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As historical fiction gains popularity with a broader range of readers, some who remember a time when the genre was shunned by publishers have asked “Why?” My answer is “Why not?” History provides us with everything we need for epic story plots --- suspense, mystery, intrigue, battles between good and evil, love and romance, even real superheroes. (Don't get me started on James Douglas!) With all this, it's no wonder millennials and 20somethings are becoming the fastest growing audience of historically based books and films. Sprinkled with fantasy and time-travel, a great story can capture the attention and satisfy the cravings of a generation of readers who grew up playing video games and reading Harry Potter.
On Friday, July 13th, I attended my first ThrillerFest with's Editorial Director Tom Donadio and President Carol Fitzgerald. Not only was this the 13th celebration of the annual conference of the International Thriller Writers (ITW), but this day of programming was being held on Friday the 13th, which was thrillingly appropriate.
On May 2, 2017, the debut novels of Thomas Kies and Annie Hogsett released, and both were first installments of a series. Kies’ RANDOM ROAD introduced readers to veteran reporter Geneva Chase, and TOO LUCKY TO LIVE kicked off Hogsett’s Somebody’s Bound to Wind Up Dead Mystery series. So it’s only fitting that the second books in their respective mystery series (DARKNESS LANE for Kies and MURDER TO THE METAL for Hogsett) would publish on the same day this year (June 5th). To celebrate, Thomas and Annie have teamed up for a dual interview, where they talk about the challenges of writing a second book in a series, explain what it was like to interact with the public as they promoted their first novels, and offer advice to their younger selves now that they have two published books under their belts.
This year’s Mother’s Day Author Blog series wraps up with a heartwarming piece from New York Times bestselling author Karen White, whose new novel, DREAMS OF FALLING, releases on June 5th. Karen was a voracious reader growing up, but sadly her mother didn’t share her passion for books. While pregnant with her first child, Karen of course prayed for a happy and healthy baby, but she also made it clear that she wanted to give birth to a reader. Sure enough, her bookish wish came true! Here, Karen shares some wonderful memories of reading with her daughter…and explains what happens when a bookworm wants to redecorate her room.
I’m really super fancy. That's the warning Abby Fabiaschi's daughter, who was three years old at the time, issued to her mother when the two read Jane O'Connor's FANCY NANCY together. Abby was a tomboy growing up and thus did not understand her daughter's propensity for glamour. But that all changed four years later when Abby realized that, in order to strengthen their relationship, she needed to embrace this difference between them and make reasonable compromises that would make both of them happy. Abby's debut novel, I LIKED MY LIFE, is now available in paperback.
Julie Clark’s newly released debut novel, THE ONES WE CHOOSE, is about a boy desperate to find his place in the world, a mother coming to terms with her own past, and the healing power of forgiveness. In her blog post, to which many parents will be able to relate, Julie talks about reading wordless picture books with her children from the perspective of a young mother who was sometimes so exhausted at the end of the day that “creating engaging dialogue between a family of bears living in a tree” could prove to be quite the challenge.
Janelle Brown is the New York Times bestselling author of ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS EVERYTHING, THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE and WATCH ME DISAPPEAR, the latter of which is now available in paperback. When her daughter was born, Janelle wanted to make sure that her little girl would grow up loving books just as much as she did. Thus the “three books at bedtime” rule was introduced and quickly became an important family tradition, which subsequently was passed on to her son. Read on to find out what books they’ve delved into together, why the rule eventually had to be tweaked, and how her now-eight-year-old daughter is faring on her bookish adventures.
Lisa Wingate is the award-winning, bestselling author of over 20 novels, including her most recent, BEFORE WE WERE YOURS, which was a Bets On pick when it released last year. One of her fondest bookish memories revolves around her second novel, GOOD HOPE ROAD. Lisa was the mother of two young boys at the time, and when three advance copies of the book arrived in their mailbox, it led to a reading experience that, to this day, she holds very close to her heart.
Brianna Wolfson, whose debut novel ROSIE COLORED GLASSES released earlier this year and was a Bets On pick, owes a great deal to her mother. It was her mother who “made me endlessly curious about books and movies and games and drives and objects and people. She showed me how much of the world opens up with the simple instinct to explore.” As a writer, Brianna is constantly exploring. And although her mother passed away 18 years ago, Brianna knows she wouldn’t be where she is today without the love, support and guidance of her mother, who “infused me with the instinct and spirit to write.”
We’re excited to kick off this year’s Mother’s Day Author Blog series with Lisa Genova, whose latest novel EVERY NOTE PLAYED is a Bets On pick. Although Lisa doesn't remember her mother reading to her as a child, the same cannot be said of her own three children, all of whom have fond memories of their mom reading to them. While the likes of Harry Potter and Mabel Jones were reliable go-tos, it was the “made-up” stories --- the ones in which they were the main characters embarking on adventures to fantastical new lands --- that they cherish the most.