Toxic Attention where the idea came from

Toxic Attention – The Heart-Breaking Story that Spurred the Idea

Toxic AttentionMy latest novel, Toxic Attention, book 2 of The Prairie Crime Thrillers is finished. I love when I get to that point of knowing that the story is finished. That it is to where I believe it is really good but it is also the point where I need others to read it to make sure.

Wow, what a story to write. It was a tough at times. It was one of those stories where the idea started developing immediately after I had read an article. One that was truly heartbreaking. I think because of the topic matter, I wanted to be careful with it. I wanted to make sure was sensitive, but also address many of the issues that this article was ultimately talking about and be a darned good thriller.

Not much to ask right? But I think I did it.


Have you ever heard of Munchausen Disorder or Munchausen by Proxy Disorder?


It is something I had heard of years ago and have a read few articles about it. But it was a recent article that truly bothered me.

It is a very sad and very difficult disorder to diagnose and treat. It is essentially where a person deliberately harms themself on a regular basis so they are in a constant state of illness or injury such that they need medical help. That is Munchausen Disorder. The extent people will go to is unimaginable – from poisoning themselves, to rubbing dirt or other things in wound so it will get infected, to cut or burn themselves… The list is too unbelievable. It is so sad that some people are in this state that they believe the only way to get attention is through harming themselves and that it is the only way to get attention.

But there is something much worse…


Munchausen by Proxy.


There are people who have taken Munchausen to the next level. When you say the name it doesn’t sound too serious, does it?

But it is. This is where someone will deliberately harm another person or make it appear the other person is ill, to gain attention. They often will put the other person in a constant state of illness or will suggest they have symptoms and issues that they don’t. Just so they can look like the good, caring person who is trying to ensure that this person in their care is getting the medical attention they need. There is a long list of the extent they will go to but when they want the symptoms to be real, they will do it through a variety of means, one of which is poison. They will deliberately poison the other person. What? How could someone do that?

The person doing this is usually a parent to a child but can be one partner to another or person or it can be a caregiver harming the person in their care. The stories about this are heartbreaking and horrific.

You can see why this would be so difficult to diagnose.


Sadly they don’t always get it right.


What actually spurred my desire to write this novel, Toxic Attention, was a story about a woman who was diagnosed with Munchausen by Proxy Disorder. Supposedly she was making her teenage daughter ill. Unfortunately, the medical system got it wrong. This poor mother ended up committing suicide as she couldn’t take the public backlash. After she died, the medical system finally diagnosed the daughter with an actual rare disorder. The mom had been innocent. But biases and the medical system not listening, ended up in a horrific tragedy. So heart-breaking.

It truly got me thinking and it was something that would not go away. Always when I am writing about something so sensitive I want to bring it to people’s awareness and to help people see it in a different light. It definitely added a new layer to my novel.


Toxic Attention, is in my opinion, one of my best novels to date.

This was a story that was one that I just kept feeling for this family and all they were going through. I just kept thinking, if only they’d talk. But they didn’t. The fingers started pointing and a tangled web ensued. It is quite a thriller.

There are twists, I don’t think you’ll see coming.


Publication Date – 2024

It will be published in April 10, 2024 at all bookstores. Click here.
It is available at all bookstores right now for pre-order.

If you buy through me, you will have it March 12, 2024. A month before everyone else. GMT Books


“I loved this book. I really love your style of writing – the way you develop the characters and keep us guessing until the end about who did it. I always find myself wanting to skip ahead and find out but if course don’t. It is the type of story that keeps me engaged and not wanting to put the book down.” SEKing

Toxic Attention

They seem like a normal family with normal issues but someone is trying to destroy that. Again.

Nia is there to save her niece. But she’s not clear from what. As she delves deeper into the mystery, some shocking truths about her family come to light. Is her brother telling her the truth or is he hiding his own dark secret? Her niece has been ill for years but is it really a medical mystery? Or something deliberate? With her brother now suffering the same fate, Nia must find answers.

Tim is also drawn into the quest to find out what is plaguing his stepsister’s family. His only hope is that history isn’t repeating itself.

Nia and Tim must join forces, putting aside the finger pointing and blame, to uncover the truth behind the disturbing events that threaten their loved ones. Who would truly want to harm their family?

In this gripping Prairie Crime Thriller, set in the fictional place of Connemara Alberta, prepare to dive into a psychological rollercoaster of heart-pounding twists and turns. Lose yourself in this gripping tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Enjoy.

Here’s what other’s are saying about Maggie’s Novels:

“A Suspenseful Rush!”

Author Tom Johnson

Author, Pulp Den

“…this was one of the most exciting and heart stopping stories I have read in years. I think this author is fabulous. I could not believe how well this book was written…”

Long and Short Reviews

“…Questions grow and so does the pace of this excellent story. You’ll find yourself turning pages quickly to keep up with the race against time. Excellent read. I highly recommend it.”

Readers Favorite

Maggie Thom

Take an adventure beyond your fingertips...

Whether her thrillers are set in a real town, city, or countryside, or one made up from her imagination, Multi-Award-Winning Author Maggie Thom writes engaging suspense thrillers that delve into a family’s lies, ties, and deceit. They are rollercoaster stories featuring strong women fighting for what they know is right but having to wade through a maze of twists and turns. Maggie believes in happily ever after but will take you on one heck of an adventure to get there.

Buckle up, you’re in for quite a ride.

Maggie grew up in a house full of books, often making a weekly trip to the library to get more. Reading was her go to when it was too cold outside to play. She started experimenting with writing at a young age, letting her imagination take her away on many adventures. She has done many real-life adventures with her family – white water rafting, sky diving, traveling, mountain hiking, kayaking… Now, she writes to ensure that you get to go on a thrilling adventure as well.


Her motto: Read to escape… Escape to read…

"Maggie Thom… proves her strength as a master of words, plots and finely chiseled characters… she weaves a brilliant cloth of the many colors of deceit.”Dii - TomeTender

"Maggie Thom writes a fast paced thriller laced with romance that keeps the reader interested and on edge!" InDtale Magazine

Maggie Thom suspense thriller books

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