The Big Thrill Discusses TWISTED with Maggie Giles
Detective Ryan Boone thought the simple jewelry heist was an open-and-shut case. That is until he discovers an unknown drug, and this minor crime he was investigating may be tied to a string of seemingly unconnected murders.
Meanwhile, Mel Parker, unscrupulous leader of a less-than-legal high-end escort service, stumbles across the same pills. On top of protecting her “investment,” she has her own reasons for attempting to unravel the mystery behind the medication.
Ryan knows someone has the answers he seeks, and Mel can’t come forward. To complicate things further, five other women are implicated in the murders despite most having never met.
As the trail turns up as many mysteries as resolutions, Ryan and Mel must discover the twisted connection before someone else ends up dead.
Author Maggie Giles recently spent time with The Big Thrill discussing TWISTED, her latest crime thriller.
A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?
I fell in love with the characters years ago. It was a bit of a passion project, my first real attempt to go full Thriller. I spent a long time on it, then set it aside, unsure if I could take it any further. When my publisher expressed interest in it, I was stoked! Their excitement immediately breathed new life into the story.
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
I still remember it, though it was nearly ten years ago. One of my best friends suggested a write a story about our group of three under different names. She even picked out the names, Melanie, Candy and Jackie, three names that still remain in the book today. It started as a seven point of view story about three very confused women and evolved into the story I have now. I decided to go with the concept of Twisted as I was a huge fan of Mary Higgins Clark books growing up and one of her twists was so fascinating to me, I wanted to explore the idea more, but of course with my own flair.
When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?
The first character I wrote was not your typical crime lit character, in fact I ended up cutting her point of view entirely. When it came to my detective, I knew I wanted him to be super lovable, and when we started tying in the “dad jokes” I knew he was a keeper. I think his awkward, light-heartedness is a fun addition to the grisly crimes he investigates.
Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?
A novel by Mary Higgins Clark was a huge influence, and one I still think about to this day. I won’t say which one, as I’d hate to spoil anything about TWISTED, but the concept has been used before in various mediums and I found myself thinking about different episodes, or stories I’d read while writing this piece.
In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?
I hope they’re excited to read book two! My intent with the story is of course to entertain, but I also recognize that the book deals with some difficult mental health topics. I hope that along with entertainment, readers are encouraged to learn more about mental health stigmas.
What can you share about what you’re working on next?
Currently I am working on the sequel to TWISTED. It is set to release with Blackstone Publishing October 22, 2024. It picks up where TWISTED ended with three news points of view and a different side of the story.
A gripping thriller that explores the conspiracy surrounding a strange and mysterious prescription drug. With three overlapping POVs and a mission to find the drug’s creator, Wicked questions if there’s a right way to punish someone who has wronged you.
Maggie Giles is a Canadian author who writes suspenseful women’s fiction and thrillers. Her debut novel, The Things We Lost, was named a 2023 distinguished favourite in Women’s Fiction by the Independent Press Awards. Maggie has been a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association since 2014 where she previously worked as their Social Media Director. Currently she works in Marketing. Maggie dove into writing a novel headfirst despite having aphantasia, a condition where one lacks a visual imagination. She lives in Ontario with her mastiff-mix, Jolene, and spends most of her days enjoying the outdoors, from swimming to hiking to skiing in the winter. TWISTED is her second novel.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.
TWISTED with Maggie Giles