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Author News & Interviews

Interview: Wayne Harrison, author of The Spark and the Drive

Jul 24, 2014

Wayne Harrison is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop whose stories have appeared in The AtlanticMcSweeney’s, Ploughshares and Narrative Magazine. His debut novel, THE SPARK AND THE DRIVE, is about lonely 17-year-old Justin Bailey, who is captivated by legendary muscle car mechanic Nick Campbell and his wife, Mary Ann. But when Nick and Mary Ann’s lives are struck by tragedy, Justin’s world is upended. In this fascinating interview conducted by Bookreporter.com’s Bronwyn Miller, Harrison talks about how nostalgia for his years working as a mechanic --- “some of the most sincere of my life” --- inspired him to write this story and the surprisingly inelegant art of choosing the perfect book title. He also discusses his experience as a literary late bloomer, how teaching writing informs his own work, and the age-old question of whether or not fiction can be taught.

Interview: Rosie Thomas, author of The Illusionists

Jul 3, 2014

Rosie Thomas is the author of numerous critically acclaimed, bestselling novels, including THE KASHMIR SHAWL, IRIS & RUBY and SUNRISE. She is known for her globe-trotting fiction, but in her latest book, THE ILLUSIONISTS, she stays in her home country of England and travels laterally: back in time to the 19th century. In this interview with Bookreporter.com’s Norah Piehl, Thomas talks about the aha! moment when she knew she would have to write a book about magicians (not coincidentally, it was around the same time she knew she’d have to leave the library so she wouldn’t disturb anyone with her uncontainable excitement), as well as why she decided to set her book in Victorian London, the “golden age for stage magic.” She also opens up about her favorite character in a book full of memorable ones and the fascinating territory she’ll be exploring next.

Interview: R.J. Ellory, author of Saints of New York

Jun 26, 2014

R.J. Ellory is the author of 12 novels, including the bestselling A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS. His most recent book to be released in the US, SAINTS OF NEW YORK, is the story of troubled, uncompromising NYPD Detective Frank Parish, who lives unhappily in the shadow of his father. As his homicide case escalates, Frank must confront his own demons and discover the truth before there are further innocent victims. In this interview with Bookreporter.com’s L. Dean Murphy, Ellory discusses his interest in portraying police work as honestly as possible, which means sparing his readers “coincidences” and detectives who are always right. Frank Parrish is by no means an easy protagonist to root for, and Ellory is quite adamant that Frank’s flaws are what make him compelling. He also talks about his innovative approach to flashbacks, and why some things remain unresolved --- as in life --- by the end of the novel.

Interview: Heather Gudenkauf, author of Little Mercies

Jun 26, 2014

Heather Gudenkauf is the author of the bestselling novels THE WEIGHT OF SILENCETHESE THINGS HIDDEN and ONE BREATH AWAYHer latest book, LITTLE MERCIES, revolves around social worker Ellen Moore and the mistake she makes that carries with it tragic consequences. In this interview with Bookreporter.com’s Alexis Burling, Gudenkauf talks about the what-if scenario that inspired her to write this story, as well as finding harmony between her “mother mind” and her “educator mind.” She also discusses reversing the roles of certain characters in her novels to challenge readers’ preconceived expectations, and shares a lesson she learned from her mother: that “little mercies” are what truly carry us through difficult times.

Interview: Susan Wiggs, author of The Beekeeper's Ball

Jun 26, 2014

Susan Wiggs is following up the success of THE APPLE ORCHARD, the first book in her Bella Vista Chronicles series, with THE BEEKEEPER’S BALL. This second installment picks up where the first left off, but this time the story is Isabel’s. As Tess prepares to get married, Isabel is forging forward in her own life, trying to forget her painful past…which becomes complicated when swaggering, war-torn journalist Cormac O’Neill arrives to dig up old history. In this interview with Bookreporter.com’s Amie Taylor, Wiggs talks about associating food with love and comfort; her own, let’s just say, tender relationship with bees; and why readers will root for the unlikely couple at the heart of the story. She also shares how she stays motivated to write every day, and the theme she finds herself constantly drawn to (like a bee to honey?): the resilience of the human spirit.