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Author News & Interviews

Author Talk: Ruth Ware, author of In a Dark, Dark Wood

Aug 7, 2015

Ruth Ware’s bachelorette weekend was very tasteful, unlike the one in her thrilling debut, IN A DARK, DARK WOOD. When a friend she hasn’t seen or spoken to in years invites reclusive crime writer Nora to a weekend away in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. Forty-eight hours later, she wakes up in a hospital bed injured but alive, with the knowledge that someone is dead. In this interview, Ware discusses drawing on memories of middle school to create the social dynamic of her characters, her fascination with unreliable narrators, and why we need to stop calling stories featuring violent women a “trend.” She also assures us that no one was murdered at her own bachelorette party, despite the startling vividness of the events described in her book.

Interview: Paula McLain, author of Circling the Sun

Aug 6, 2015

Paula McLain’s 2011 foray into historical fiction, THE PARIS WIFE, went exceedingly well. Now she follows up that success with the highly anticipated CIRCLING THE SUN. Set in colonial Kenya in the 1920s, it tells the story of Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator with a fierce and fearless heart, who finds herself in a passionate love triangle with Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, author of OUT OF AFRICA. In this interview with’s Katherine B. Weissman, McLain explains why she felt instantly compelled to write Beryl’s story --- “fated,” even --- and how she thinks her protagonist’s resolute independence will inspire today’s women. She also talks about sharing Beryl’s passion (for horses, not flying!) and why we can expect plenty more historical fiction from her.

Interview: Emilie Richards, author of The Color of Light

Jul 31, 2015

Emilie Richards has written over 70 novels, beloved for their complex characterizations and in-depth explorations of social issues --- a result of her training and experience as a family counselor. THE COLOR OF LIGHT is the fourth installment in her Goddesses Anonymous series, and it spotlights another Goddess, Minister Analiese Wagner, whose faith is put to the ultimate test when she takes homeless teenager Shiloh Fowler under her wing. In this interview, Richards talks to’s Jamie Layton about the significance of her characters’ names and how they took on a life of their own, to no one’s surprise more than her own. She also discusses how serious the issue of homelessness is, and the strides and setbacks churches experience when dealing with matters of social justice.

Author Talk: J. Ryan Stradal, author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest

Jul 30, 2015

Although he now lives in Los Angeles, J. Ryan Stradal was born and raised in Minnesota, so it’s no surprise that his debut novel is titled KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST. It’s one of the most hotly anticipated books of the summer, about a young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate who becomes the iconic chef behind the country’s most coveted dinner reservation. In this interview, Stradal reveals why he chose to tell each chapter from a different character’s point of view and how that enabled him to capture the zeitgeist of the Midwest. He also discusses his philosophy when it comes to foodie culture, how food contributes to identity and community, and why he would never challenge a Midwesterner to a bake-off.

Interview: Mary Kubica, author of Pretty Baby

Jul 30, 2015

Mary Kubica’s debut novel, THE GOOD GIRL, was a runaway hit, ringingly endorsed as “GONE GIRL with heart.” Now, she follows up with an impressive sophomore effort, PRETTY BABY, about Heidi Wood, who, despite her husband's objections, takes in a young mother and her four-month-old baby. As clues into the girl’s past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she's willing to go --- and what she's willing to risk --- to help a stranger. In this interview with’s Norah Piehl, Kubica talks about generous characters and selfish characters, charity gone wrong, and reining in plot points to allow the story maximum suspense. She also shares how the success of THE GOOD GIRL has changed her life, including some of the best letters she has received from her fans.