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Author News & Interviews

Interview: Nadia Hashimi, author of The Pearl that Broke Its Shell

May 9, 2014

Nadia Hashimi's parents left Afghanistan in the 1970s before the Soviet invasion. In 2002, Hashimi visited Afghanistan for the first time. It wasn’t that trip, though --- at least not directly --- that inspired her debut novel, THE PEARL THAT BROKE ITS SHELL, but an article about the ancient Afghan custom of having girls dress and act like boys until they reach a marriageable age. In this interview with’s Alexis Burling, Hashimi opens up about her childhood as a first-generation American, how impressed she was by her Afghan cousins’ dedication to their education, despite obstacles, and why she feels “somewhat hopeful” for the political and social future of Afghanistan. On a lighter note, she talks about sassy Afghan women and how lucky she feels to have time in her life to be a writer and a pediatrician, in addition to being a mother.

Interview: Kevin O'Brien, author of Tell Me You're Sorry

May 2, 2014

Kevin O’Brien has come a long way since his days as a railroad inspector. Now he’s the bestselling author of 14 internationally published thrillers; his latest, TELL ME YOU’RE SORRY, may be his best to date. In this interview with’s Joe Hartlaub, O'Brien talks about what inspires his thrillers (including movies, nimble editors and metaphorical landladies), constructing his settings from memory, and how his experience as a wannabe screenwriter is elemental to the cinematic scope of his novels. He also explains why he loves throwing in odd details that are familiar to readers (“blasts from the past”) and considers what he would do if someone bought Jeffrey Dahmer’s boyhood home --- recently put on the market --- for him as a gift.

Interview: Pia Padukone, author of Where Earth Meets Water

May 1, 2014

In Pia Padukone’s debut novel, WHERE EARTH MEETS WATER, a man searches for meaning in the wake of incomparable tragedy.’s Alexis Burling talks to Padukone about what she has learned from her first publishing experience and why she is fascinated by other writers’ processes, as well as the important and not-quite-lost art of diary writing. She also considers the difference between the very human states of wanting and needing, how secrets can be both helpful and harmful, and the joy of co-writing a blog with her husband, Two Admirable Pleasures, which combines her two major loves: cooking and reading.

Author Talk: Amanda Vaill, author of Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War

Apr 25, 2014

Amanda Vaill is the author of the bestselling EVERYBODY WAS SO YOUNG, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography, and SOMEWHERE, for which she was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship. Her latest book, HOTEL FLORIDA, traces the tangled wartime destinies of three couples against the backdrop of a critical moment in history: the Spanish Civil War. Here, Vaill talks with founder Jesse Kornbluth about her work, researching HOTEL FLORIDA, and the theme that links each of her seemingly dissimilar subjects. She also considers the difficulty of wartime journalism and reflects on how writers --- and people in general --- struggle with honesty in their personal lives.

Interview: Francine Rivers, author of Bridge to Haven

Apr 24, 2014

Francine Rivers has been a bestselling author of Christian fiction since the mid-'90s, when her highly acclaimed statement of faith, REDEEMING LOVE, was re-released by Multnomah Publishers. Her latest novel, BRIDGE TO HAVEN, is about a young woman named Abra, whose early childhood trauma has left her angry and confused. Seduced by the glamour of Hollywood life, Abra burns every bridge to get what she thinks she wants --- only to find the price of fame too high, and the attention not enough to heal her broken heart. In this interview conducted by reviewer Michele Howe, Rivers talks about the biblical story that inspired BRIDGE TO HAVEN and how her personal struggles are present in all her writing. She also discusses the sometimes-paradox of heartache, the difference between what the world calls “love” and love that is real, and the transformative power of accepting God into our hearts.