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Author News & Interviews

Interview: J.T. Ellison, author of When Shadows Fall

Feb 27, 2014

Before becoming a bestselling author, J.T. Ellison was a White House staffer, so she’s been able to work extensively with the Metro Nashville Police, the FBI, and various other law enforcement organizations to research her novels. Which, of course, comes in handy when writing about forensic pathologist Dr. Samantha Owens. In WHEN SHADOWS FALL, the third and latest installment of Ellison's series, Sam receives a disturbing letter from Timothy Savage, a dead man imploring her to solve his murder. The investigation takes her into the shadows of a 20-year-old mystery that must be solved to determine what really happened to Savage.

In this interview with’s Ray Palen, Ellison goes into detail about her protagonist’s complicated internal life as Sam recovers from the loss of her family, and how that tragedy affects her decisions in WHEN SHADOWS FALL. She also talks about her own fascination with cults and cult leaders, as well as how much fun it was to write a story with an “unreliable victim.”

Author Talk: Leslie Gould, author of Minding Molly: The Courtships of Lancaster County, Book 3

Feb 21, 2014

Leslie Gould knows a thing or two about love and faith in Amish country. COURTING CATE, which marked the beginning of her Courtships of Lancaster County series, was an ECPA bestseller, and now she returns with MINDING MOLLY, the third book in the series (following ADORING ADDIE). It’s about Molly Zook, who is struggling with her mother's wish that she marry Mervin Mosier to save the family farm, especially after she meets tall, muscular and confident Leon Fisher. In this interview, Gould opens up about why she started writing Amish fiction to begin with, and the beauty that Lancaster County has always held for her. She also talks about her writing process, adapting her novels from Shakespeare plays, and working with soccer games buzzing in the background.

Author Talk: Emylia Hall, author of The Swiss Affair

Feb 14, 2014

Emylia Hall's debut novel, THE BOOK OF SUMMERS, was a Richard and Judy book club pick in 2012 and was translated into eight languages. Now she returns with her highly anticipated second book, THE SWISS AFFAIR. In it, Hadley Dunn decides to shake up her predictable life by spending her second year of college abroad in the glamorous Swiss city of Lausanne. But when tragedy strikes, a guilt-ridden Hadley resolves to find the truth about what really happened that night. In this interview, Hall talks about her own time abroad in Lausanne and how her “golden year” there (loosely!) influenced THE SWISS AFFAIR. She also reveals her fascination with the way people behave on vacation, why she keeps revisiting the theme of identity, and what she wants readers to take away from her fiction.

Interview: Leila Meacham, author of Somerset

Feb 7, 2014

Leila Meacham is a writer and former teacher who lives in San Antonio, Texas. Now, she returns with SOMERSET, a prequel to her 2010 bestseller ROSES. Here, we learn of Mary Toliver's ancestors, including a couple married under unusual (possibly curse-inducing) circumstances who set out in 1836 for promising new land in Texas. In this interview, Meacham opens up to’s Terry Miller Shannon about what inspired her to write a prequel to her beloved debut novel --- against her initial instinct --- and how that inspiration matured into a book. She also addresses the frequent ROSES/GONE WITH THE WIND comparison, why she’s grown to love researching novels rather than following the “write what you know” guideline, and how her characters sometimes decide their own fates, often much to their author’s surprise.

Author Talk: Nancy Horan, author of Under the Wide and Starry Sky

Jan 24, 2014

Journalist Nancy Horan follows up her New York Times bestselling debut, LOVING FRANK, with a much-anticipated second novel, UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY. It tells the improbable love story of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson --- author of TREASURE ISLAND and THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE --- and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny. In this interview, Horan opens up about what drew her to the Stevensons (who she knew immediately would be “good company”), including their unconventional romance and their loyalty to one another despite less than accommodating circumstances. She also talks about how Fanny and Louis (as friends called Stevenson) shaped each other’s artistic lives, as well as what she hopes readers will take away from UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY.