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Archives - January 2016

Interview: Melanie Benjamin, author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue

Jan 28, 2016

Melanie Benjamin, the New York Times bestselling author of such novels as ALICE I HAVE BEEN and THE AVIATOR’S WIFE, is back with her latest foray into historical fiction: THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE, a triumphant novel about New York’s “Swans” of the 1950s --- and the scandalous, headline-making and enthralling friendship between literary legend Truman Capote and peerless socialite Babe Paley. In this interview, Benjamin talks with Bookreporter.com's co-founder, Carol Fitzgerald, about Babe Paley and the Swans, “the first Real Housewives of New York” --- from their glitz and glamour to their complicated relationship with Capote and beyond.  

Interview: Anne Girard, author of Platinum Doll

Jan 28, 2016

Anne Girard is the pen name of bestselling author Diane Haeger, which was adopted to distinguish her more recent historical fiction from her earlier works. Her latest book, PLATINUM DOLL, is about Harlean Carpenter McGrew, better known as silver screen legend and “the original platinum blonde bombshell” Jean Harlow, as she and her domineering mother take Hollywood by storm. In this interview with Bookreporter.com’s Alexis Burling, Girard talks about what inspired her to write Harlow’s story and how she researches each of her books (including a trip to the city in which it’s set!). She also shares some fascinating details about the starlet’s life, including bits about her troubled marriage, her unquenchable free spirit, and her untimely death at only 26 years old.

Interview: Shilpi Somaya Gowda, author of The Golden Son

Jan 28, 2016

Shilpi Somaya Gowda, the internationally bestselling author of SECRET DAUGHTER, now returns with her highly anticipated sophomore effort, THE GOLDEN SON. It’s the lovely, complicated story of Anil Patel, who makes the difficult decision to leave behind his Indian village to pursue a medical career in the U.S. --- only to be called back after the sudden death of his father to fulfill his duty-bound role as village arbiter. In this interview, Gowda talks to The Book Report Network's Bronwyn Miller about why she is and always has been so fascinated by the Indian tradition of a panchayat, and how that kind of justice system plays out on a personal and communal level. She also discusses why she is drawn to stories dealing with cross-cultural issues, how volunteering at an orphanage changed her life, and what she’d like readers to take away from THE GOLDEN SON.

Interview: Sally Hepworth, author of The Things We Keep

Jan 21, 2016

Sally Hepworth is a former event planner and HR professional, as well as a world-traveler and the bestselling author of THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES. She’s following up that success with THE THINGS WE KEEP, the story of Anna Forster, a 38-year-old woman in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease who checks herself into an assisted living facility, where she meets and connects deeply with another patient. In this interview with Bookreporter.com’s Rebecca Munro, Hepworth discusses why she was moved to write about a protagonist suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s (and why it was crucial to tell Anna’s story in the first person), and why she believes deeply in the ability of love to trump disease.

Interview: Katarina Bivald, author of The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Jan 21, 2016

Swedish author Katarina Bivald grew up working part-time at a bookshop, so it’s no surprise that her heralded debut novel, THE READERS OF BROKEN WHEEL RECOMMEND, is a sweet, smart story about how books find us, change us and connect us. What is surprising, though, is that it’s set in Broken Wheel, a small Iowa town, considering she never even had been to the United States. In this interview with Bookreporter.com’s Melanie Reynolds, Bivald reveals why she finds small American towns so charming and how Broken Wheel came alive so vividly in her imagination. Although she can’t quite decide what her favorite books are, she knows precisely what she likes to read about and shares some details about crafting all those elements into her own work.

Interview: Susan Meissner, author of Stars Over Sunset Boulevard

Jan 21, 2016

Susan Meissner is the acclaimed author of multiple bestselling novels, as well as a speaker and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her latest book, STARS OVER SUNSET BOULEVARD, is set in both the present and the past, and tells the story of two women who meet on the set of Gone with the Wind, whose friendship is tested by the glamour and deception of 1930s Hollywood. In this interview, Meissner talks to Bookreporter.com’s Susan Miura about the incredible research that went into making STARS OVER SUNSET BOULEVARD historically accurate, the role that her faith plays in her storytelling, and why she thinks friendship is the most interesting relationship to write about --- especially because there's a bit of Scarlett O'Hara inside us all.

Interview: Elizabeth Strout, author of My Name Is Lucy Barton

Jan 14, 2016

Not only is Elizabeth Strout a bestselling author, her work is also critically acclaimed and prize-winning --- including the Pulitzer Prize for OLIVE KITTERIDGE. Her latest book, MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON, features another strong female protagonist, Lucy Barton, a writer whose slow recovery from an operation reunites her with her estranged mother and the life she left behind. Turning a simple hospital visit into the story of a whole life is no easy feat, and in this interview with Bookreporter.com’s Katherine B. Weissman, Strout reveals how all the elements of MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON came together --- intentionally or unintentionally --- from Lucy’s distinctive first-person voice to the setting to the unique structure of the novel. She also discusses her journey as a writer, starting with a very supportive college professor, and why her own high standards are the only ones she strives to meet.

Interview: Michel Bussi, author of After the Crash

Jan 7, 2016

Michel Bussi is one of France’s most celebrated crime authors, and he’s ready to make his mark on American readers. AFTER THE CRASH is his first book to be translated into English, and it tells the riveting story of two families --- one rich and one poor --- who are battling for custody of a child who was miraculously the sole survivor of an air flight tragedy. In this brief interview with Bookreporter.com’s Joe Hartlaub, Bussi discusses his fascination with the nature vs. nurture debate and how that inspired him to write this novel. He also talks about beginning a story at its end, as well as some of AFTER THE CRASH’s precedents in American pop culture.

Author Talk: Andrew Grant, author of False Positive

Jan 7, 2016

Recently, Andrew Grant took a break from his popular David Trevellyan series to write the stand-alone thriller RUN. He’s back now with an exciting new series about troubled Alabama detective Cooper Devereaux, which kicks off with FALSE POSITIVE. In it, Devereaux is partnered with cagey detective Jan Loflin, who’s fresh off a long undercover stint in Vice, when they’re put on a case that will test them both beyond their direst nightmares. Stand-alone or series, Grant knows how to write a knockout thriller. In this interview, he discusses why he chose to set FALSE POSITIVE in Birmingham, AL, how much he enjoys writing flawed heroes, and the differences between penning a solo book and one of many in a series.