Tracy Sierra stopped by the Tonight Show to talk about her novel, Nightwatching, which was recently named the new pick for host Jimmy Fallon’s book club.

Sierra’s thriller, published in February by Pamela Dorman/Viking, tells the story of a woman whose family is visited by a mysterious intruder; she and her children hide in a secret space in their house. In a starred review, a critic for Kirkus praised the book as “fiercely feminist and viscerally terrifying.”

Fallon noted that Nightwatching is Sierra’s first book and asked if she thought about the novel’s reception while she was writing it.

“Especially with the first book, there’s no guarantee it will ever see the light of day,” Sierra said. “You’re working on spec. You’re working for free and hoping something comes of it. So of course to be here tonight is very surreal.”

Fallon asked Sierra how she came up with the idea for Nightwatching.

“The house in the novel, which is an old New England home, is based on my own house,” she replied. “I started writing it during lockdown.…Obviously, I was trapped in my house, [with these] feelings of claustrophobia and safety, and certainly it’s just this beautiful, moody, atmospheric place, so that was a lot of inspiration.”

Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.