Getting Twisted with Laura Griffin

We’ve already established that I had a less than auspicious beginning with New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin, but that didn’t stop her from joining us again for the release of her latest Tracers book Twisted, out today.

Read on to learn more secrets about this talented author who always delivers page-turning suspense interwoven with a compelling love story that sizzles. She dishes about Twisted, the Tracers series, her world travels, her best work environment, and what’s coming next.

She’s even offering a $10 Starbucks gift card for one lucky commenter, so ask that burning question. You might get an answer and a latte!

GH: Tell us about Twisted.
LG: I wanted to write a story about a rookie detective working her first big case. Allison Doyle is a tough, no-nonsense cop who messes up sometimes because she lacks experience. But she’s got a lot of heart and she cares passionately about her job.

GH:  I’m excited to read Allison’s story after meeting her in Snapped. Was there a specific catalyst for this story?
LG: Allison’s character was inspired by some of the law enforcement officers I’ve met over the years. I’m really in awe of the women who go out and do police work every day, and I think researching and writing Allison was my chance to understand better what it’s like for them.

The mystery plot was inspired in part by the research I’ve done on criminal profiling. You read about some very dark cases, and the book’s villain is definitely “twisted,” like the title. But I wanted there to be some lightness to the story, too, and that’s where Allison comes in. Her relationship with FBI profiler Mark Wolfe adds another dimension. It’s a mystery, but also a love story.

GH: You’ve made your career in fiction writing romantic suspense. Are there any other genres/subgenres you’d like to try some day?

LG: I love to read (and write) anything with a mystery element to it. Right now I’m really enjoying romantic suspense, but I’ll see where the muse takes me!

GH: You live in Austin now, but like me you’ve moved around some. Do you have a favorite place, or one that was a particularly interesting experience?

LG: Living in Asia was a fascinating experience. I remember this one adventure with some friends in the Philippines. After spending hours and hours traveling by car and jeepney, and then hiking through the wilderness, we arrived at the rice terraces–which are these ancient rice farms carved out of the mountainside. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful corner of the world that I never even knew existed.

GH: Okay, you have all my adventures beat hands down! And I had to look up what a jeepney is… Did any of your characters in the Tracers series surprise you? In what way?

LG: The Tracers characters are always surprising me! They have such different personalities.

For readers new to the series, the Tracers are an elite group of forensic scientists who get called in to help investigators solve their toughest cases. I’ve met such a variety of people while doing research, and when I started the series I really wanted the Tracers characters to come to life. I didn’t want them to be just a bunch of people in lab coats. Each person brings his or her own passions and biases and life experiences to the story.

GH: What type of writing environment do you like? Home/away? Quiet/loud?

LG: Loud works fine for me. I can work in an airport, a coffee shop, a train station. Quiet works, too. The thing that doesn’t work for me is television. If some zany reality show is on, I get sucked in.

GH: Me too! That’s why I don’t work downstairs when the kids are home. So, what are you working on next?

LG: I’m thrilled to say there will be more Tracers books! After Twisted this spring, we have Scorched in the fall, featuring Kelsey and Gage. And I’m working on book seven now, which will be out in 2013.

It’s been a fun series to write. People always ask me if you can pick it up in the middle, or if you have to start from the beginning. You can pick it up anywhere. Each book focuses on a different romantic couple and has a stand-alone mystery plot, so you can jump right in.

GH: I’m so glad there will be more Tracers books! Good thing I got gift cards for my birthday…

Thanks so much to Laura for being with us today. Remember to leave a comment below for a chance to win a $10 Starbucks gift card!

New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of romantic suspense. She is the author of ten novels and has won numerous awards, including a RITA Award for Whisper of Warning. Find Laura on Facebook at or visit

About Gwen Hernandez

Author of SCRIVENER FOR DUMMIES & the Men of Steele romantic suspense series. Manufacturing engineer turned writer. Scrivener instructor, runner, reader, explorer, Kung Fu sifu, AF spouse, mom, vegan.

Posted on April 17, 2012, in Author Interview, Gwen Hernandez and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 42 Comments.

  1. Laura: Thanks so much for joining us today! Good luck on the latest release. 🙂

  2. The only thing better than riding a jeepney in the middle of nowhere in the Phils is careening down some crowded Bangkok street in a tuk-tuk. Or in New Delhi– good times all around :).

    Congrats on the release! Loving TWISTED so far, and can’t wait for SCORCHED in autumn!

    P.S. I have a lab coat *and* a background in molecular biology… can I be a Tracer? 😛

  3. Great interview Gwen and Laura.

    Your description of the Philippines brought back memories of China and the rice terraces on the sides of the mountains in the region where they make Dragon Tea. There is something so ethereal and otherworldly about rice terraces and seeing modern day workers in coolie hats with double buckets slung over a stick carried on the shoulders. You feel as if you’ve been transported back in time.

    Thanks for the memory Laura, and for coming to K&T today. Good Luck with Tracers!

