I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Siobhán MacDonald’s debut novel, Twisted River. I am currently reading this tense and creepy thriller and let me tell you it is AWESOME. In fact it’s amazing that I’ve put it down to come and write this intro…(Review will be up later this week!)
Twisted River is out today, so sit back, relax, get to know Siobhán a little better & then head over to Amazon and one-click this corker of a novel…
Hi Siobhán, welcome to Bookaholic Confessions! Thank you so much for participating in this interview, I’m thrilled to have you on my blog! Would you like to start by introducing yourself…?
Hello Holly. Delighted to talk to you. I’m Siobhan MacDonald and the author of Twisted River.
Can you tell us a bit about your new novel, Twisted River, released 18th April 2016 by Canelo books?
Sure. Twisted River is a chilling tale of ‘domestic noir’ that describes what happens when a seemingly ideal house-swap goes horrendously wrong. In this thriller two families come to an arrangement about swapping homes on either side of the Atlantic, one – a quirky house at Curragower Falls in Limerick, Ireland, and the other – a smart Manhattan apartment at Riverside Drive, New York. They have never met in person, only on the Internet.
On the face of it, both families are alike. The Harveys and the O’Briens are both professional couples with two children. Both families need a break from their problems. Seeing each other as ideal house-swap partners, Hazel Harvey and Kate O’Brien strike up a conversation on a home exchange website. The two families make the fateful decision to exchange homes over the Halloween school holidays, each wife hoping a vacation will help her troubled family.
However, rather than ditching their woes, each family unwittingly walks into the dark spaces their exchange partners have left behind. And when American Oscar Harvey opens the trunk of his hosts’ car to find the body of a woman, beaten and bloody, the secrets holding each family together start to come to light.
As soon as I read the synopsis for Twisted River I couldn’t WAIT to read it. It sounds amazing! How did you come up with the idea? Have you ever taken part in a house swap yourself?
The inspiration for Twisted River arose in part from discussions I had when considering doing a house-swap for a family holiday. On the brink of committing to the idea many times, I’ve always chickened out, imagining a whole host of things that could go wrong. Friends have had successful holidays, exchanging homes for villas in France or amazing homes on the west coast of the US. For me the prospect seemed riddled with hazards.
Despite my personal reluctance to date to do a house-swap, should the right chateau in France or beachfront villa in the Hamptons come along, I could be open to persuasion!
Are the characters in the novel entirely fictional or are they based on anyone in real life?
They are all creatures of my imagination.
Did you have the ending planned out in your head before you started writing or did the storyline change as you went along?
I did have a number of endings but am happy with the one I decided to go with.
What’s the best thing about writing psychological thrillers?
I think that my alter ego is probably a detective. I’m naturally cautious and not particularly brave in the face of real danger, so writing psychological thrillers allows me to enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of detective work along with all the adrenaline and thrills from the comfort of my study. Suspense and mystery novels allow readers to become armchair detectives too. I enjoy the challenge of creating a story to capture and sustain a reader’s attention. But it’s difficult to compete in a world of touch-button entertainment offered by social media, and services such as Netflix.
Have you always wanted to be a writer? What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t an author?
Yes, I always wanted to write and have been lucky that I’ve done so. I like the idea of working in TV as well.
What advice would you give to any aspiring novelists out there?
Write. Listen to your own voice. Don’t be put off by others. Everyone’s voice is unique.
Who are your favourite authors and which type of books do you enjoy reading?
I’ve recently rediscovered the joy of the short-story. Ideal when you’re madly writing yourself.
And finally – can you tell us a bit about what you’re up to at the moment?
Writing more suspense and scaring myself!
A huge thank you to Siobhán for answering my questions and to Hayley at ed pr. ♥
Twisted River by Siobhán MacDonald is published on 18th April by Canelo, price £1.99 in eBook.