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Modglin is no stranger to the Thrillerfix community, with her book I Said Yes winning the top spot in the Psychological Thrillers category in the Winter 2020 edition of the Thrillerfix Book Awards.
In this interview we chat about what's next on her publishing schedule, what she's currently reading and loving, and where she finds her inspiration.
She is best known for her unpredictable suspense and her readers have dubbed her 'The Queen of Twists.' A Netflix addict, Shonda Rhimes super-fan, psychology fanatic, and indoor enthusiast, Kiersten enjoys rainy days spent with her nose in a book.
Kiersten: When I began plotting The Mother-in-Law, I knew one thing: I wanted it to feel very haunting. I've always been obsessed with haunted houses and, while I don't write anything supernatural, I wanted this book to have the feel of a "haunted house" story. In the initial stages, the story centered around my main character, Loren, and her new husband, Jack.
But it was missing something. The more I plotted, the more I knew I needed something else. Along came Coralee, or...as we know her, The Mother-in-Law. When this mother-in-law moves in, strange, unexplainable things begin to happen and, as the events become more sinister, Loren has to go to incredible lengths to discover Coralee's plan and protect her family.
Kiersten: The setting for this story was so fun. A vast majority of it takes place in Loren's home, a grand estate that has been passed down through the generations of her family. I spent a lot of time scrolling through real estate listings trying to find the perfect home to get a good picture in my head of what it would look like on the outside and then took some creative liberties with the rest. I set it in a fictional, riverside town that I based off of Wilmington, NC, because it's one of my favorite cities.
Kiersten: Right now, I'm writing my nineteenth novel. It seems wild! This story is a psychological thriller about a husband, wife, mistress, and stalker. It's one of my favorites I've written to date. I'm also preparing for the release of my latest novel, The Nanny's Secret, which releases on June 16th! It's about a nanny who goes to work for a prestigious and highly secretive couple and finds herself in over her head.
Kiersten: My readers call me 'The Queen of Twists' and I really try to live up to the name. My signature is the jaw-dropping twist I work to incorporate into each novel. On top of that, my stories all tend to follow a common theme in that very bad things happen to very ordinary people.
Usually, it's a series of simple decisions and missteps that lead the characters to the event or situation that changes their lives and you get that moment of "how did we end up here?" I write my books based on my worst fears and the fears of my readers, so it's really easy to read my books and say "wow, that could've been me." I think that's why so many readers enjoy my stories -- they're almost guidebooks for what not to do.
There’s something strange about Loren’s new mother-in-law…
When Loren meets Jack, she’s sure he’s the man she’s been waiting for—a perfect husband and a father for her young daughter. Shortly after their wedding, their plans to start a life together are put on hold when the couple receives word that Jack’s father has died.
In an effort to appease her new husband, Loren invites her mother-in-law, Coralee, to stay with them while she grieves. When strange things begin to occur just after her arrival, Loren questions how much she knows about the woman she invited into her home.
One calculated move after the next, Coralee attempts to drive a wedge between Loren and her new husband. Jack believes his mother’s strange behavior is just further proof she needs their help, but Loren isn’t so sure. As Coralee’s actions become increasingly sinister, Loren is pushed to her breaking point and she realizes she must do whatever it takes to get rid of her mother-in-law for good.
What she doesn’t know about her new family could kill her...
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