Cathryn Grant is one of those prolific authors not content writing in one genre - but multiple genres, including standalone psychological thrillers.
She's just released Best Friends Forever, her thirteenth psychological thriller but has written a total of 29 novels and 13 novellas.
She's been explaining how her love for writing developed as a child, the rocky road to writing full-time and watching over the neighbours as she crafts her stories in her upstairs writing room!
Where do you live?
Near Monterey Bay on the Central California coast in the US.
How many books have you published?
29 novels, 13 novellas, and a handful of short stories and flash fiction collections
How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first “novel”, The Mystery of the Missing Mansion, when I was ten years old. I got serious when I came to a crossroads while working in high tech — pursue my MBA or invest that time in learning to write fiction.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Like most writers, I wanted to write fiction because I loved to read and found ideas for my own stories bubbling up.
Do you write full-time?
Although I quit my job to write full time, that path was a bit rocky. Now that Inkubator Books is publishing most of my novels, I’m fortunate enough to be able to support myself writing full time.
Who are your favourite authors?
My top, long-time favorites are Joyce Carol Oates and Ruth Rendell. Both inspired me because I loved the kinds of stories they’ve written—creeping around inside the dark corners of their character’s minds. Lately, I’ve come to adore Erin Kelly.
What does your writing day look like?
I write in three blocks, interspersed with exercise and snacks! In the early morning I work on my Alexandra Mallory series. The rest of the day is devoted to my standalone psychological thrillers. My target is 1000 words a day for the series and 3000+ for my psych thriller. I try to write five full days a week, but often it’s four.
Do you plan your books in advance or discover as you go along?
I’m a split personality. For my novels published by Inkubator Books, I develop a detailed outline before writing. For my indie-published series, the stories unfold as I write. Sometimes I know who the murder victim is for each novel, but often not even that. The character has a very strong voice, so she tells me the story, if that doesn’t sound too weird.
Where do you write?
On my laptop in a small upstairs room where I can peer out through the blinds at what’s happening in the neighborhood.
Which has been your most successful book to date?
The Other Couple was a top 100 Kindle bestseller on Amazon in the US and #1 on Amazon in Australia.
How do you come up with your ideas?
Mostly from asking myself, what if…? I get ideas from the lives of people around me, stories I read in the news, learn about in documentaries, witness when I’m out and about, or recall from my life in corporate America.
If readers are new to your work – which book of yours do you recommend starting with?
I suppose with my latest (books are listed in order of publication on my website). For my series, it’s best to start with the first book in the series and read in order because the stories are linked. I also write ghost stories, if you like to get a different kind of chill from your reading.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on my 14th psychological thriller, The Favorite Child, and the 13th book in my Alexandra Mallory series, The Woman In the Shadows.
Tell us about your latest release.
Best Friends Forever is about two former college roommates who reunite for a road trip. A man starts following and threatening them, and they soon realize he isn’t a random psychopath, he knows something about their past and has decided one of them deserves to die for something she did ten years ago.
Cathryn Grant is the bestselling author of fourteen psychological thrillers, including ALWAYS REMEMBER, THE OTHER COUPLE and THE GUEST. She is also the author of the ALEXANDRA MALLORY series, featuring a sociopath you can’t help but love.
Cathryn Grant was talking to AJ Wills, the bestselling author of multiple psychological thrillers. He was a journalist for more than twenty years and has been writing full-time since March 2021. He's married to fellow thriller writer, AJ McDine.