Maria Frankland was born in York, home of Yorkshire puddings, Yorkie Bars and Yorkshire tea – incidentally three of her favourite things.

When not eating or drinking these items, she can be found dreaming up and executing the darkest of books for you to read, containing characters you could know – or characters you could be…

Yes, she has a dark imagination, but because she unleashes this into her writing, she is one of the friendliest authors you could hope to meet, and replies to every email, message and comment from her readers – her favourite part of the job, after writing, of course! Drop her a line by following this link.

Due to the nature of her work, Maria has a dubious internet search history and a worried mother-in-law, however she promises to keep writing gripping, edge-of-your-seat psychological thrillers for as long as you wish to read them!

Join her Facebook group Maria's Frankfans here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which of your books should I start with?

I recently ran a poll in my Facebook reader group, FrankFans, and the most popular answer was The Hen Party.

Is there a specific reason why you chose the thriller genre?

Once, I tried to write a romance story and whilst it began well, I quickly realised that someone was going to murder someone else!

I love writing thrillers and can't imagine writing anything else.  They offer a safe space to explore the darkness that can lurk within people - especially those who proclaim to love one another.

Are your characters based on real people?

Now that would be telling! Some are more close to the bone than others. If I'm to be completely honest, I'd say my characters are an amalgamation of people I've known, especially the villains!

Often the main character will have 'elements' of the real me contained within them, but they're not me. Obviously. Or I'd need a long, long time in therapy.

How do you research and ensure accuracy in your books?

Google is my best friend and I often joke about the trouble I'd be in if ever my internet searches were to come to light. Searches such as what substance can kill but won't leave a trace? or If someone was pushed from a cliff, would their heart stop before they reached the ground? These would be enough to set off any alarm bells so please vouch for what I do for a living if ever the internet police come knocking!

How do you keep readers engaged and on the edge of their seats throughout your novels?

I create characters I really care about, so hopefully you will too.  It's through this emotional connection that you'll get right into the character's mindset and take whatever journey they're on alongside them.

As I write, I'm constantly posing 'what ifs' at the story and it's these that provide the twists and turns that you'll enjoy.

Do you outline your books before writing, or do you let the story unfold naturally?

A bit of both. I start with an idea and then I allow the characters to spring from that.  I get to know them well before I bring them to the page, and do exercises that will enable me to hear their voices.

When I set off, I often have no idea of the plot twist or the ending, so it's just as much fun for me as the writer, as it is for you as the reader!

Are there any recurring themes you explore in your books?

Definitely.  Trauma in my own life has led me to explore the dynamics between a myriad of family relationships and friendships.  I often return to the darkness that can exist in the parent/child dynamic, particularly mother/daughter, and also amongst in-laws and between friends.

How do you develop complex and compelling villains in your novels?

I start by presenting them as an everyday sort of person and gradually reveal who they really are.  I also give them a reason for being that way, whether it's their mental health or a dreadful past experience.  If you, as the reader, can identify with them on some level, you can get really into their psyche!

Are there any plans for your books to be adapted into movies or TV shows?

Gosh that's the dream!  The two three-book series I've written would make brilliant six-parters as each book is split into two parts. And in one of my reviews for Left Hanging, the reader had said, 'this is crying out to be made into a TV drama!' If you know any film directors, be sure to put in a good word for me!

Can you make an appearance at my book club group?

Time permitting, yes.  Here on my website and in the backs of all my books, you'll find suggested book club questions to get and keep those discussions going.

I'd be delighted to be invited for a short Q&A via video link, unless you live somewhere hot and exotic and would like to club together for my air fare!!

What does your writing day look like?

I write in the morning, five days a week.  I write for seventy five minutes (very precise!,) then have breakfast.  I write for another seventy five minutes, then take the dog out. I write for another seventy five minutes, then post onto social media.

Afternoons are used for editing and all other tasks like admin, accounting, writing newsletters and answering emails.

What do you hope readers take away from your psychological thrillers?

To appreciate every moment of happiness and peace, as life can turn on a sixpence.

The line I use in my marketing for The Dark Water Series warns how we can never know what, or who, is around the corner.

Ultimately I want my books to provide entertainment and escapism. I want you to be so gripped you can't put the book down.  And when you eventually do, you'll be thinking your life is actually pretty fantastic compared to the one you've just been reading about!

I've read all your books! What are your top ten recommendations for other authors?

This has been very hard to choose but here they are, in no particular order...

Frieda McFadden - The Housemaid

Daniel Hurst - The Intruder

Claire Mackintosh - I Let you Go

Jess Kitching - The Girl she was Before

Sarah A Denzil - Silent Child

Laura Marshall - Friend Request

Louise Candlish - Our House

Harriet Tyce - Blood Orange

Paula Hawkins - The Girl on the Train

Suzanne Bugler - This Perfect World

Thanks for reading, and if you've any more questions you'd like me to answer, come along to my FrankFans Reader Group and ask away...