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Author News & Interviews

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. 

Interview: Holly Brown, author of A Necessary End

Jul 15, 2015

Not only is Holly Brown a practicing marriage and family therapist, she’s also the author of the gripping psychological thriller DON’T TRY TO FIND ME. A NECESSARY END is her sophomore effort; it’s a taut, riveting novel of psychological suspense --- a domestic drama full of secrets and twists --- about a woman determined to have a child, her ambivalent husband and a pregnant teenager with a secret agenda of her own. In this interview with The Book Report Network’s Alexis Burling, Brown talks about what’s changed since her debut and how her “day job” influences her writing. She also explains why she enjoys writing (and reading) about complex, not necessarily likable characters and why it’s important for her to stay flexible as her story evolves.

Author Talk: Marian Keyes, author of The Woman Who Stole My Life

Jul 9, 2015

Marian Keyes is a celebrated author with a loyal (and vocal!) fan base and two #1 Sunday Times bestsellers under her belt. Her latest book, THE WOMAN WHO STOLE MY LIFE, introduces Stella Sweeney, who becomes a newly minted self-help memoirist when she learns that her doctor compiled and published a memoir about the illness for which he was treating her. As things become more complicated, Stella must learn who she was before her illness --- and who she is now. In this interview, Keyes reveals what inspired Stella’s journey and shares details of her own journey as an author (and, believe it or not, how the two overlap!). She also talks about auctioning off her character’s name, and why she believes films are lovely but books are and always will be enough.

Author Talk: Brad Meltzer, author of The President's Shadow

Jun 18, 2015

Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of THE INNER CIRCLE, THE BOOK OF FATE and seven other thrillers. In addition to his fiction, Meltzer is one of the only authors to ever have books on the bestseller list for nonfiction, advice, children's books and graphic novels. Now, brilliant archivist Beecher White returns in Meltzer's latest book, THE PRESIDENT’S SHADOW, when an arm is discovered buried in the White House Rose Garden with an alarming message intended for Beecher. In this interview, Meltzer reveals the inspiration behind his vivid premise and why he’ll never forget his first manuscript’s rejection. He also suggests a reason political thrillers will never go out of style and --- unrelated --- why it’s good to have friends in the Secret Service.