It Originally Had A Darker Ending

T.S. Maynard Author Interview

High Risk follows a self-absorbed businessman who becomes trapped in his building for four days with no internet, phone, water, or a way out. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

This story was originally written in 1999 as a screenplay. The idea came about when I was sitting in my office late at night working, and the cleaning crew came around. I wondered what would happen if they accidentally locked me in the building. My office wasn’t 50 stories high like Jim, but this idea of being locked in intrigued me. The basic premise for Jim came together quickly in my head, and I emailed my writing partner about it (who happened to be working late), and he got excited about it, too. The full story and details of the screenplay came together very quickly after that. It was probably the fastest and easiest thing we’ve written. It was one of those rare moments where the story just flowed. There is one key difference between the original screenplay and the final version—the ending. It originally had a darker ending, something neither of us liked. In subsequent revisions, we settled on something very close to the version in the book.

The screenplay seemed like it might get made in the early mid-2000’s. After it stalled out, it sat on the shelf for many years until the pandemic hit, and I decided to turn it into a book. Anyone who read the screenplay really liked it, and a common note we got from readers was that it was a fast and thrilling read. My writing partner and I were very proud of it and thought people would enjoy it, so it bothered me when it became this dead story. During the pandemic, I re-wrote it as a book and enjoyed the process so much that I wrote three more books and plan to continue.   

I felt that there were a lot of great twists and turns throughout the novel. Did you plan this before writing the novel, or did the twists develop organically writing?

Most of the twists and turns happened as we plotted out the story. I’ve never had a story reveal itself as easily as this one. The only thing we struggled with was the ending. The original ending felt like it worked, but I didn’t like it. My writing partner and I kept kicking around versions and eventually settled on the final ending.  

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

We were both much younger in our careers when we first wrote this, and we saw executives who were older than us who had let their work consume their lives. Despite their success, they didn’t seem happy. Some people seemed to prefer being in the office rather than being at home. The book is by no means an anti-work story, but it does offer a picture of what can happen if you define yourself by your career and money.  

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m working on a sequel to Nina Winter and the Age of Darkness which will be released at the end of the year. I also write short stories that I post on my website, and a new one should be released in May. 

Author Links: Website | GoodReads | Twitter

The higher the climb, the further the fall.
From the authors of the mind-bending epic, HISTORY OF LIES, comes HIGH RISK, an intense, claustrophobic thriller set fifty stories high.

An ambitious business executive, Jim Sloane, is imprisoned in his high-rise office over the long holiday without food, water, or power. Cut off from the world, Jim must figure out who locked him in and why. As he unravels the mystery, Jim discovers that his list of enemies is long and his time to escape is short.

Can he find a way out, or will he die trying?

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on April 22, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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