed a crime going to prison.

[00:26:00] Caroline Donahue: Yes.

[00:26:00] Jennifer Herrera: Right? That's the most likely outcome.. Or they get some sort of justice. You know the killer is themselves killed. I think you could read it as having this kind of conservative thread to it, right? As we believe at the end of the day in injustice, right?

[00:26:16] In this sense of somebody does something bad, you put them away, there are consequences, that sort of thing. And that's an idea that I. I would certainly love to play with in the future especially as a social political commentary, this idea of does that really make sense still? Do we still think that makes sense? And in what cases does that not make sense?

[00:26:36] Caroline Donahue: Have you read Donna leon?

[00:26:39] Jennifer Herrera: No. Okay. Why have I not read Donna Leon? I know the name.

[00:26:44] Caroline Donahue: I feel like you would eat Donna Leon up because. There is a very strong component of how she approaches this issue. So Donna Leon, for anyone listening who doesn't know she is, I believe she's American or Canadian. She's definitely an English native speaker has lived in Venice for decades and decades, and so all of her mysteries are set in Venice and her main character is Commissario Brunetti, who is

[00:27:13] Jennifer Herrera: Mm. I love that. I think that's a type of coffee .

[00:27:16] Caroline Donahue: It should be. I would totally drink it. 100% . But the thing about her mysteries is that there is always some aspect of justice being impossible to achieve. In the way that he wants because of the way society is structured, because of who the person knows, because of something about Venice or something about the outskirts of Venice that are less respected and like your version of the sticks. There's the sticks.

[00:27:47] Yes. Versus Venice, there's which family you are from. All of these issues that are very present in The Hunter are also present in hers, and that is one of the things I love about them similar to Tana French, it's like the setting is a character and the relationships just of the people who live there is their everyday life is a huge part of the process. And you don't get that criminal goes to prison, A leads to B cause and effect like almost ever . It's,

[00:28:17] Jennifer Herrera: I love that.

[00:28:18] Caroline Donahue: It's kind astonishing. But yet you have these moments where he knows, and it's this bittersweet. Oh in a different world, this could go this other way, but I see how that's not going to be possible.

[00:28:31] Jennifer Herrera: Mm-hmm. and that feels so realistic and so true to me. Right. This sense of though and I think you see it with with criminal prosecutors, we see it almost everywhere.

[00:28:43] Caroline Donahue: Yep.

[00:28:43] Jennifer Herrera: This idea though even when the criminal does their time or goes to prison or whatever, there's this sense of.

[00:28:52] the feeling as though something went wrong. . This isn't the justice that you had in your head that like it, it doesn't mean the same thing in actuality is that you wanted it to, and so then the question becomes like, what did we really want? What do we really want in sending this person away?

[00:29:09] Caroline Donahue: Yep.

[00:29:10] Jennifer Herrera: I'm fascinated. I will read, I will devour this. I will devour this .

[00:29:14] Caroline Donahue: I can't wait

[00:29:14] Jennifer Herrera: and I'll report back.

[00:29:16] Caroline Donahue: You must report back. I cannot wait to hear. This has been a total joy and I can,

[00:29:20] Jennifer Herrera: is it over?

[00:29:21] Caroline Donahue: I know I could keep going. I could keep going all day.

[00:29:23] Jennifer Herrera: I can't believe it,

[00:29:24] Caroline Donahue: but here we are. I know. Heartbreaking. You gotta write another book and come back.

[00:29:30] Jennifer Herrera: That's the plan. That is the plan.

[00:29:32] Caroline Donahue: Excellent. I love it.