'Tell Me Lies' author Carola Lovering dishes on her new Hulu series

'What I hope is that Lucy's story will teach readers and viewers the importance of loving yourself first'

tell me lies lucy and stephen
(Image credit: Josh Stringer/Hulu)

Sometimes it's hard to let go, even when you know you should. 

In Carola Lovering's novel Tell Me Lies, Lucy Albright is seemingly unable to part ways with Stephen DeMarco, despite the red flags waving wildly before her. But then again, that's what makes a great story. 

The author's 2018 debut, which quickly rose in the bestseller ranks, has gotten the Hulu treatment much to fans' delight, with the streamer dropping the first three episodes of the TV adaptation on Wednesday, September 7. Now we're able to experience Lucy's relationship in a new light. Expect a large helping of passion, a dash of mystery and plenty of "No, don't do that!" moments sprinkled throughout each episode.  

"It's an actual pipe dream come true," Lovering tells My Imperfect Life about her Hulu project. "I keep having to pinch myself. I mostly just feel so grateful for all of the brilliant people that worked on this adaptation and made it amazing and really did the book justice. As an author, you can't ask for more."

Actress Grace Van Patten is stepping into Lucy's shoes onscreen, and she's about to become entangled in a romance that not only affects her but all those around her. Though she and Stephen (played by Jackson James White) have undeniable chemistry, a secret from his past threatens to ruin their future. Even still, Lucy trudges on. 

"I've been in Lucy's shoes, and I commiserate with anyone going through what she did with Stephen," Lovering confesses. "Of course, when you're on the outside of that dynamic and you're removed from it (like I am now), it's easy to say: 'Run! Don't get sucked into the bullshit and manipulation and addiction!' But honestly, sometimes these situations just have to run their course, and the only way out is through."

Luckily for all fans standing by, Lucy chooses to go through. At the heart of the college romance, which we revisit upon the pair's separate moves to New York, there are also plenty of lessons to learn along the way. But the one Lovering hopes resonates with fans most is the one that focuses on the relationship with yourself, not a partner, especially an unappreciative one. 

"What I hope is that Lucy's story will teach readers and viewers the importance of loving yourself first, and to walk away from anyone who devalues you," Lovering says. "Trust should feel like you can be 1,000% yourself and your partner will accept you and have your back. Your partner should really be your best friend that way."

In the novel, we have alternating points of view between Lucy and Stephen, but on screen, we can expect a few lesser-known characters to get their time in the spotlight, adding a new layer of emotion to an already passionate story. 

"[Showrunner and creator] Meaghan Oppenheimer did an incredible job keeping the core story and themes of the book on the screen, but she expanded a few different storylines to make it all more cinematic," Lovering says. "For example, the mystery of Macy and the car crash (which is part of Lucy's past in the book) is brought to the forefront in the series because Macy is now Lucy's freshman year roommate, and that storyline occurs on campus and involves multiple characters."

New episodes of Tell Me Lies will stream every Wednesday on Hulu, but what comes next for Lovering?

"I'm working on a fourth novel," Lovering says. "I have a first draft and am hoping to show it to my editor soon!"

Don't mind us—we'll be here waiting.

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.