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Author News & Interviews

Interview: Nickolas Butler, author of Shotgun Lovesongs

Mar 13, 2014

SHOTGUN LOVESONGS is the debut novel of Nickolas Butler, whose writing has appeared in Narrative Magazine, Ploughshares, The Christian Science Monitor and elsewhere. Along the way, he has worked as a telemarketer, a coffee roaster, a meatpacker, an innkeeper (twice), a liquor store clerk, an office manager, a hot dog vendor, and an author escort. SHOTGUN LOVESONGS is the story of four friends who were all born and raised in the same Wisconsin town, and the powerful, tensile bond of their friendship --- held together by the inescapable pull of home.

In this interview with’s Jennifer Romanello, Butler talks about the inspiration behind Little Wing, the town at the heart of the novel --- a setting that is so seamlessly integrated into the plot that it’s almost its own character. He also reveals why he decided to tell the story from multiple perspectives, the paradox of celebrity, and what he’s working on next.

Author Talk: Isla Morley, author of Above

Mar 7, 2014

Isla Morley is the author of the award-winning novel COME SUNDAY. Her latest book, ABOVE, is the haunting story of teenager Blythe Hallowell, who is abducted and locked away in an abandoned missile silo. Blythe has to deal with crushing loneliness, the terrifying madness of her captor, and the persistent temptation to give up. Nothing, however, prepares her for the burden of having to raise a child in confinement. In this interview, Morley talks about her decision to add the challenge of raising a child in captivity to Blythe’s already harrowing situation, taking scenes out of her book that she felt were too disturbing, and why forgiveness is so important --- even in the face of the greatest wrong done. Post-apocalyptic fiction is all the rage these days, and she also offers up an explanation as to why readers seem to be so fascinated by it.

Author Talk: Carol Cassella, author of Gemini

Mar 7, 2014

Carol Cassella is a practicing anesthesiologist and the bestselling author of OXYGEN and HEALER. Her latest novel, GEMINI, is about ICU doctor Charlotte Reese, who finds her morals challenged when an unconscious Jane Doe is placed in her care. Charlotte’s search for the identity of the woman reveals links between herself and her patient, and the repercussions will forever change her life. In this interview, Cassella shares how her experience as a medical professional informs her writing, why the best part of medicine is the mystery, and some of the moral and ethical issues doctors face every day. She also outlines in generous detail her ideal writing life (versus the reality!) and explains why she hopes her own books will resonate with readers for longer than the time it takes to read them.

Interview: Susan Mallery, author of Evening Stars: A Blackberry Island Novel

Feb 27, 2014

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. So it’s not surprising that her latest book in the Blackberry Island series, EVENING STARS, is a poignant story about two sisters --- complete opposites in every way --- who are on the verge of claiming their dreams…if only they can decide what they want!

In this interview with’s Terry Miller Shannon, Mallery opens up about how lucky she is to actually enjoy the writing process (instead of wrestling with it), her own road to publication --- starting with an adult-education class on romance novel writing --- and advice she would give to young or struggling writers. She also talks about what inspires her (everything!) and why having “the attention span of a gnat” has played a significant role in her prolific career.

Interview: Deanna Raybourn, author of City of Jasmine

Feb 27, 2014

New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn’s books have been set all over the globe, from Victorian London to the foothills of the Himalayas. Her latest, CITY OF JASMINE, takes place in the lush and mysterious streets of Damascus, where nothing is as it seems. Set during the 1920s, it’s about famed aviatrix Evie Starke, who is shocked to receive a recent photo of her dead husband, a clue she feverishly tracks --- with her eccentric Aunt Dove in tow --- to the ancient City of Jasmine.

In this interview with’s Amie Taylor, Raybourn talks about how she pulls off setting her books in such exotic locations, despite never having visited them --- including plenty of research (“armchair travel,” as she calls it) and spot-on sensory details. She also opens up about her predilection for writing about strong, independent women, having an inexplicably British writing voice, and why having taken a college seminar on mechanized warfare tactics in WWII was tedious but ultimately rewarding.