As a reader, often, I’ll go for cozy mysteries rather than thrillers. There is, however, the occasional psychological thriller that lures me in – like Agatha Christie’s AND THEN THERE WERE NONE. What is it about psychological thrillers that attract you as a writer?
I think for me a really good thriller has it all: a satisfying mystery with clues, a few shocks and twists, and my taste is to have them cast with rich characters, too, often with a love story threaded in.
Your book, WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME involves a relationship between a mother and son. What made you choose that as a central relationship for your story? Does that kind of bond just naturally ratchet up the tension?
I think so – I think as most parents will do anything for their children, it immediately ups the stakes, but I think also teenagers keep secrets from their parents in a way spouses mostly don’t or can’t, which widens the mystery, too.
I love suspense novels in which the main character finds that she doesn’t really know somebody who is close to her as well as she thinks she does. Is there a little bit of that in WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME?
Without spoiling anything – definitely! Wrong Place Wrong Time for me is about an unpicking of history, of what has gone before, especially in the most intimate of relationships and circumstances: was all as Jen thought it was at the time, or does getting a do-over show her something she might have missed?
Part of the book’s description is reminiscent of the film GROUNDHOG DAY or the (book and film) THE DEAD ZONE. Is there some time warp element to your new book?
Wrong Place Wrong Time would definitely call itself a time loop thriller, but it is absolutely still a crime novel. My protagonist travels back day by day as she tries to solve a murder, but in every other way I’d say it’s realistic – indeed, Jen is terrified when she wakes up and it’s yesterday, and the first thing she does is see a doctor! My next release has an interesting structure, which is something I like to play with, but it doesn’t have a time warp element.
If you could only pick one of your books, other than this one, to a romance reader unfamiliar with your work, which one would you pick? And why?
THE CHOICE – a Sliding Doors novel which is really a romance dressed up in thriller’s clothing!
Other authors I’ve interviewed have told me that the kinds of books they enjoy reading are different from the kind of books they enjoy writing. What do you like to read? Favorite books? Favorite author?
I actually like to read precisely what I write, so thrillers with a strong women’s fiction element. I think I’m always trying to write the book I’d like to see on a shelf. Authors I love include Lisa Jewell, Ruth Ware and Tana French. All three of these women write absolute stand-out characters, which makes all the difference to me.
Another thing I like to ask authors who write thrillers – Do you enjoy thrillers on film or horror films? If so, any favorites?
I do – I recently loved A Simple Plan – but I don’t like to be frightened! Although I write thrillers, they’re very much the psychological/family drama end. Show me a true horror and I’ll be hiding behind the sofa!
What are you currently working on?
My next novel is called JUST ANOTHER MISSING PERSON and it’s got the best twist I’ve ever written!
From UK bestselling author Gillian McAllister comes an astonishing, compulsively twisty psychological thriller about a mother who witnesses her teenage son stab a man and then seizes on an unconventional way to try to save him, deemed “perfection, every word, every moment” by Lisa Jewell.
Can you stop a murder after it’s already happened?
Late October. After midnight. You’re waiting up for your seventeen-year-old son. He’s late. As you watch from the window, he emerges, and you realize he isn’t alone: he’s walking toward a man, and he’s armed.
You can’t believe it when you see him do it: your funny, happy teenage son, he kills a stranger, right there on the street outside your house. You don’t know who. You don’t know why. You only know your son is now in custody. His future shattered.
That night you fall asleep in despair. All is lost. Until you wake . . .
. . . and it is yesterday.
And then you wake again . . .
. . . and it is the day before yesterday.
Every morning you wake up a day earlier, another day before the murder. With another chance to stop it. Somewhere in the past lies an answer. The trigger for this crime—and you don’t have a choice but to find it . . .
Thriller Psychological [William Morrow, On Sale: August 2, 2022, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9780063252349 / eISBN: 9780063252363]
Gillian McAllister is the Sunday Times Top 10 bestselling author of Everything But The Truth, Anything You Do Say, No Further Questions, The Evidence Against You and How To Disappear.
No comments posted.