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Author News & Interviews

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.

Interview: Wendy Webb, author of The Vanishing

Jan 24, 2014

Wendy Webb’s first two books, THE TALE OF HALCYON CRANE and THE FATE OF MERCY ALBAN, were both winners of the Minnesota Book Award for genre fiction. Now she follows up these successes with THE VANISHING, a gothic horror tale about a woman who accepts a job offer that she begins to suspect is too good to be true. In this interview with’s Sarah Rachel Egelman, Webb talks about what inspired the old haunted house (including “Downton Abbey” and séances gone wrong), which itself is almost a character in the novel. She also considers why people are so intrigued by horror stories and reveals some of her own favorites.

Author Talk: Julie Klassen, author of The Dancing Master

Jan 21, 2014

Three-time Christy Award winner Julie Klassen certainly knows her way around 19th-century romance. Her latest novel, THE DANCING MASTER, is also her first to offer a strong male perspective. In this interview, Klassen discusses writing from that particular point of view, as well as writing for a female who is more complicated and flawed than your standard romance novel heroine. She also talks about all the fun ways she researched 19th-century dancing, and why dancing in Regency England was such a torrid affair.

Author Talk: Artis Henderson , author of Unremarried Widow: A Memoir

Jan 17, 2014

In UNREMARRIED WIDOW, 26-year-old Artis Henderson loses her husband 20 years after her own mother was widowed, and overcomes two generations of tragedy to discover that both hope and love endure. In this interview, Henderson discusses the painful process of retelling her story, her relationships with fellow army wives, and her plans for the future.