    Diana Belchase

  4. monica maldonado

    Can’t wait to read this book. Congrats on the release

  5. Your new book sounds really fascinating. Like you, I’m in awe of the women who work in law enforcement, especially the patrol officers. They’ve got some guts. And the working mothers do something I could never do. I’m looking forward to reading.

    Also loved your Tracers concept. I’m plotting a series involving criminal profiling and forensic science. It’s in the research stages – do you have any tips on the best places for a writer to search? Thanks!

    • Hi Stacy,
      Yes, the women in law enforcement are an impressive bunch.
      There is an excellent book about criminal profiling by retired FBI agent John Douglas: MIND HUNTER. Good luck with your novel!

  6. Thank you, Diana. That is a beautiful image. I would love to go back to China, Thailand, and the Philippines someday.

  7. Great interview, Gwen. Love your books, Laura. I don’t remember the first one I read–I’m dreadful with titles–but I found you in a bookstore, on my own when randomly searching for something to read. So it’s been fun to follow your success in the writing world. It’s like I discovered you first. Clearly, I didn’t. LOL
    I like series the way you’re doing this one (similar to Carla Neggars’ books about a couple of families in New Hampshire and Tennesee.) I look forward to adding Twisted to my Nook–your others are all “real” books–so much easier to read on the Nook. I can make the font whatever size I need. 🙂 I’d wish you luck with your sales, but you really don’t need me to.

  8. Thank you so much! I hope you will enjoy TWISTED.

    It’s funny, my mom can never remember the titles, either. She’ll say “I really liked that orange one.”

    • And then they bring the book out again, and the cover is different! I’ve bought more than one book I already had because the cover was changed. 🙂 Maybe that’s another good thing about an e-reader–I can skim through my library before buying a book. But I will always still buy paperbacks. Sometimes, you just need the smell of a good book.

  9. If Qwen likes your books, sure I will, too.

  10. Hi Laura, how did you get interested in forensics? Do you have a science background?

    • Hi Krista,
      People ask me this a lot! I became interested in forensics after interviewing people in the field for some of my earlier books. I was fascinated by all the scientific techniques that can go into a criminal investigation, from forensic anthropology to DNA testing. There are some amazing things possible now.

  11. Thanks, Gwen, for introducing Laura to me through this interview. I’ve never been east of Germany, but my husband was in Saigon–does that count? I’m Kindling “The Tracers,” and look forward to reading the book.

  12. Laura, thanks so much for joining us again today! Like Krista, I’m curious to know how your developed your knowledge of forensics. Yay! for more Tracers!

    • Thanks for the welcome, Carey. It’s been an ongoing research project! Just yesterday i was at a crime lab where I got to do some hands-on experimenting. I really love interview forensic scientists and hearing all about what they do.

  13. HAHA, the line above my comment box says… Thrill us with your wit… not happening today 🙂
    Hi Laura and Gwen! Thanks for taking the time to talk about Twisted. I’m off to buy it as I have all your other books. Just a note to everyone else.. Laura won the Kiss of Death, Daphne in Single Title for UNTRACEABLE, a great read.

    Good luck!

  14. I love the Tracers. They are definitely NOT “just a bunch of people in lab coats” – you make them really come alive. Can’t wait to read!

  15. Thank you for spending the day with us, Laura. I cannot wait to read your newest book. Are you going to be at the RWA literacy signing this year?

  16. Thanks for joining us again Laura! Good luck with your new release — it sounds fabulous!

  17. Happy Release Day, Laura. I love Allison and Mark. Now I can’t wait to see what happens with Gage and Kelsey.

  18. Welcome back, Laura,
    Thanks for returning to celebrate your newest release…I really LOVED “Snapped”!

    Do you insert secret parts of your life in your books? Say a character’s first name is your best-friend-from -second-grade or the crime occurs on the name of the street you grew up on? I asked Tami Hoag when she was signing in Houston and she said her plots were loaded with personal stuff, even down to the horse’s personality being her own horse in real life.

    How did you begin establishing your fascinating research background? Attend a Police Academy?…Just call up a forensic lab and ask for an interview? I find this to be the most intimidating part of my career.

    • Hi Sarah,
      Well, it would probably easier to copy a character after a horse than a real person! I imagine they are less touchy about how you portray them 🙂 I have been amazed how much my friends and relatives like to “see” themselves in the characters. I try to disguise people so I stay out of trouble.

      As for the research, it all started with my job as a newspaper reporter. I overcame my fear of interviewing people. So now when I need to know something for a story, i track down an expert to interview. I’ve made some wonderful contacts that way.

  19. Looks like another great book from you, Laura! Can’t wait to read it!

  20. I love the Tracer series – actually, I love all of your books, Laura – and I’m thrilled that there are going to be more books in the Tracer series. I was very lucky to win a copy of Twisted – just waiting (I’m trying to be patient) for it to arrive.

  21. I just purchased this book tonight. Loved the interview!

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