Kiersten Modglin is an Amazon Top 30 bestselling author of award-winning psychological thrillers and a member of International Thriller Writers. Kiersten lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and their two Boston Terriers: Cedric and Georgie. She is best known for her unpredictable suspense and her readers have dubbed her 'The Queen of Twists.' A Netflix addict, Shonda Rhimes superfan, psychology fanatic, and indoor enthusiast, Kiersten enjoys rainy days spent with her nose in a book. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, The Arrangement.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Arrangement is about.
The Arrangement is a domestic, psychological thriller about marriage at its breaking point. When the main characters, Peter and Ainsley, decide to try dating other people as a way to spice things up, they set one rule: they can never tell anyone what happens on their dates, not even each other. When the rule is broken, things go wrong very quickly.
Tell us more about Ainsley Greenburg. What makes her tick?
Ainsley is a fixer. She's very Type A and is always looking for ways to fix the problems with her life, marriage, and family. She is definitely the more dominant person in the marriage and requires perfection from everyone in her life.
Readers say the book contains plenty of twists they didn't see coming. How did you pull this off?
Twists are my specialty! I'm always trying to surprise my readers. I love crafting the most jaw-dropping twists--weaving them in so very few readers could ever predict them. My readers have dubbed me "The Queen of Twists" and it's a crown I wear with pride.
What, would you say, is the number one secret to writing page-turners like this?
I think the number one secret is to write it as a reader. Someone much smarter than me once said, to be a writer you have to be two people at once: the writer and the reader, and it's so true. As I'm writing, I'm always thinking about what the reader will be experiencing, what their assumptions will be, how they'll react to the characters and the story, and by doing that, I'm able to stay one step ahead of them, leading them down one road and the veering off in a different direction without warning.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I love puzzles and mind games. I'm a huge fan of crosswords and Sudoku!
Why psychological thrillers? What drew you to the genre?
They're my favorite genre to read, so it was natural for me to write them as well. In general, psychological thrillers tend to feature married couples or very domestic situations (sisters, mother/daughter, etc) I've always loved thrillers, but when I read my first psychological thriller (Gone Girl) something just clicked. For me, I can't relate to a spy on the run, or a detective working a string of murders, but I can certainly relate to a mother looking for her missing child or a wife suspecting her husband has a secret... There's something special and terrifying about reading and writing books that could happen to you, with just a few twists of fate.
Do any of your characters ever take off on their own tangent, refusing to do what you had planned for them?
Almost always, and I prefer them to. My favorite thing about writing such twisted books is that, most often, my twists completely change because my characters pull me in a different direction than I'd originally intended. This means I'm often just as surprised as the reader by the ending!
If you could meet up with anybody famous, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I'd love to meet Shonda Rhimes. I am obsessed with her, both as such a talented writer, but also as a person. Her book Year of Yes has absolutely changed my life and I'd just love to be able to tell her that!
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I write full-time, so typically I wake up, grab a mug of tea and head straight for my office. I start out my day doing admin tasks: answering emails, adjusting ads, making graphics, checking social media, etc. After lunch, I turn off all Wifi, hide my phone, and set a word count goal. Then, I write until I hit that goal. I like to write in sprints, so I'll write for 25 minutes nonstop, then take a 5-minute break, then go again. Once I've hit my word count goal for the day, depending on the time of day, I'll either end my day or do a few more admin tasks.
What are you working on right now?
I'm currently writing two books at once. I have one going for my publisher and one that I'll indie publish! Both are psychological thrillers, but one is a missing child story and the other is set on a mysterious island! I'm having a lot of fun with both stories!
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I love connecting with my readers! I'm on Facebook @kierstenmodglinauthor, Instagram @kierstenmodglinauthor, TikTok @kierstenmodglinauthor, and Twitter @kmodglinauthor. They can also check me out on my website: www.kierstenmodglinauthor.com